Ancient geometry matched with modern lines, precious gems and metals marked by a distinctive human touch - the work of designer Roman Drake is simultaneously delicate and powerful, timeless…and groundbreaking.
With over two decades experience in the arts, Drake has worked across a variety of mediums, from painting to sculpture, lithograph to pottery-making. His jewelry line, Santi Rom reflects his deep knowledge of both high art and tradition and features exquisite handmade pieces he creates himself, with intense attention to detail.
“Through the fabricating process, I embrace hand work marks,” Drake explains, “casting textures and when that's not enough, I rough the metals up a little more. Hammering, filing textures and scratches, along with a semi-matte finish, gives the look of a found treasure. I like the idea of feeling that these pieces were left behind by some lost civilization, for the future to find.”
The results are subtly unisex creations - intricate earrings, necklaces and totemic rings - each featuring engaging, intentionally imperfect, detailing. Drake’s unique metal smith techniques, with every piece individually molded and cast, makes each piece in his line completely one-of-a-kind. Everywhere there is the hand of the artist, in his use of a special alloy to enhance the warm hues of gold, in the precision of rose cut rustic diamonds, set wonderfully, seductively, and every so slightly, unevenly.
“The beauty of ancient Roman relics and antique jewelry from this same era, is a great source of inspiration. Sometimes when I’m designing I imagine a time in an ancient city - the architecture, clothing, culture. I'm in love with making each piece feel like a lost treasure. Architecture, earth - these are just some of the things that propel my aesthetic.”
With his new line, Drake continues to evolve.
“The new work that I’m doing is greatly relying on a higher concentration of stones to show shape. There still is great geometric patterns but there is a lot more shine and sparkle coming from the pieces.”
Inspired by both the ordered elegance of the Byzantine era and the organic approach of contemporary craftsmanship, Drake creates all his work with the intent of creating heirloom; jewelry meant to retain an air of agelessness and mystery.
“Jewelry is so many things, to so many people,” Drake explains, “It can convey status, originality and taste. But most importantly, it should convey a personal emotion and idea. I want to help transport people somewhere in the past...a place in the future...a place in the now - where they find memories, inspiration, and power. That is what I want my jewelry to do.”
photography by MK Sadler / model Reshma Gajjar....thank you beautiful Ladies.