The clean lines and graphic shapes that run through the Kattri jewellery collections featured here are punctuated with gleaming pearls and dazzling gemstones. It lends these minimal, modern Kattri pieces a precious edge - giving a luxe spin to the geometric jewellery trend.
Designer Amanda Gerbasi may have abandoned her architectural studies when she relocated from Brazil to the UK in 2005, but the discipline still informs her approach to jewellery design. After completing a degree in Modern Languages and European Studies at the University of Bath, Amanda enrolled on a gemmology course before setting up her jewellery brand in 2012.
Geometric shapes and patterns form the basis of many of Amanda's creations under the name Kattri. "I'm really into geometry and I have a slight obsession with repetition of shapes," she explains. "I love using the same shape over and over again, like in my square ring with a square stone."
Thanks to the abundance of coloured gemstones available in her native Brazil, Amanda dabbled in jewellery design as a teenager but, until a few years ago, had never considered it as a career option. "A really good friend of mine set up a womenswear label and was selling vintage jewellery alongside the clothes. I started coming up with ideas for more modern jewellery and thought, if she can do it, so can I."
Jewellery making is in her blood, as Amanda's great-great-grandmother, who moved to Brazil from Spain in 1900, also created jewels set with gemstones from her new home country. All the gemstones in Kattri's jewels are sourced and cut in Brazil, and Amanda takes great care to ensure that the stones she uses are ethically mined. She is also keen to explore the option of using synthetic gemstones in her creations. Stones that are manufactured in a laboratory are often seen as inferior to their natural counterparts but, as Amanda says: "Synthetic stones have the same chemical properties as natural stones and you can get much better clarity and colour for a fraction of the price. They are also made in a clean and ecological environment that doesn't damage the planet or endanger the workers. I am going to try to do something to educate the public about it."
Her lack of formal design training has influenced the way Amanda approaches a new collection. "It's not very structured - I have ideas all the time and jot them down or do a quick sketch. Sometimes the inspiration comes from the materials themselves - I am fascinated by gemstones in different colours and shapes."
While each new collection starts with a hand-drawn sketch, Amanda quickly moves on to CAD and it is here that the pieces really start coming to life. "I love technology and the fact that you can see the piece in 3D and look at it from all angles. I spend a lot of time getting the proportions right."
The first Kattri jewellery collection, aptly named Geometry, focused on minimal jewels with bold shapes, clean lines and smooth curves, all coming together to create deceptively simple and elegant pieces. It was followed by the Volumes fine jewellery collection, which took the geometric forms one step further by introducing repetitive multi-dimensional shapes.
The latest collection is a contemporary interpretation of pearl jewellery, incorporating this most classic of gems into rings, necklaces and earrings, which are a world apart from the traditional single or double strand. Mathematical names such as Parabola, Quadrant, Tetrahedron and Dodecahedron belie the delicate beauty of these jewels, crafted from yellow or rose gold and set with innovatively cut gemstones.
Given Amanda’s fresh and imaginative approach to design, I think it’s safe to say that architecture’s loss was jewellery’s gain.