Silvia Furmanovich debuted a new collection and it pure genius! Titled Silk Road, Furmanovich’s news already won two awards. The Silk Road collection is inspired by Silvia’s latest travels to several historical cities throughout Uzbekistan – including Tashkent, Samarkand and Khiva -, where the silk route played a critical role.
The term “Silk Road,” or Seidenstrasse, was first introduced in 1877 by the German geographer Ferdinent Paul Wilhelm. Much more than silk was traded along this 4,000-mile ancient trade route between China and the Roman
Empire – there was also lapis, turquoise and gold – and it was richer still in the exchange of ideas and concepts.
Furmanovich embarked on a quest to research diverse textile traditions by visiting the finest fabric makers, silk weavers and vintage textile dealers throughout the Central Asian country. The designer was inspired to represent the textiles she discovered within rich suzani and ikat traditions, using her signature techniques of marquetry, miniature painting and bamboo weaving.
Suzani is a type of decorative, hand-embroidered textile displaying rich color and bold patterns. Named after the Persian word for needle, they first originated from nomadic tribes in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhastan. Their primary use was within the yurt (a Central Asian nomadic tent) as a protective wrapping for belongings, and were also traditionally made by brides and their mothers as part of a dowry presented to grooms.
Ikat is a celebrated dyeing technique used to pattern textiles. The process is formed by binding individual silk yarns or bundles of yarns with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The yarns are then dyed. This process may be repeated multiple times to produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is finished all the bindings are removed and the yarns are woven into cloth. In ikat, the resist is applied to the yarns before they are woven into cloth.
A new series of earrings is meticulously hand-crafted by female weavers on a loom using pure silk; there are more than 1,600 tiny knots on singe pair of earrings and the pieces are a feat in terms of superb craftsmanship.
The collection also also reflects a fascination with the interchange of ideas and concepts, as well as cross pollination of cultures, which has been so central to Furmanovich’s work.
ABOUT SILVIA FURMANOVICH
Since launching her brand over 20 years ago, Silvia Furmanovich has become one of the most visionary artists working in fine jewelry today.
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 observing 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.
“I love finding something unexpected in a remote part of the world and transform it into jewelry that someone will cherish,” says the designer, whose pieces are all handmade by artisans in São Paulo. “I welcome the pleasure of creating precious objects that tell vivid stories.”
Furmanovich has won the prestigious Couture Design Award three times; in 2015, 2016 and 2019 in the ‘Innovation’ category. Her India Collection won the Town & Country Jewelry Award 2018 in the ‘Collection of the Year’ category and she was a nominee for the Jewelry Design Award at the Jewelers of America’s GEM Awards 2019. In 2022, her Egypt Collection was nominated the Town & Country Award 2022 as a “New Hall of Famer”.