By Bettina Zilkha Forbes.
For the past 16 years, Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich has incorporated elements from her travels into her jewelry. With her latest collection, Botanical, Furmanovich chose to keep her inspiration closer to home.
“My latest collection is based on wood marquetry techniques applied to sculptural, three-dimensional surfaces, which is very challenging to achieve”, says Furmanovich.
“I was inspired by the flora and fauna native to Brazil’s westernmost states and beyond, which I experienced during my travels for research. The pieces depict calla lilies, orchids, heliconias, begonia leaves, banana flowers, water lilies, chrysanthemums, pansies and even tropical funghi. The marquetry technique is realized by artisans located in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest using all kinds of indigenous woods”.
Furmanovich has lots of fans: her pieces have been worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Campbell, Isabelli Fontana and Ana Beatriz Barros. The designer discussed her journey so far, and her plans for the future of her eponymous brand.
Why did you start designing jewelry?
I was born into a line of Italian goldsmiths. I used to watch my father work in his atelier when I was growing up, but it wasn’t until much later that I began designing jewelry. During this phase, I was feeling a profound need to recapture my family’s line of work. My great-grandfather created sacred adornments for the Vatican and I knew it was my destiny to go into fine jewelry.