Artist Cleopatra Cosulet making jewellery in her studio in Romania as part of Crafting Futures

‘I’ve felt able to revive lost habits, routines and abilities which I had long forgotten.’

We catch up with Romanian jewellery designer and maker Cleopatra Cosulet, who we have featured as part of our Crafting Futures programme, to find out how she’s keeping creative amid the challenges that Covid-19 has brought.

How has Covid 19 affected your work and life?

It really has changed almost everything. The whole crisis has caught us without warning. Many of us find ourselves away from our homes and our workplaces.

Making jewellry has turned into researching and experimenting which, before Covid 19, there was never enough time for. Living in the countryside in an old house for such an extended period has been challenging, though! It’s also hard knowing that the studio and all my tools and materials are inaccessible at the moment due to distance. One of the positives for my jewellery making is my realization that anything can be considered as a material. I already knew that, but I've never had so few options available.

I feel the current situation has actually improved my personal universe. More time for ourselves, for introspection, and more time spent with our loved ones. Almost completely deprived of the stimuli and distractions of the outside world, we seem to be able to relearn how to be literally together.  I’ve felt able to revive lost habits, routines and abilities which I had long forgotten.

This seems to have been the case for many others. Maybe that's why, during this time of isolation, I felt the force of cohesion much more intensely than in ordinary times.These are things to remember when everything begins to go back to normal.

What innovative ways have you seen artists and arts organisations adapt the way they work to cope with the pandemic in your Romania?

As far as I can see, most of us have intensified our online activity. We’ve had to increase our understanding of social platforms either to present pieces of jewelry available and intended for sale or to present new creations, most often inspired by the context.

But what has impressed me in the arts sector has not yet happened in Romania. I am referring to the initiative of Matthew Burrows (painter, UK) called Artist Support Pledge, which encourages the sale and purchase of art objects (including jewelry) and whose motto is:  "Generosity is Infectious" (more about this movement here). I hope it will be successful in my country as well.

Could you recommend 3 artists in your country that we should check out?

Alina Carp, Ioana Ardelean and Raluca Buzura

What one piece of advice would you give other artists in this difficult and uncertain time?

Not to lose confidence in other people or in themselves. Never. And also to try to adapt to the specificity of the times we live in.

Cleopatra Cosulet is a jewellery designer and maker based in Bucharest, Romania. She uses experimental materials in her jewellery, and takes a more conceptual approach to her work, exploring materials, narratives and cultural identity.

Want to know more about Cleopatra?

You can see Cleopatra at work in our Crafting Futures film series ‘Why I Make’, which celebrates craft and shares maker's stories from around the globe. Watch Cleopatra’s film here. And find out more about the film series here.

Crafting Futures is our global programme, building a positive future by unlocking , building a positive future by unlocking craft’s unique potential to inspire people around the globe. The programme celebrates the value of craft in our history, culture and world today. 

 Worried about Covid-19 and your practice? We've pulled together the latest advice, funding, resources, and tips from across the sector for staying creative.