One of my favourite contemporary jewellery designers is, without any doubt, Brazilian Silvia Furmanovich.
The São Paulo based Furmanovich has jewellery design in her blood; she grew up seeing her father, Salvador Longobardi, working at home in his atelier as a goldsmith.
The designer uses wood, coral, ivory, seashells and precious stones set in gold in luxurious designs. She mixes 18k gold and precious gemstones with vintage bits and pieces such as porcelain beads, Murano glass, antique tortoise combs or miniature ivory figures, that she gathers in her trips to India, Italy or China, and then transforms them into opulent jewellery. She also sets beautiful natural orchids on glass that she turns into jewellery pieces with gems and gold.
Furmanovich finds inspiration in nature and art. For example, she says that she fell in love with India after an exhibition of Indian watercolours at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Later, when she travelled to India, she was deeply inspired for one of her collections, as everything is art there; the smells, colours, saris, gold filigree jewellery and the architecture.
Her new collection is all around marquetry made by talented craftsmen from the Amazon rainforest who do not cut the trees but instead, use salvaged wood from fallen branches in a totally sustainable manner. The beautiful combination of tiny bits of extremely thin slivers from different tree species - which branches are sometimes submerged in the river for a long period, causing such varied hues - turn into delicate flowers, exotic birds and butterflies that Furmanovich sets in good with diamonds and colourful gemstones to make cuffs, earrings and even clutches. The results are quite amazing!
Each piece is unique and is a fragment of the designer’s life and story. Furmanovich says she hopes to “communicate through each piece my feelings linked to my aspirations”.Besides Brazil, you can also find her stunning jewellery at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Moda Operandi and others.
Photos via Instagram