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This Ilk means “of same type or kind”. Quite unlike its name, This Ilk is an incredibly different collection of flirty, yet confidently bold statement jewelry pieces handcrafted with love and lace in the Montreal studio of founder and maker, Tamara Bavdek. After completing a B.A in Industrial Design, Tamara did what many creatives do; underwent a little existential questioning and started craving for change.

Uniquely her own however, Tamara's transformation and creative discovery story began with a haircut. A fully chopped, unconventional retro bowl cut.

Knowing that a certain element of femininity would be lost with her had-always-been-long locks, Tamara looked to the 60's, a time when women started to radically embrace new limits, to find  her muse. Like Warhol and millions of others, Tamara was struck by the unforgettably stated style and persona of Edie Sedgwick. Marked by her fearless crop and exaggerated jewelry, Sedgwick was exactly the rowdy, yet entirely feminine inspiration that Tamara sought.

And so, in 2008 This ILK began. A haircut, a timeless inspiration and a stroke of genius to capture and create the look entirely in lace.

Today, Tamara's hair has grown, but her drive to create extra-large statement pieces has never blanched. Instead,
she's evolved into developing her own techniques for hand cutting, dyeing, and treating her lace so that it functions and wears with optimal quality. She stiffens it strategically and precisely for structure, paints and assemblies each individual piece and remains faithful to the rules of her [industrial design] roots - never cut corners. She's also added body jewelry, leggings and other unique pieces to her collection along the way.

The process of designing delicate lace jewelery has many obvious challenges. Tamara moslty uses vintage finds and patterns that she uses to inspire new pieces or fit her existing sketched ideas. Testing the items for durability is an intricate element of her work. Finally, to understand and relate to her craft, Tamara wears her designs as much as possible in order to constantly assess and modify them for optimal function and form. The wearing part of the process is the easiest and most favorable of course.

“Creating original good quality products is definitely key to creating a sustainable brand around handmade items.”

Always rethinking and pushing her own boundaries, Tamara
says that misinterpreting fashion photography, art and other forms of design is her most authentic source of inspiration. She's influenced by graphic, fashion, architecture, and industrial art and design. Ultimately, Tamara is always following her original craving for change and newness. And, she still has great hair.   

“Designing a different version of something I've already seen doesn’t motivate me, I need to feel like I have invented or reinvented something to feel proud of my creation. Inspiration can come from all kinds of places and my best ideas are often from random associations outside of the jewelry design world”.

Meet Tamara, and add one of her extraordinary This Ilk pieces to your own collection this September 6 + 7 at INLAND.

Sarah Power