Up – And – Coming Brazilian Designer Bia Tambelli Is One To Watch. Her Pieces Are Bold Modern, And Centre On Geometric Shapes And Mathematical Analysis. She Chats About Her Back Ground, Spiritualism, And What’s Next For Her Namesake Line.
Tell me about yourself, and what shaped your love for jewellery?
I grew up in the Minas Gerais region in Brazil – a land rich in minerals – and spent my childhood playing with gemstones and collecting them. For me, it was a fun and playful hobby. Back then, I never imagined I would become a jewellery designer. However, when my family moved to Poços de Caldas, I began to pursue the arts and later graduated with a degree in Visual Arts. It has enabled me to communicate about my creations with a focus on the core message – selfknowledge and self-transformation. What I love most about jewellery is that the pieces are in direct contact with people and form a unique connection.
When did you decide to dive into the jewellery scene?
What inspired your namesake line?
I began my journey into jewellery designing without thinking much of what it might entail. After an art exhibition garnered us designers and artists a lot of attention, a Brazilian jewellery company invited me to design a collection for them even though I had never quite sketched jewellery before. When I started researching the stones that I would use for this collection, I had an immediate and emotional calling of “coming back home.” It was then that I thought I could really make a difference, through jewellery, to the industry and myself. I decided to launch my namesake brand because each time I create a collection, I strive to convey a message of mindfulness.
Brazilian origin and Western influences: how do you meld the two cultural sensibilities into a singular aesthetic?
I have always lived straddling two worlds – Italy and Brazil. I belong to a family of mathematicians and I am the youngest. I perceive life in a way quite uncommon, but at the same time it is entrenched in the discipline that I encounter through my identity and freedom. Furthermore, being part of two diverse cultures, Brazilian and Italian, has helped me grow artistically. Each powerful occurrence in our lives tends to influence without us even realising it – it could be new forms and designs, colours and smells, as well as something from new cultures.
Your work is pretty much hinged on geometry – how does this concept pan out?
I never imagined that I would draw upon geometry for my designs the way I do. It lends itself, in part, to my family’s mathematical background. My creative process stems from the conceptual message that I wish to communicate, and from this unfolds the relative symbols that go on to become icons of my creation. Besides, the aesthetic symbols and selection of stones strengthen my inspiration and ultimate story.
How did spirituality flow into your Portal collection?
For me, the knowledge of the self is the reason why everything exists: learning to love ourselves, nature and all other beings. That is when we become connected to the primordial energy. The inspiration for the Portal collection, which includes a choker, ring, bracelet, cuff, necklace and earrings, came about in 2016 at a time when Brazil was embroiled in economic and political crisis. In my conceptions, there is no crisis. I believe that if we look within ourselves, we will realise that all we really need is the power from within. The Portal is a design invitation to ‘dive within oneself’. I put in ‘emotional spikes’ with inverted black diamonds and used the lotus flower, as a key motif, to evoke the apex of emotional and spiritual connection.
Being part of two diverse cultures, Brazilian and Italian, has helped me grow artistically.
I believe that if we look within ourselves, we will realise that all we really need is the power from within.
Portal Lotus bracelet.
Three is represented in ‘Sacred Geometry’ by the triangle – the first closed form of nature and regarded as the ‘Mother of Creation.’ The triangle, thus, forms the key motif in the Trindade (Trinity) collection.
What inspired the Trindade series?
My third collection, Trindade (Trinity), evolved from a proposal to examine the key pillars that govern us in the world today. It’s a perspective without dichotomies. The number ‘three’ is a fundamentally universal and prime number, which expresses an intellectual and spiritual order (in God, the cosmos and in humanity). It is also considered to be the perfect number and the expression of totality. Three is represented in ‘Sacred Geometry’ by the triangle – the first closed form of nature and regarded as the ‘Mother of Creation’. The triangle, thus, forms the key motif in the Trindade collection.
How did you come up with specific cuts for gems used in the Trindade collection?
My production partners always tease me about being a “psychographer”. I believe that my background in Visual Arts has led to a liberated way of thinking and design methodology. When inspiration stems from a drawing, I try to make it physically and mathematically feasible – and throughout this process, my mind brims up with new ideas pertaining to cuts, stones and techniques.
What inspires you the most in your work?
My primary inspiration is self-transformation. If we wish to see change, it needs to happen first within each one of us. This path is a key inspiration for my ‘messages’ that I aim to bring to my creations. Quite often, when I need to reconnect, I go back to nature, which inspires me. In particular, places with waterfalls. My inspiration is simple – people. I strive to unearth happiness and inner-strength through my creations.
Do you have any favourite gemstones?
I am inspired by all minerals; they have much individual strength. I have no particular preference but I do choose the gemstones coherently to fit the concept of my creation. I have an innate familiarity with Brazilian gemstones, especially tourmalines; I am fascinated by their variations.
Tell us about your design process.
I have a unique product integration: most of the sourcing, design and production are done in Brazil, where I have the know-how of local minerals, an emotional connect and skilled goldsmiths to rely on. Some of my pieces are produced in Italy, where my brand is based since Italy has an exceptional quality of style, design and old-school artisans.
What’s new at work?
I am thrilled at being selected by the Couture team to present my work at the Design Atelier (Las Vegas) and am in the process of creating new pieces. Furthermore, I will be working closely with jewellery distributor Girasole Lux LLC in a bid to expand into North America. I am also finalising an agreement with Germany-based Paul Wild, noted trader of coloured precious stones. Exciting times lie ahead for the brand.