Graphic designer Levent Özkendirci and architect Özlem Berber are placing their signatures under unique jewelry designs that they are making out of silver, bronze, brass, wood, and semi-precious stones at the Mummu Jewelry Design Workshop, located in Moda, Kadıköy. The couple that treats the materials according their nature designs original necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelet models by shaping the materials improvisationally. The designs of Özkendirici and Berber who gain attention especially with their Line and Nokta collections, are completely customized…

Modern and simple designs
As soon as you enter the Mummu Jewelry Design Workshop that was opened in June 2014, you feel like you are in an art gallery. The place, which takes its name from an artisan named Mummu from the Sumerian mythology, lets you feel its difference with its designs. Levent Özkendirci is a successful graphic artist who has committed his 20 years to the business world… Özkendirci who has worked at different agencies later worked as the art director of a jewelry company for 6 years. On the other side, Özlem Berber continues to work as a research associate at İstanbul Technical University, Department of Architecture.

Özkendirici, who says that they decided to open a unique design workshop with the aim of getting away from the tiring tempo of the city life and to live free, makes the following comment: “We founded our workshop by moving forward from that point and then started designing our own accessories. We moved towards making necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets using silver, bronze, brass, copper, wood, and natural stones.” Özlem Berber who points out that the designs in Mummu have a modern, simple, and plain design line says, “We have a clear design taste with geometric lines.”

A new product is designed almost every day
Berber and Özkendirci create all of their designs together. Özlem Berber, who states that after they create a product they also create variations of it, continues her words: “Thus, the product cycle that begins with specially made pieces turn into collections. This was how the Line and Nokta Collections were born. The Nokta collection also has a ring, necklace, and earrings. Though we don’t usually work on them as a set. We don’t have a standard collection logic.”

Levent Özkendirici, who points out that they don’t draw what kind of a design they are going to make beforehand and then bring it to life, states that they instead place the materials in front of them and mostly design improvisationally and then they save the designs that they like very much by drawing them down.

Mummu’s target mass is made up of modern women above the age of 25. Özlem Berber who states that jewelry lovers get bored of running into the same types of jewelry designs in most places says, “Our friends who come to Mummu find our jewelry pieces different. We try to keep the prices of our products between 50-250 TL. Brass and bronze focused jewelry can also become dull over time like silver. In this situation when you wipe them with silver polishing cloths they gain their old shine.” Levent Özkendirici, who says Mummu has a regular clientele, states that they design a new product almost every day to keep their interest up.

Different forms are made by playing with the materials
Levent Özkendirci, who says that they opened a store in Ayvalık Cunda, also states that they plan to move their workshop to Ayvalık for a long term. Özlem Berber who says, “If you are producing, after creating the required conditions you can do this job everywhere,” highlights that the most important things in this job are the materials and environment. Berber, who says that this process brings freedom with it, also says that they can reserve more time to themselves and their dreams thanks to this jewelry design workshop.

Berber who points out that they take the raw version of materials such as silver, brass and bronze and process them as plates and wires, and get their stones from the Grand Bazaar, also adds that the design process is and endless cycle. Berber who says that they want to be able to equip the workshop with different tools and to reserve more time to jobs that require more technical details, summarizes the design process: “We use the most basic techniques such as giving form with fire and a hammer. We sometimes get nice comments from our friends saying that the jewelry we make look like masterpieces they see in museums. This makes us especially happy. You can see welding and hammer marks on the designs. The intervention seen on the material catches the eye. This makes our target mass feel it is more different and sincere. We really love playing with the materials and this really brings out pleasant designs.”