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How Ancient Japanese Knotting Techniques Shaped Silvia Furmanovich’s Newest Jewelry Collection

The traditional treatment puts a literal twist on her designs.

Silvia Furmanovich Bamboo Amazonia Earrings Courtesy of Silvia Furmanovich

Already known for her exceptional wood marquetry and gemstone creations (a decorative art form that dates from the times of Egyptian dynasties), São Paulo designer Silvia Furmanovich has now branched out to incorporate ancient Japa­nese bamboo techniques into crafting earrings, cuffs and cocktail rings. The use of bamboo in karamono baskets began during the Muromachi period in the 14th century, but bamboo weaving wasn’t a recognized art form in Japan until the 19th century. Since bamboo is typically used on a much larger scale for home objects, reducing the scale to mere millimeters to adorn the body proved a challenge that required two years of R&D.

While most of the designs were conceived 10,787 miles away from Furmano­vich’s hometown, she went the extra mile to bring the knowledge to her native Brazil. Some pieces from the new collection have already been made in São Paulo thanks to a project founded by the designer and the Instituto Jatobás. Bamboo farms already exist in Brazil, and now, through the collaboration, Furmanovich is teaching the local community how to work with the material to create both jewelry and homeware—which means these outstanding new designs should become an enduring signature.

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