Award-winning London-based jeweller Ornella Iannuzzi describes how her childhood influenced her design philosophy, and her dedication to the details.
What inspired the rock-formation shapes of your designs? "I grew up in the French Alps, near the valley of Grenoble, surrounded by mountains and forests, so I've always had a deep fascination with nature. As a kid, I spent a lot of time observing nature, including the genesis of life and how things grow. For me, every natural material is precious. This philosophy influences my work to this day."
You started making bespoke pieces, but have ventured into a ready-to-wear line. Can you tell us why? "My first prêt-à-porter line, Les Corallines, was launched in September 2013 at London Fashion Week. I wanted to introduce some jewellery for daily wear while still preserving the distinctiveness and femininity of my work. Also, I wanted to reach a larger and younger audience, so this first range was made in silver with pearls."
How did your family influence your career? "My father was a watchmaker, so my love of precision and perfection probably comes from him."
How long does it take to make your pieces? "Each piece is very time consuming, though that time varies. I rarely spend less than 20 hours on a piece. My latest ring took 180 hours to complete."
What role does travel play with product development? "Travel is a great source of inspiration. Discovering new places, new people, new cultures, new landscapes … all of this brings me ideas. It is often during my travels that I find new materials to work with, too. For example, my time in Ethiopia is at the core of my Lucy in Wonderland collection, which features the country's Wello opal."
Ornella Iannuzzi's jewellery is available at ornella-iannuzzi.com