“Porpe” is the Ancient Greek word for a buckle, and it means to unite two pieces together. It has a long history through the centuries. In Ancient Greece and in Ancient Rome it was an important jewel of women’s and men’s clothing, as it was used to hold cloth together. Alongside the practical and decorative function “porpe” was also a sign of wealth, social status, and family situation of the people who wore them. “Porpes” of different designs have been found in Asia, Africa, and Europe. In the west, belt buckles are sort of a cowboy’s resume, name tag, and family history all put onto a piece of silver plated metal. It is usually a trophy to be worn with pride, and to show others their accomplishments.
The word Artifact came to us form the Latin phrase “arte factum” which means something made or given shape by a man with skill, such as a tool, or a work of art. For us, the word “Artifact” reflects our design and making processes. Some elements of our jewelry are hand carved in wax (either soft or hard) and then casted using the lost wax technique. Other elements are made straight on the metal. During our creative process we may combine elements from both techniques, but there are two ingredients that constantly remain the same: the freedom of the mind and hands and the experimentation.
Making art jewelry is our way of expressing or translate what we see; It is our perception of the world. During the creation, a jewel is part of our everyday life, our story, and our inspiration, and once finished becomes someone’s else’s adornment and part of their daily life bound with their personal stories, expressions of love, important milestones…
Our designs are grouped into collections with an inspiration story behind. Sometimes we add a new collection (a group of jewelry) while other times we just add new designs or new materials to an existing collection.
Each one of us perceives each design in our own unique way and this is exactly what art is all about
Locally owned, designed and made
Porpe Artifacts, is a small art business based in Sammamish, Washington, where we design and make unique jewelry and artifacts for women and men who appreciate well designed artistic objects and the want to be unconventional & artistic in an elegant way.
We are using different metalsmith techniques to make our designs, sometimes we carve our designs on hard wax and then we cast it using the lost wax process, other times we play with soft wax where you can get beautiful details, other times we just work straight on the metal. We have an artistic approach to jewelry design and sometimes we combine different materials and different techniques to achieve what we want.
We use metal made in the USA, recycled metal whenever possible and try to source everything in a conscientious way. We recycle all our metal scraps – we are now preparing a small collection from scrap metal – and do our best to ensure our studio and production is safe and environmentally friendly by doing almost everything by hand or with the use of very light machinery.
We try to support other small businesses and that is why we source our supplies locally as much as we can. Our casting and plating is done by experienced business based in the US.
Meet the people behind Porpe Artifacts…
We believe that women should pursue what they really love and in whatever phase in their lives they are, they should always take care of themselves. Our mantra is “Jewel Yourself” every day, read more here.
Meet Vicky Zomenou Jewelry Designer & Maker
Vicky is the founder of Porpe Artifacts, she learnt metalsmith techniques and art jewelry in Athens for almost 10 years. She also took free hand painting lessons for 4 years. Vicky originally studied computer science and innovation technology management. After 25 years in the corporate world she decided to pursue what she loved most, art jewelry. She lived in England travelled around Europe and she lives in Seattle, WA.
“Art is an escape from me from everyday life, and a safe place to be. When the creative process is initiated, expressing myself in unique ways, experimenting and observing and learning is important. I love the process of making jewelry inspired by nature, symbols, stories… My work is more sculptural and I love experimenting and combine unexpected materials such as silk, stones, enamels, wood .. with metal.
When she doesn’t seat on her bench, she is having fun with her beautiful family or hikes around the beautiful area of Sammamish & Issaquah. She really loves travelling, books on self improvement, spirituality, mediation, art therapy, NIA dancing and anything the lights her way to a better self!
Mina and Vicky met during art jewelry classes so the love for art brought them together. Mina is working as a graphic designer, but she always had a love for art jewelry design-making and photography.
Mina is running her own graphic design business. In Mina’s words: “I challenge myself in creating different versions of the same theme. When I design I don’t prefer the perfect, flawless presentation of the object but the imperfection and the freedom of form. I combine different materials: silver, gold, brass, silk, enamels, stones, wood, leather, cotton…”
Annie, Angie & Agathie
Our models are three beautiful ladies and good friends. They pursue their careers, they take care of their families, they study….! And in between all of their activities they will find time to shoot photos of our collections…