Nature inspires designer to create unique pieces

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 November, 2011, 12:00am


Named Opera Unica, meaning 'unique piece', Italian jewellery designer Annamaria Cammilli's BaselWorld 2011 collection drew inspiration from nature in its many facets, from sea creatures to flowers.

Comprising the lines Opera Unica Dalia (dahlia), Opera Unica Anemone Di Mare (sea anemone) and Opera Unica Rosa Del Mare (sea rose), the collection's pieces all have the year 2011 engraved at the back.

The design of Opera Unica Dalia is based on the dahlia. Featuring pink gold petals and brown diamonds sprinkled at the centre, the flower symbolises dignity and elegance.

'The year 2011 is also the year of aqua [water], so I wanted to make jewellery that is inspired by the sea,' says Cammilli, who was recently in Hong Kong to present her collections. With the watery theme, she also created Opera Unica Anemone Di Mare and Opera Unica Rosa Del Mare.

To Cammilli, water is the origin of life. 'This year I want to delve deeper into the world of nature, its origins and its shapes in the form of water. I have been reflecting on life and its meaning and want to celebrate it through the evocation of water in movement,' she says.

Cammilli says the sea anemone is 'something real and alive and always moving', when asked why she chose this particular sea creature as the inspiration for the line, featuring white gold petals of various shapes and sizes.

The rose, representing love and beauty, is reinterpreted by Cammilli in the Opera Unica Rosa Del Mare line. Adorned with a pave at the centre, the white gold piece features petals that are designed to evoke the movements of the sea.

A goldsmith by training, Cammilli and her team of designers, including her daughter Raffaella, use the microfusion method in their workshop in Florence. 'It is an ancient technique from the Florentine Renaissance artistic period,' Cammilli says. 'It involves the manual creation of each piece of jewellery in wax, and then a plaster cast is created upon that wax model. The wax is fused inside the cast and finally the gold is introduced and what comes out is the final piece in gold, like a micro sculpture.'

Cammilli believes her goldsmith background helps her create wearable jewellery. For the Opera Unica collection, she made the pieces in round shapes to make them easier to wear for women.

Focusing on aspects such as the matte effects of the gold, the Italian jewellery label uses various hues of gold for their pieces such as pink gold, yellow gold, white gold, orange gold and the new beige gold.

'Nature offers many bright colours and beige is a colour that can go well with them,' says Cammilli, who is also a painter and sculptor.

For Cammilli, who also counts fashion, travelling around the world and her hometown Florence as her inspirations, teamwork plays a major role in her design process. She thinks it is important that her team gains more exposure to keep its creative juices flowing. 'I encourage my team to get inspirations from walking around Florence and travelling around the world so that we can keep inspiring each other,' she says.

Founded in 1982 by Cammilli, the Annamaria Cammilli brand has flagship stores in Qingdao, Dalian, Beijing and the Czech Republic. Its pieces are available in Hong Kong at Masterpiece by King Fook.