Exclusive: Q&A with Sasha Kamen

Get an exclusive 20% discount with Corner by entering the code ‘Corner14′ in the promotional code box after checking out through Paypal here.

From Kenya to Kyanite, local jewellery designer Sasha Kamen seeks inspiration worldwide, resulting in a stunning selection of earrings, necklaces and rings. Corner catches up with her for an exclusive Q&A.

Sum up your jewellery design in three words:

Elegant, detailed, wilderness.

How did your time in Kenya influence your style as a jewellery designer?

I fell in love with Kenyan wildlife so I started sculpting animals to cast into jewellery, such as the Pied Kingfisher necklace. I worked with jewellers in Kenya and became fascinated with the ancient technique of lost wax casting; the process of sculpting pieces in wax and using a sand mould to create a replica in metal.

You acquired the entire alphabet in gemstones; we’re intrigued…

The language of gemstones is a wonderful tradition, first used in Napoleonic times to communicate love or secret political messages. Words such as “Dearest”, “Love” and “Adore” were spelled out with set stones in brooches, lockets and necklaces. I’ve collected the entire alphabet in stones apart from ‘X’, so I can spell almost anything a customer would like. Groups of initials representing all the members of a family have been really popular too and make a beautiful, thoughtful present.

What’s the most unusual stone you’ve worked with?

I really enjoy scouting unusual and beautiful stones. Kyanite is a glorious blue stone and Herkimer diamond is a form of sparkling clear quartz that spontaneously forms in individual crystals. The uncut stone has beautiful natural faceting.

Is there a particular gemstone you just can’t take your eyes off?

I’m drawn to the ‘rough’ stones, which have inclusions and colour variations within them which make each stone unique. Rose gold is also beautiful and used in some of my pieces, the colours vary slightly with each cast as the alloy mix changes, and the light alloy that I use creates true rose gold with a beautiful warm, soft tone that looks gorgeous in my little robin and fox pieces.

What’s your favourite jewellery shops in Notting Hill?

Pippa Small on Westbourne Grove – her eye for gemstones and fair trade practices are really inspiring. Katrina Phillips is a beautiful interior design shop on Portobello Road, and happens to stock some of my jewellery!

Any upcoming events we should look out for?

7 and 14 December head to Queen’s Park Farmer’s Market, there’s a great curation of local designer’s work including some of my own pieces:

Get an exclusive 20% discount with Corner by entering the code ‘Corner14′ in the promotional code box after checking out through Paypal here.

Sasha Kamen;

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