Cinq Workshop

Cinq Workshop is a jewelry design studio located in San Francisco, CA. Each piece of jewelry in the Cinq line is designed and hand-crafted by Vipada, the owner and creator of the studio. We love her jewelry for its delicate, minimal design and eye-catching shapes and lines.

Below is a brief interview with Vipada about her creative process and her love of jewelry design.

"The ability to translate your vision and materialize it is thrilling to me.  Lots of failed projects but every once in while a happy accident happens." --Vipada, Cinq Workshop
Photo of Vipada courtesy of Cinq Workshop

Photo of Vipada courtesy of Cinq Workshop

Can you describe a time when you first realized that creating was something you had to do?

Can't say exactly when, but I have always tinkered with whatever is around. The earliest thing was when I was 7 making a house out of a giant cardboard box. I insisted that there must be a window with a flower box hanging off it. So my first creation was a make-shift flower box from popsicle sticks and paper cutout daisies. 

How did you get started in jewelry design? Was it something you were always interested in?

Happy accident born out of busy hands and the love for tiny things. My background is in fashion design. When I made the decision to leave the industry, I swore to never do clothing again. It was a serious case of burn out.  

I have always customized my own clothing and jewelry. The idea of transforming one thing to another is the most fun a girl can have. Then I discovered hand tools, I would buy small tools before I even knew what they were for, just simply because they were cool looking.  Well, I knew they would be good to create something someday. The possibility alone was exciting.  

Starting with tools for leather then came a small ball peen hammer, I wanted to use this cute little hammer so badly and decided to get some silver material to play with. My first pair of earrings was born, Stick earrings. This style is still in my collection to this day.   

Once I started to work with metal, I was hooked. The obsession with hand tools is justified.  I get to work with tiny scale objects. The ability to tame metal is gratifying plus tiny, shiny things are hard to resist. It's like creating miniature sculpture that one can wear. Then seeing someone gets so much joy from wearing my creation is priceless.

Where did the name Cinq come from?

I'm a Francophile. I was born on the fifth. I love the way Cinq is spelled and the look of it.

Where do you find inspiration for your jewelry design?

At random and everywhere really, I like to think about shape and form, the end use and process of getting what's in my head made into real life. Half of the time my design came out of the experimenting process. 

My latest thing is the recent re-opening of SF museum of modern art. Collections from Ellsworth Kelly, Alexander Calder, I'm so in to their work right now. Ruth Asawa's work has a special place in my heart. My next collection will be heavily influenced by these fine artist.

How do you balance work and life?

Definitely not a role model in this subject. Although I feel quite balance because I love what I do. Making is a big part of my being. Hence life/work is all the same. Perhaps my balance comes from simplifying the operation side of the business so I have more time to play (making, among other things). Keep my live/work space organized and clean always - this helps tremendously with my mental space.

If not jewelry design, then what?

I'm greedy. I want to do so many things, it's ridiculous. Mostly in the realm of making like woodworking, painting, ceramic, glass blowing. Basically, I want to experiment with different mediums. Here's a lofty one, to be an art curator or a cellist.

What makes you happiest about what you do?

Keeping my hands busy that's a given. Being completely independent and my authentic self, no boss, no employee, no convoluted politics. Creating beautiful things and pleasing my customers.