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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Kattri: an interview with jewellery designer Amanda Gerbasi

The Kattri jewellery range features gorgeous contemporary geometric designs.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Kattri-Volumes Collection5
Last London Fashion Week I was excited to discover the stunning jewellery of Kattri. I caught up with Brazilian designer Amanda Gerbasi to find out more.

Amanda Gerbasi Kattri
You have previously studied language and architecture, how have these informed your approach to jewellery design?
Well, my language studies haven’t. While studying architecture, however, I learned about different artistic and philosophical movements which inspire me to this day. It also help me develop my personal aesthetic taste.

KATTRI-CAMPAIGN
KATTRI_TripleDodecahedronRing
Triple Dodecahedron Ring

Why did you move to the UK and what keeps you here?
I moved with my family ten years ago. Initially the idea was to stay for one year as to experience another culture but we ended up staying for good. After ten years living somewhere there is a lot to keep you there. Not only I have my business, my partner and many friends here but I really appreciate the standard of living in the UK, even despite the bad weather.

Kattri-Volumes Collection3
KATTRI.Tetrahedron Ring 4
Tetrahedron Ring

How do you source your gemstones from Brazil and what is the best way to ensure they are ethically mined?
I always go to Brazil to chose the gemstones I’ll be using in my new collections and I use this one supplier who personally knows the mines he buys his rough gemstones from. Still I am careful to use the work ethically in relation to mining. Even though there is no forced or child labour in these mines, mining is still a destructive activity to the planet and the work conditions are still extreme. I’m not sure how much digging gemstones from wholes under the Earth’s surface can be improved.

What I am keen to explore in the near future is the use of synthetic gemstones. They have the exact same chemical properties of natural gemstones, they manufacturing process in clean and the conditions are much better for the workers involved, and you can buy the most amazing quality gemstones (in terms of colour and clarity) for a fraction of the price of a natural ones. Unfortunately there is still a lot of prejudice towards them but I hope the more brands use it the quicker this will disappear.

KATTRI_CAMPAIGN
KATTRI bracelet
What inspires you the most when you start dreaming up a new collection?
It varies really. Perhaps because I didn’t go to design school I don’t have a very structured approach to developing collections. Sometimes it’s the gemstones themselves that inspire me and other times can be a shape I saw somewhere or I revisit a concept I had already sketched a while back.

KATTRI_Polygon Flat Ring_Yellow Gold_1
Polygon Flat Ring Yellow Gold

How has the learning on your business and gemmology courses impacted your brand?
The jewellery business course was very informative in the practical sense of the things you need to know to run a business in the UK. At that point I know almost nothing about these matters and it covered things like hallmarking, VAT, bookeeping, building a brand, marketing, etc. I am still studying gemmology but the first course gave me an introduction to how gemstones are classified and their composition, what different gemstones are valued for and how their are priced, the treatments that can be used in them and so on. This is very important when you are buying gemstones so you know you are paying the right price for what you are buying and also to be able source the right gemstones.

KATTRI_Quadrant Ring_Rose Gold_Rose Quartz_1
Quadrant Ring Rose Gold Rose Quartz

Many of your designs are created with the help of modern technology, what is the process of creating a piece of Kattri jewellery?
I usually do a very simple and very quick sketch by hand and then I start designing using CAD software, which I love! This part takes some time as usually a few reiterations have to be made until the intended design is achieved.

Kattri-Volumes Collection8
What do you hope for the future of your business, and do you have any plans in development that you can share with us?
I hope to grow my business and enter new markets. Hopefully then I can hire more people to deal with the business side and I can then just focus on designing and sourcing materials. I am planning to spend some time in Brazil this year to try and get more stockists there. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while so I really want to do it this year!

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