Velvit Welcomes Raw Taste

Sasha Cherovksy, the creative genius behind jewelry brand Raw Taste, talks about her past experience in photojournalism, the joys of being her own boss, and the parallels between the new collection and her personal life

Velvit sat down with Sasha for a better understanding of her jewelry aesthetic, her creative process, and her hopes for the future of Raw Taste.

 Cherovsky at her studio by Bianca DesJardins.

Cherovsky at her studio by Bianca DesJardins.

Velvit: When did you know that you wanted to create jewelry? 
Sasha Cherovsky: I started designing when I was 16 and brought a design to Mireille Boucher from Harakiri. When I stepped into her basement studio, it was dark, there were tools, skulls, and metal everywhere. What should have felt eerie felt totally mesmerizing; I felt like I belonged in a studio space like that. It was only years later that I was finally convinced by friends to attend jewelry school. The first class blew my mind and I instantly fell in love with the profession. There is something very primal about creating something with your own hands.

V: How long did it take you to find your voice as an artist? 
SC: I think it’s a process. It definitely hit me during my first year of jewelry courses like - this is what I want. Finding your voice in your life and in your art is a work in progress that is done simultaneously. I’m growing as a woman, artist, and entrepreneur. The only constant thing I’m experiencing is change.

V: What other jobs did you try your hand at before designing? 
SC: I was really into photojournalism and photography for a number of years. When I was 19 years old, I interned for Express-Roularta, a press giant in France. My work was published in architecture magazines such as Côté Sud and Côté Paris. I fell in love with Europe and that job, but something was missing; photography wasn’t manual enough. I’m very entrepreneurial; if I wasn’t designing jewelry, I would be managing some other creative startup. I love being hands-on in all aspects of creative business, and I love being my own boss.

V: Can you recall the first piece of jewelry you were given as a gift? 
SC: The first piece I can think of was this tiny silver and turquoise mosaic bracelet that my parents got me in Arizona when they went on a trip together. I was 5 and I cherished it unreasonably! It was shiny and exotic and probably the seed my parents planted for wanderlust. It fascinated me that there was another world outside of what I knew, where gravel stones were possibly turquoise and pink.

V: What are some of your staple style pieces?
SC: I am fairly minimal and I noticed that my jewelry pieces rotate on a weekly basis. The one piece I haven’t taken off since I made it is my thick chain bracelet because it has sentimental value. The one piece of clothing I live in is my Complex Geometries “Snare Tank” shirt-dress. It’s black, it’s loose, it’s so soft, and I got it cheap at the sample sale. Also, a quarter of my whole wardrobe is Ovate; Audrey makes the best pieces. They can be layered, worn in any season, and they're just timeless, great quality pieces. It’s embarrassing because every time I run into her I am wearing her pieces.

V: Do you have a certain piece of jewelry, clothing, or artwork that is connected to a strong memory? 
SC: I usually don’t personify objects too much, but lately, I’d say The CG "Snare Tank." In the past year I went on a few trips for both business and pleasure, and I remember wearing it during specific adventurous moments, like meet-cutes and plane rides. I wore it my first day in and my last day out.

V: What themes do you focus on when creating your pieces?
SC: The main constant in what I do is the research for texture. Right now, I am steering towards a very unisex aesthetic. My first collection had a very feminist undertone due to my collaboration with Impair. I made pieces with floral textures and yoni symbolism. My second collection introduced unisex pieces, but it was also witchy and S&M. I wanted people to understand the darker direction I was taking away from my collaboration. 

V: What inspired your newest collection?
SC: The collection I am working on now is all about attachment and detachment, which is directly related to my personal life. I also want to go more sculptural and make heavier pieces that are one of a kind. Chains, organic castings, and new materials will be the main focus.

V: How does your creative process begin?
SC: I am a terrible drawer, so I never really sketch anything out. I usually find textures I love from nature and then let the material speak to me. I sit with my tools and go from there. It is hard for me to set boundaries when planning a collection, so I often have to cut some items out.

V: Professionally, what is your goal as an artist?
SC: I have so many goals, but the one I am focussing on now is to build a sustainable creative business. I want to always stay in my flow zone: when your skill level and the challenges you face are about equal, you thrive.

V: Why is sourcing your material responsibly important to you, and why is it important for your customers to be aware of the difference?
SC: It is important to me because I know how easy it can be to turn a blind eye to the environment, the people, and the animals suffering from the fashion industry. Seeing some conditions first-hand is what really made me put my foot down. I make small productions, so it won’t really make a difference. But I know that people who read about Raw Taste also probably shop at "fast fashion" megastores, so I definitely want to promote awareness to them.

V: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to someone who is curious about pursuing a career in jewelry design?
SC: Learn from other people's mistakes before making your own.

V: What is one thing you would like someone who is interested in buying your work to know about you?
SC: I work really hard and put my heart into Raw Taste. Just the fact that you are interested in what I do means the world to me.

For more information on Sasha Cherovsky and Raw Taste, visit our Artist profiles and shop our Velvit boutique.

*All photos taken by Bianca DesJardins at Chevrosky's studio in Montreal.