The collaboration arose, as many others do, after a night on the town. It was at the opening of hotel Ett Hem that Efva asked, according to Miriam “a little shy and humble”, if it would be fun to design a jewellery collection for the HÖGDALEN.
“I did not get it at first, why wouldn’t I. It’s soo cool,” she says. ”Many of the previous guest designers are people I really look up to, so I feel flattered and honored to be among them.”
“We had met before and when I finally asked Miriam, she replied that it would be awesome – and that is how it started,” Efva says. “Miriam has a clear vision of what she wants. After all, she has great make-up, is a great artist and has a strong personal style – the first thing we did was a broken heart after a tattoo on her neck.”
Miriam didn’t have a clear idea of what she wanted to do but leaned on her experience as a musician. “It was a new level of creativity that I had not explored yet. I knew I wanted it to mean something to me and approached it like I would write a song. What would a piece of jewellery sound like? What does my music sound like and how can I translate it?”
“It was exciting to unlock that door and explore a new creative space. It was a bit like solving a math problem without a calculator. It has been so much fun to work with Efva and Torbjörn (blacksmith, editor's note), they’ve helped me a lot and I am super grateful for it. I love working with other people to create something, something that also works with the musical expression.”
When a guest designs for the HÖGDALEN, Efva takes a step back but is always there as support, and acts as a mentor. It can be about giving advice on materials or what can and cannot be done. There may be technical challenges or new ideas to test. As a craftsman or creator, letting go and letting someone new in can be both challenging and rewarding.
“Everyone I have worked with is so creative and then you are a bit of a controller,” says Efva. “You want to control everything you create, but HÖGDALEN allows you to meet and exchange ideas instead. It is always a lot of fun and something completely new.”
“Text, music and melody are so emotional, but not something you can physically touch,” explains Miriam. “It all started with the heart somehow, which is broken. Everyone can be hurt and instead of denying it, wear your scars, if not with pride, at least with a feeling that it is ok.”
Vulnerability is a recurring theme in the collection, not surprising to those familiar with Miriam's music. The jewellery is rooted in the broken and fragile, but Miriam emphasizes that it is also about moving on. After all, you can recover from heartbreak even if the scars remain.
“Heartache is something that shapes us. Even though you can recover from a broken heart, it is something that leaves a mark,” she continues. “It can also be the other way around, that you have hurt others and this is where the piece called ¬‘Asfalt’ comes in. You might have been the unkind one in the relationship.”
The dandelion as a reoccurring motif takes a central role in the collection. This notorious weed is (in)famous for it’s ability to grow in all conditions and has become a symbol of strength and rebirth – and fans sometimes gift Miriam dandelions after her concerts.
“The dandelion became a key which we worked around,” says Efva. “For example, the ring ‘Asfalt’, which is a white agate. The dandelion that hugs the stone from below, it is round but has this spiky dandelion pattern... It is very special.”
It is not the first time Miriam explores visual expressions. Not least her concerts, but also her latest film project with Veronica Maggio and Jonas Åkerlund, a previous guest designer. In addition, there is a clear visual interest in her personal style – her clothes, jewellery and tattoos.
“When you have a plan for something and to see it produced...” says Miriam. “In some ways, jewellery design reminds me of a live show. It starts as an idea and then you produce it as closely as you can to what you see in your head. The fun thing about this is that the result has a function for a longer time, it is not consumed in an hour. Like a tattoo you can remove.”
“I have always loved jewellery, it tends to increase your self-esteem,” she continues. “There is something about wearing nice pieces, it becomes the finishing touches to an outfit. It can also be an entire outfit, especially statement pieces like these large dandelion leaves. They are quite spiky, and they can make a whole look. Even this heavier heart necklace could stand completely on its own, you do not need much else – you could be naked!”
No guarantees it makes a difference
“I might sound a bit dramatic, but it means a lot to me to release this collection. It is nerve-racking, just like releasing a single,” explains Miriam.
“There are no guarantees that what you do makes a difference, regardless of the art form you choose. For me, it always starts with wanting to tell something. If you’ve been through a difficult relationship and write an album, or make jewellery, that portrays those feelings, it becomes a way of dealing with them. It is powerful that a piece of jewellery can say so much and maybe even comfort. Of course, it is not something I expect, but it would be powerful if the jewellery meant something to more people than to Efva and me.”
Miriam Bryant x the HÖGDALEN: “SÖNDER” was released online on 27 April 2023 and includes necklaces, earrings and rings.
Photo: Eva Dahlgren