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 spent a great deal of time in India, entranced by the Mughal art of miniature painting, sitting with artists, understanding the history and intricacy of the technique, handed down through generations.
She explored ways of adapting the art of miniature painting to jewellery, and the result is shown here, in these earrings, hand-painted in traditional style by artists in Udaipur, India. The shape of the earrings is inspired by Mughal miniatures, as is the subject matter, thick, lush green banana leaves, representing the cult of nature that was a vital element of Mughal jewelled arts.
The banana leaf plays a part in Hindu ritual and is a key ingredient in south Indian cuisine. The painted miniatures are then set in gold and embellished with gemstones.
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Furmanovich draws on varied cultural and historical references and traditions – from Japan and India to Italy and the Amazonian Rainforests - but she takes these inspirations to an entirely new level, re-imagining and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.