Nyahuye-Sibanda's jewellery tells story

LONDON - Jewellery pieces have a certain touch of geometry and design that makes them artistic sculptures.

Working with materials that she moulds, folds and twists, Zimbabwe-born jewellery designer Laura Nyahuye-Sibanda’s collection is designed from a structure aimed to be adapted to different body parts.

“The movement, joints, transparencies, its real volume” are indispensable qualities in each piece. With a degree in Fashion Art Design, it is no wonder that Laura calls her pieces “adornment structures.”

Her jewels are both delicate and bold, the result of incessant experimenting.

The United Kingdom-based designer’s work is mind blowing and there’s something about her pieces that makes them very special.

At one moment rustic and the next delicate, Nyahuye-Sibanda’s pieces are very sculptural. Each one of them tells a story.

Her recent collection is characterised by unique craftsmanship and is replete with cultural, historical and spiritual inspiration.

To find a distinctive voice in such a diverse field, one must hold a fascinating story, as well as valuable lessons.

Anyone who wants to make a difference and sticks by and fights for their dreams is highly respectable in my eyes and that’s exactly what I was hoping to find out when I reached out to the designer, who kindly accepted my invitation for an interview.

The interview with Laura has been an enriching experience and it was an honour to have her feature in 263 Voices.

Pamela Samasuwo-Nyawiri (PSN): What was it about making jewellery that first attracted you to this medium?

Laura Nyahuye-Sibanda (LNS): Jewellery is a word I rarely use for the pieces. I normally call them adornments because of their individuality, size and uniqueness.

What attracted me to this medium were the adornments of the African tribal women and how they stood out.

PSN: Describe your first piece of “serious” jewellery that you designed.

LNS: My first serious piece was a neck-piece whose research was based on African tradition and Victorian times.

PSN: Tell me about your process. Do you start with the raw materials and noodle with them until you have a direction, or do you envision a design and go source the materials?

LNS: I am not very technical with my creations. I always just go for it, and many times I surprise myself with a unique piece.

PSN: Are you sure you aren’t a mathematician? While some designs, like your headpiece are organic, many are quite geometric. Can you tell me more about your collection?

LNS: Wow! That is a compliment! The aim of my collection is to draw out the woman within.

The Bible says “Do not let your adorning be external, the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewellery or the clothing you wear ... but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in sight is very precious’’.

My journey in creating the pieces is centred around this verse, thus the name of my brand AdornU (it’s inside of you).

My pieces are made from recycled materials and I enjoy using wire, plastic and metal because I can sculpture them as extravagantly as I want.

I make high-end pieces from non-precious materials and I also make limited edition one-off pieces for catwalks and special occasions like weddings and balls. On reflection I might be a mathematician in an artistic way!!

PSN: What is the biggest goal you hope to accomplish someday?

LNS: I want to empower women through art and creativity in an attempt to realise their dreams and release the champion in them.

Women have a lot to give beyond being mothers and wives.

One day I desire to see my pieces on the catwalk, red carpet, in top fashion magazines, theatrical shows, celebrities and royalty.

PSN: What advice do you have for the jewellery-making hobbyist who wants to turn their skills into a professional venture?

LNS: Seek the creative person within. Don’t conform to everyday jewellery. Be an original not a copycat.

Even though your originality maybe unusual to the next person, push to the limits and think outside the box. The latter statement is written from experience.

Laura will be collaborating with Vanhu Vamwe on a fashion shoot with a high fashion magazine in October 2014.

*Pamela is a Zimbabwean fashion journalist and fashion accessory designer based in the United Kingdom. She can be contacted on pamsamasuwo@live.co.uk.


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