Producer Spotlight: Anna Raimondo
We talked with South African native Anna Raimondo, the designer behind Smith Jewellery and beautifully hand cut and beaten pieces like our bestselling African Violet Earrings. Anna took time to talk with us about her design work, inspiration, and favorite picks from the collection. Below is the view of her workspace in Cape Town.
Can you tell us about SMITH design?
Anna: SMITH jewellery was started in 2010 after 4 years of Jewellery Design and Manufacturing, 1 year of Luxury Design and 3 years of travelling and working overseas. All this can be seen in my work, from the places I have been to the people I have met - I pick up inspiration for my designs everywhere. I have a small studio at home and design and make everything my hand. This means that although I might make the same design many times, each piece comes out a little differently, ensuring a 'once off' piece for the client. I also design men's jewellery (which is inspired by the Victorian gentleman) and I have an Exclusives Collection which is a series of once off, labor intensive, unique jewellery.
Where do you source your materials?
All my materials are bought in South Africa (unless I'm overseas and see something amazing), but I know that some of my stones are sourced from India.
Who are some of the designers that inspire you?
Wow, that is a big question. I actually tend not to look at too much at contemporary jewellery designers and find inspiration from antique jewellery like that of Lalique and Cartier. I get a lot of inspiration from looking at traditional/tribal jewellery of unnamed artisans from around the world. Then, I also like looking at runway jewellery from the shows of McQueen, Givenchy, Galliano, etc.
Can you describe an average day working and designing?
Unfortunately, when running your own business, most of your day is spent doing admin - answering emails, writing invoices, running errands. So I only get to spend about half the day behind my bench making jewellery. I mostly design the jewels on my computer, print the designs out to stick onto sheet metal and then I saw around the designs by hand. This method ensures the most accurate results for me, as I'm not a drawer. If I'm designing a piece for my Exclusives collection, I have a good idea of what I want to make and how to go about it, but I let the process guide me so that the piece evolves as I go along.
Do you have a favorite piece on Lydali?
Yes, the Beaten Tribal Brass Earrings are a show stopper - every time I wear them I get so many compliments.
Thanks Anna for taking the time to speak with us about your work!! For more information about Smith Design click here and to shop for more products click here.
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