August 27th, 2016

Fac-et : one side of something many-sided

by Anna Raimondo and Keri Muller

Jewellery can be perceived as a personal totem for the wearer, consciously or un-consciously. Just as Totem poles hold a resonance for a place, jewellery historically resonated with a specific place - a human connection with the earth and where the materials came from. As societies developed and trade grew, jewellery and the decorative arts became a symbol of wealth and lost its very personal connection to a place.

Through our collaborative work, we have tried to explore the concept of the modern day totem in our many faceted daily lives. What is the significance of these stones, where do they come from and do our choices in adornment, for ourselves and our homes, carry an unconscious significance?

Anna studied BA Jewellery Design and Gemmology at Stellenbosch University. She then won a scholarship to study luxury design at the Richemont Group’s Creative Academy in Milan, Italy. The course included an internship at Chloé, the renowned French fashion house.

After spending some time travelling and working in the UK and Australia, Anna returned to Cape Town to start SMITH in 2010. While building the SMITH brand, she worked for Elle Decoration Magazine and a Cape Town store promoting South African design. This allowed her to gain invaluable experience in the retail, fashion, homeware and styling fields.

Anna’s designs are inspired by her travels, the people she meets and the natural world around her. Each piece is made by hand, which ensures that no two items are the same. Anna’s jewels are made out of gold plated brass, rose gold plated copper, bronze, sterling silver, oxidised silver, yellow/white gold, platinum, semi/precious stones and other non-precious materials.

Keri is primarily an artist that works in a wide range of mediums. She started her business ‘Simple Intrigue’ in 2010 as a home for her diverse range of products and art pieces. Her most well known work is with salvaged books from recycling, exploring the reuse of these dumped items and giving them the chance to tell another story. Her work extends into commissioned projects that include building installations for events, shop windows and film sets, all working with various mediums. Drawing, illustration, site-specific land art and origami all add to her portfolio. Her work is sold locally and abroad under the brand name ‘Simple Intrigue’.

The natural world has always been Keri’s greatest source of inspiration and nourishment. This has led to many temporary (and private) outdoor installations and an ongoing fascination with the various talismans the earth turns up – from birds nests to crystals to leaves, shells and battered bits of plastic. It’s this personal connection with nature that is being explored through her series of totems and objects incorporating significant semi-precious stones.