Pinar Sondal makes beautiful jewelry. Besides that, she’s happily married with two sons, Mert, 8 and Kaan, 4, and a bird named Cimbo. Pinar loves shopping for materials to do her art projects, going abroad to see other countries, and tasting different cultural food. When not creating, she spends quality time with her kids and family. You can view all Pinar’s jewelry designs at her Etsy store, TooSis and her website.
Where do you live?
I am an architect and a jewelry designer living in Istanbul for over 20 years, one of the most beautiful, exotic and cosmopolitan cities to live in. Istanbul is a city of two continents; Asia and Europe divided by the water way of Bosphorus. Its shores offer a delightful mixture of past and present, grand splendor and simple beauty. Modern hotels stand next to shore front wooden villas, marble palaces, rustic stone fortresses and neighboring small fishing villages. I live in the Europe side of the city. The Asian part is just across the Bosphorus Bridge.
How long have you been designing jewelry?
I have designed jewelry since 2001. In my designs I use precious stones, sterling silver and gold with several techniques like metalsmithing.
Why did you start?
I am an architect and I had an education based on designing in larger scales. After a while I decided to take these processes to smaller scales and started designing jewelry as well.
What are the items you have handy at all times for working?
My big metal cutting scissors and my ring sizer are very handy.
Where do you get your materials?
I shop local mostly from the kapalibazaar area in Istanbul where I am very fortunate to find the most qualified materials in a magical and fascinating atmosphere so close to me.
Where do you get your ideas?
I mostly get inspired by my surroundings and the materials I use. I always find something inspirational on my trips to different countries exploring different cultures.
Do you have a dedicated work area/room?
I am fortunate to have a space dedicated to my work at my office. There I store my materials and create new designs as often as I find any spare time from my daily work.
Is this your full-time job? Hobby? Fun?
I already have a full time job as an architect and I design jewelry as a hobby. But, I must admit that my hobby is taking over control, slowly finding its way occupying my every spare time. I think in the near future I might consider designing jewelry as my primary job.
Do you have a best seller?
Yes. My big scale rings are best sellers.
Do you have a favorite item?
Every new design I create automatically becomes my favorite until I create another new design…
What other kinds of crafts do you do?
I am a crafty person. I love trying new techniques. I also love creating my own accessories and even opened a new Etsy shop called QUEENECE with my sister Mine Ozkaynak, who is also an architect like me, where we list our headpieces.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Hopefully still designing jewelry, maybe owning a small local jewelry boutique.
Have any advice for people trying to start their own handcrafted business?
I advise people trying to start a new handcrafted business to first share their work with their friends, like giving presents at special occasions, spreading out the word that you create wonderful stuff. Then try to find local connections to small boutiques and shops who accept new designers. Having a blog dedicated for their work would also help them get known.