I hope you’ve had a lovely week and the weather has been glorious where you are. As ever, it’s been scorching here in Mauritius but hopefully as we move towards April, things will cool down a bit. The reason I mention the weather is because it’s one of the largest influences on the types of jewellery I design; without the bright sunshine of Mauritius and its impact on everything around me, Liri’s jewellery designs would be completely different. Our jewellery really is a reflection of my environment.
In this week’s blog I want to expand on some of my recent blogs and chat about the process of how I design our jewellery collections. You’re already familiar with how big an influence the sunshine and vibrancy of Mauritius is, but today I want to delve a bit deeper and explain quite literally, how these influences can directly be seen in some of our new collections. This week we’ll look at how Liri’s more sumptuous new collections came into being. But before we look at the inspiration behind each jewellery collection, I want to share with you the practicalities of the design process itself and how each collection moves from the sketch pad to the final product.
From inspiration to creation
As I mentioned last week, inspiration can strike me anywhere, from walking in the mountains or the seashore, to sitting in a cramped aeroplane on a long journey from Mauritius to the UK; however the practical process of designing the jewellery is always the same. As soon as I’m inspired, my mind starts whirring and I’m instantly designing pieces in my mind. Making sure I always have a notepad to hand (or if not, fervently try to lodge the inspiration in my mind until I do have one) I begin to sketch designs (forgive my very basic drawing skills in the picture, below). When I design, the aim is always to create collections of multiple pieces. The reason for this is that one source of inspiration can lead to so many co-ordinating pieces, the same inspiration can also be translated into a variety of colours, and also, when all is said and done, who doesn’t like wearing complimentary jewellery designs to complete their look?
What always comes to mind first is style of the design – will it be a chunky or dainty piece, casual or elegant? How do I decide? That depends on how I want the wearer to feel – sophisticated or casual, will it be a day or an evening piece of jewellery? One source of inspiration can lead to very different jewellery styles, depending on how I want the wearer to feel, which is often a result of how the inspiration makes me feel at that time. For some reason, crashing waves always inspire me to create statement jewellery that commands attention. Colour, on the other hand can lead to the design of statement or dainty pieces, depending on my mood.
I then move on to the type of gemstone I want to use – is it going to be a bold, large, statement gem or a dainty, smaller, sparklier gemstone? This boils down to whether the piece of jewellery is going to be a chunky, statement design that really stands out, or whether it will be a piece that is suited to adding an accent to an outfit, rather than commanding all of the attention. The same is true of the type of charm I’ll design – it’s all about the statement and impact I want to create and how the wearer will feel.
So, with this process in mind, let’s look at how some of our new, more luxurious jewellery collections came to life.
Bella Perla – luxury pearls and fine silver
Bella Perla (beautiful pearl) is one of Liri’s most luxurious collections. Comprising of three designs – bracelet, pendant necklace and long line necklace, this collection oozes glamour and sophistication. Sumptuous peacock pearls and handmade fine silver statement shell pendants fuse luxury with a tropical feel. Each pendant is made from a mould of three different shells I picked up from the beach on one of my many strolls.
I’ve talked before how the Mauritian sea inspires my designs. However, depending on the weather, the region of the island and even the time of day, the sea never looks the same and can provide endless inspiration that will create a myriad different jewellery designs. This collection was inspired by the reflection of the moon on the sea at night. The brightness of the fine silver shell pendants aims to reflect the almost blinding shimmer of the moon, whilst the pearls represent the purple inkiness of the sea. It really is a stunning image to see, day or night; Flic en Flac beach (amongst others), never disappoints.
Oceana – statement gemstone and fine silver bracelets
One of my favourite statement collections, Oceana really has been the perfect opportunity for me to experiment with mixing and matching complimentary gemstones based on their colours and shapes. When worn, the movement of the strands of gems and pearls reflect the liveliness of the crashing of the waves. As waves crash onto the shore, they’re all different sizes and shapes with the sun bringing out so many different colours. The movement and jingle of the strands with the statement textured handmade fine silver charms in this collection mimic the beautiful sound of these waves crashing to shore.
Divine – elegant boho chic designs
This jewellery collection is just as luxurious and elegant but in a much different way. I’ve always loved dainty jewellery, and in this collection, I wanted to fuse that with my other passion – sparkly gemstones. This collection of long line necklaces and dainty wraparound bracelets is again inspired by nature, but this time it’s the much earthier and greener tones of the Black River Gorges that provided the inspiration. If you’ve ever visited this beautiful oasis in the middle of Mauritius, you’ll have experienced its soothing effects – beautiful forests and rivers, gorgeous greens and luscious earthy tones are everywhere. And it’s these calming sensations that I wanted to translate into these designs, so that when you wear them, you feel soothed. Rather than make an ‘in your face’ statement, the effect is much more subtle.
Puro – handmade sterling and fine silver rings
This collection is a break from the Liri norm. Why? There are no gemstones. Just lovely, shiny fine and sterling silver. So, why no gems? Isn’t Liri all about the vibrant gems? Yes we are, but we’re also about making an impact in the most effective way and when I designed these rings, I felt the white sheen of the silver was all that was needed to reflect the brilliance of a full moon. Puro, is Spanish for Pure and the pure brilliance of the moon needs no embellishments, just plenty of textured fine and sterling silver.
Inspiration is creative…but also practical
Inspiration is all around and sometimes I feel I absorb it through osmosis. It can be found in what appears to be the most mundane of things, like sitting on a plane, but it never ceases to amaze me how a simple activity or everyday situation can lead to the creation of such varied and beautiful pieces of jewellery.
Designing every collection has the same practical aspects, such as road-testing different materials, getting frustrated when things don’t go as planned and having to change direction, but each collection begins with a different spark of creativity.
I’m just really looking forward to seeing what inspires me next…