Meet NYC Jewelry Designer, Astrid Chastka

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka
Courtesy of Astrid Chastka
Henna Choudhary

Astrid Chastka is co-founder of the exploratory conceptual jewelry line Metalepsis Projects. She draws inspiration from her background in architecture and fine art to define a visual perspective that is bold and often unexpected, but always accessible. Metalepsis Projects designs unexpected and dynamic jewelry using architectural 3-D modeling and printing technology, tempered with a low maintenance aesthetic to evoke a feeling that is both ancient and futuristic at the same time.

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka

After collecting years of experience in the field and founding your own jewelry business, what advice would you choose to offer to someone who was trying to break into the jewelry business?

I would tell them that it is so important to identify your own strengths and weaknesses as a designer and business owner. In doing so, you will be able to design a business founded in your own unique strengths (don’t try to be something you aren’t). Also, you should try to look outside yourself to elicit services from others where your weaknesses lie. When you start a business, you become accustomed to doing everything independently. So, when you have the opportunity or ability to outsource, it can be hard to let go of that control.

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka

What is the next project you have in mind to put your creative abilities to work?

I would love to design some jewelry storage and display pieces. I think that it would be really fun to approach jewelry display from a serious architectural perspective and create some structures to house our Metalepsis collection! I always want to do way more projects than I have time for. I would also love to design the perfect cabin and studio space somewhere in the woods upstate. The idea of designing your own space perfectly fitted to your tastes is really exciting and challenging. I also have a ceramics project I have started working on that mixes metal pieces with ceramic ones, but until its ready, I don’t want to say too much more about it. I’m really excited about the potential for 3-D printed ceramics and the program for doing that on Shapeways!

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka

Thinking back over the past few years, what is the most memorable moment from your career that stands out in your mind the most?

The moment we saw our first 3-D printed prototypes was an irreplaceable, exciting experience. They were so crisp and perfect and printed in a beautiful translucent resin. I still have them on my desk; I just love them so much.

If you opened up a fortune cookie what would it say?

I actually have the best fortune I’ve ever received from a cookie taped directly above my desk. It says ‘Just to be alive is a grand thing,’ which I feel is a very important reminder in our everyday lives.

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka

What is something that you wouldn’t normally share, a quirky habit or tidbit that no one knows about you?

I collect Post-It notes that I find lying around (on the street, in the grocery store, etc.) because I love seeing other people’s lists. I also love making my own lists…and crossing things off of them.

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka

How would you describe your jewelry business in 80 characters?

Metalepsis re-imagines art, architecture, and science into conceptual jewelry.

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka

Salad or Burger? Both but not together. Burgers need French fries.

Apple or Dell? Apple

Kanye West or Justin Timberlake? Kanye West

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka

Vincent Van Gogh or Andy Warhol? Van Gogh

Robert De Niro or George Clooney? Amal Clooney

Indonesia or Egypt? Indonesia because my grandfather grew up there, and I still have never been to visit.

Courtesy of Astrid Chastka

Charles Dickens or William Faulkner? Charles Dickens, or maybe someone with a slightly more succinct writing style than either of those two gentlemen.
Interview by Henna Choudhary

Henna Choudhary is a New York City born senior at Baruch College pursuing a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing. Her interests include fashion and beauty, discovering new eclectic ethnic cuisine spots throughout the city, visiting museums, attending theater performances, and reading culturally enriching novels.

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