Silvia Furmanovich goes to extreme lengths to find inspirations and research materials and techniques through which to express the ideas that take shape in her imagination.
She has made many excursions to the Amazonian jungle, the rainforest with its flora and fauna, the dense, lush vegetation and thriving insect life, the vibrant panoply of extraordinary butterflies. The rainforest has become her creative laboratory, where ideas and inspirations germinate and flourish.
It was in the Amazon too that, unexpectedly, Furmanovich found the perfect technique to capture the exotic beauty and variety of the butterflies she loves. She found a local master artisan highly skilled in the art of marquetry. Having left the jungle for the city, he had learnt marquetry from German missionaries, who seeing his talent and understanding his potential, sent him to study first in Florence and then in Coburg, Germany.
On his return to the Amazon, he opened a school to train young people in the art and craft of marquetry. These earrings, larger than life, in energy, colour and presence, have wings of wood marquetry, using native Amazonian woods, in natural colours, which are then embellished with gemstones.
The marquetry means that the earrings, however large and impressive, are light – another reflection of the gossamer wings of the Amazonian butterflies.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Silvia Furmanovich comes from a long line of Italian goldsmiths; her great-grandfather made ornaments for the Vatican, and as a child, Furmanovich spent hours working beside her goldsmith father in his atelier. In 1998, she launched her own collection and opened her first boutique in São Paulo in 2009. Today, she has two boutiques, along with her own atelier, in São Paulo, and she is joined in the business by her three sons.
Furmanovich draws on varied cultural and historical references and traditions – from Japan and India to Italy and the Amazonian Rainforests - but she takes these inspirations to an entirely new level, re-imagining and refreshing them through her in-depth exploration of materials and techniques. These include intricate wood marquetry to capture Brazil’s rich flora and fauna, Mughal romance portrayed through Indian miniature painting, Japanese bamboo basketwork reinterpreted using Amazonian bamboo, and jewels set with antique Roman micromosaics, a homage to her Italian heritage. All come to life through her courageous use of colour, particularly the coloured gems that are Brazil’s birthright.