Name to know: Lebanese-Colombian jewellery designer Amy Gattas
Introducing Amy Gattas Bijoux
With Lebanese-Colombian heritage and an atelier based in Paris, Amy Gattas has crafted a truly global brand with her eponymous fine jewellery label. Reflective of her culture, her pieces aim to keep the traditional craftsmanship of Colombia alive, particularly through the art of filigree. Here, Amy speaks with Buro. Middle East about her inspirations and the power of jewellery...
Tell me a little about why you launched your own jewellery line?
I launched my jewellery line as a gesture to empower the craftsmanship and artistry that I'm so inspired by. I wanted to create handmade, wearable art — art that we take with us wherever we go, and that expresses a part of our personalities for everyone to see. A huge part of the reason I design and work the way I do is to provide a platform for the amazing artisans of Colombia, whose filigree work is so incredible. The handwork they're able to do is so beautiful, and to shine a spotlight on them is incredibly important to me.
How does your Lebanese heritage in particular influence your designs?
The technique of filigree started in Egypt, and then carried through into Spain and into Colombia. This technique, and its journey, represents my own diasporic identity, made up of many parts, many influences and many cultures. My oriental culture is expressed in the in the geometric shapes and mosaic that inspire my work, and the use of symmetrical patterns to create balance and beauty in every piece of jewellery.
Who is the woman you have in mind when designing?
Women, like my mother, that create life with their hands. My mum is a cook that uses her cooking to express her feelings and her love for us. Similarly, I wanted to use my hands to express myself and my views of the world.
What are the key pieces in your collection?
I would say that the pieces with emeralds are essential in my collection. Mixing a rustic, raw and uncut stone with ancestral art is at the essence of my work, and creates a beautiful, bohemian sense of contrast that I really love.
In your view, why is jewellery so powerful?
The power of my work in particular, comes from the work being done solely by hand. Each piece goes through a journey in order to come to life, and then goes on to live a life of it's own with the person who wears it. Every piece of jewellery carries complexity and beauty that brings power to whoever carries it.