Jewellery Designer Amy Gattas on Her Industry Inspirations, Cultural Influences and Plans for the Future

Hayley Kadrou   |   20 - 08 - 2019

Get to know the designer behind the eponymous jewellery brand that focuses on bringing together influences from the East and the West while using traditional craftsmanship.

Although Amy Gattas – who gave her name to her jewellery brand, Amy Gattas Bijoux – runs her workship from Paris, the jewellery designer’s roots run deep through this region of the world, too.

 

In fact, they span even further, as she is of Lebanese and Columbian heritage – something that consequently influences her imagination and inspiration when creating her jewellery line.

 

A glimpse inside Amy Gattas's jewellery making studio

A glimpse inside Amy Gattas’s jewellery making studio

 

Based in Paris, it was while studying within the creative city that she discovered her passion. She went on to travel to countries such as India, Morocco and Peru to research and explore traditions from the trade.

 

Yet it was in her own country, Colombia, within which she found the techniques and materials that would become signature to her work – namely an extremely fine solid silver wire known as filigree. Filigree is the signature of Amy Gattas’ jewellery collection, blended with influence from contemporary arts.

 

Speaking to Gattas, she talked us through challenges she’s faced, her motto in life, the future of her brand and more.

 

A&E Interviews Jewellery Designer Amy Gattas

 

Amy Gattas pictured in her jewellery workshop

Amy Gattas pictured in her jewellery workshop

 

Tell us about how your eponymous jewellery line came to be?

 

My line comes from my ancestors, my background, and my name that represents the east and the west becoming one.

 

What would you say is your niche?

 

My jewellery is charged with heritage, where different cultures fuse together in the hands of the makers. My niche is a powerful woman who lives in the diaspora between different identities and cultures.

 

Why did you decide to specialise in fine jewellery?

 

I studied design at ESMOD in Paris where I specialised in accessories, which then led me to pursue a deeper understanding and study of jewellery. I then spent two years studying at L’AFEDAP Formations Bijou in Paris, where my speciality was precious stones. This is really where I fell in love with the stones I use today in my work, for example, the raw emeralds that have become an Amy Gattas Bijoux signature.

 

Amy Gattas Bijoux

Amy Gattas Bijoux

 

Which is your favourite piece you’ve ever created?

 

The Palmier long earring of Medellin Collection with raw emeralds, I love them because is a mixture of nature in an elegant piece.

 

You’re based in Paris but have Lebanese and Colombian heritage – how have all of these influenced your love of jewellery?

 

Colombia and Lebanon are my heritage. I live in the contrast between city and mountains, between order and chaos, between East and West. And it is in Paris where these worlds come together and blend in my journal and designs. My jewellery is a fusion of my different backgrounds but is also a clear depiction of who I am. I am a citizen of contrasting countries, and all of that comes into play in my design.

 

What differences do you see within these cultures and their relationship to jewellery?

 

I have three markets for my brand, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. All of them are so different and that is why I have references from each of my markets throughout my collections.

 

Europe is so classic and jewellery designed reflecting the region is smaller but filled with details. Latin America allows me to work with floral, the pieces inspired by the region is filled with floral pieces with a dramatic flair. The Middle East allows me to take a mixture between nature and geometric patterns, which combine perfectly.

 

Amy Gattas Bijoux

Amy Gattas Bijoux

 

Who else do you admire within the industry?

 

Victoire de Castellane [the French jewellery designer who has worked with brands such as Chanel and Christain Dior] who said: “Je me demande toujours quelle est l’histoire d’un bijou” {Which roughly translates to: “I always wonder what is the story of a jewel.”]

 

She always the history of jewellery in mind, she taught me that designing jewellery is a way to set myself free.

 

Amy Gattas Bijoux

Amy Gattas Bijoux

 

When did your love for the art begin?

 

Since I can remember I appreciated details, when I was little I went to the Alhambra, and I was moved with all geometrical shapes. Since then I started exploring my own artistic expression with painting and mosaic art.

 

What has been your biggest challenge when starting your own brand?

 

The biggest challenge is making a business out of my art. The creative aspect of designing comes naturally to me, unlike the business aspects of owning a brand, which is harder to navigate.

 

Amy Gattas Bijoux

Amy Gattas Bijoux

 

If you could go back and tell yourself one piece of advice at the beginning of the process, what would it be?

 

Believe and love what and who you are. There are many amazing brands out there, but always see your own brand as unique, as it represents who you are. Stay true to yourself!

 

How do you pick yourself up after bumps in the road?

 

I do a lot of self-reflection through spiritual healers and therapists.

 

If this wasn’t your profession, what else would you have taken up?

 

I think I would have been a childrenswear designer.

 

Amy Gattas Bijoux

Amy Gattas Bijoux

 

Do you have a motto in life?

 

“The wound is where the light comes in” – Rumi [a 13th-century Persian poet, faqih, Islamic scholar and theologian.]

 

What are your aims for the future of the brand?

 

I hope to grow and expand my business and the name Amy Gattas. This growth will also benefit my hard-working jewellery makers, which will allow me to expand my studio too.

 

See more of Amy Gattas’s work at amygattas.com.

 

Amy Gattas in her studio

Amy Gattas in her studio

 

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