From a very young age Alex Soldier was extremely talented in sculpture, woodcraft and the painting of miniatures. After earning a Master's degree in computer engineering, he changed his career direction and began working at a jewelry plant in the Ural Mountains, where in six months he was promoted from electrician to chief designer. His work at the plant and unconventional methods of making jewelry earned the plant multiple awards at trade shows in Europe during his time there.
In 1990, Alex moved to the United States where he worked in platinum, 18K and precious stones. His unique approach to designing and producing jewelry led to an extensive line of conceptual jewels. With this collection, Alex won many awards and gained professional recognition. Since then he has gone on to create one-of-a-kind miniatures that are sought after by private collectors worldwide. Alex Soldier's jewelry is as meaningful as his miniatures, often with many details that are visual surprises to the wearer. The collections include: Bridal, Couture, Haute Couture, Objet D'Art.
Q&A with Alex Soldier
Describe your design process.
My story of finding myself as an artist and sculptor dates back to my childhood, when I made my first sculpture out of wood when I was 14 years old. I was inspired by a television documentary about the Land of the Incas and decided to create my own version of the tribal warrior. So, I took apart my mom’s costume jewelry and set it into my wooden creation. My mom was very proud of it until she noticed that the shape and the color of the center stone looked too familiar… She got over it eventually. I was a computer engineer before getting into jewelry as I was fascinated with artificial intelligence, since it was fairly new and mysterious world, like space and cosmos. I dreamed of building my own robot, but it all changed when I met my wife. She saw my drawings and attention to detail and inspired me to try my talents at jewelry. I didn't know anything about jewelry nor did I have any previous training in it, so I went to the jewelry plant and asked for whatever position they had available. They assigned me to that of an electrician, and in less than a year I became its chief designer.
Where do you find inspiration? Do your one-of-a-kind miniatures inspire your Bridal, Couture, and Haute Couture Collections?
Life itself in its daily manifestation is an ultimate source of inspiration to me. I constantly work at my bench and the present moment in which the thought materializes through creative process never ceases to surprise me. Jewelry came first, followed shortly by miniatures: “I wanted to take my craftsmanship and knowledge to the next level and grow as an artist. Working with miniatures allowed me to experiment with metals, inventing structures and textures that were never done before. It’s very exciting to bring something completely new to this world, similar to the birth of a child.”
How does your background in jewelry manufacturing influence your designs?
I’m completely self-taught and never had any formal jewelry training. My engineering background gave me a lot of technical knowledge and perspective. Every time I design, I envision the technical aspects as well as artistic composition together before making a new piece. Each of my designs are made of several complex components that create a unique whole. I also invented my own tools with which I apply the special decorative finishes onto the metal that were never done before. My jewelry and sculptures are made of so many intricate components that you often need a magnifying glass to be able to see all of them. Each design is about structure, proportion, detail, texture and composition. It’s like a Rubik’s Cube, with each piece dependent on the next to create the whole. All of the above characteristics give my jewelry that special touch and character that sets it apart from the rest. I feel inspired when my clients tell me how their jewelry or sculptures that they own continue to fascinate them years later, as they keep discovering new details in them.
What is your favorite period of jewelry?
What is next for Alex Soldier?
The creative process is always a mystery that can’t be predicted. I constantly work at my bench and the present moment in which the thought materializes through creativity never ceases to surprise me.