“A collection of jewellery capturing the aura of the nomadic past with a quirky, contemporary twist”

Stefania Indelicato launched her brand in 2013, although, in essence, Ambersouk evolved a long time ago for her.  She told me “My mum and I would design pieces and work with local artisans to create them for our own personal use.  As time went by, admirers grew and we would often be asked where our jewellery was from. That is how it all started and Ambersouk was formally launched”.

Stefania says her love affair with jewellery began from childhood, whilst growing up in the rich cultural regions of North Africa – Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea. Immersed in cultural and ethnic diversity from an early age, Stefania was heavily influenced and inspired by the nomadic people there.  Her passion for the cultures she grew up in continued in to her education, and she completed a graduate and postgraduate degree in Arabic and Development Studies at SOAS in London, where she now lives.

Stefania says, “I draw my inspiration from the souk. I want to create pieces that offer a woman a bridge between the ancient mystical world and her own personal modern style.” Stefania also credits her mother as a strong inspiration, someone who has instilled endless passion and enthusiasm to create in her.  “As a child I would go to the souks (markets) with my mum and we would enjoy finding many a treasure.  The passion of creating something with our discoveries, whether it be antique beads, gold, silver or gems, grew organically.  Our Friday ritual, after the market, would be to lay all of our treasures out onto a big carpet and look at it all to find new pieces, formulating out of old ones.”

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These beautiful antique beads and exquisite silver pieces enriched with spiritual meaning worn on colourful clothing by people steeped in rituals and traditions showed her a magical world, where her journey of ‘story telling’ jewellery began.  For those who wear these beautiful pieces, Ambersouk jewellery evokes a magical world.

Each creation is a unique piece in which ancient life and rich cultural heritage is intertwined with modern luxury, creating something new and fresh, from something old, whilst retaining the ethnicity from which they derived.  These pieces of jewellery are created into unique contemporary objects that have had an enriched journey and a story to tell and they exude ‘luxury and soul’.

I asked Stefania which designers influence and inspire her?  She told me “A designer that inspires the most in the jewellery world is Selim Mouzannar. Coming form a Lebanese family of jewellers Selim’s designs are infused with stories and characteristics of Beirut showing intricate work and great attention to detail. My collections however are greatly influenced by my upbringing in North East Africa.”

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“Many of my pieces have a story to tell and try to capture the aura of the nomadic past with a quirky contemporary twist. Drawing from a rich cultural heritage, I love and enjoy creating something new from something old where ancient life and modern luxury are intertwined.  I would like to think that my pieces have soul and when worn, one would feel the boundaries of culture, colour, fashion and history falling away.

Designing each piece has its own creative process. If I am working with a gem/stone, the gem itselfoften inspires and shapes my design and guides the metals I use. I tend to keep pen and paper by my bed side as it is in the night that my brains starts filling with ideas!  From the initial sketch to the production of a piece there are several transformations along the way!

Stefania also loves to work with precious metals such as 21ct gold and 18ct rose gold and enjoys mixing metals such as combining yellow gold with a black rhodium.   Her favourite stones are tourmalines and rough cutstones such as emeralds, aquamarines, chalcedony and rose cut diamonds amongst many. She also loves to work with ebony, with her Nubia collection all hand crafted in ebony by a group of artisans in Africa and hand finished in London where the ebony is set with diamonds.

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The collection incorporates mystical charms, amulets and talismans whose essence and meaning extend far beyond their simple beauty. Through these, Ambersouk enjoys connecting all spiritual beliefs.  Stefania allows the deep hues of the semi- and precious stones guide the creation of a design and the combination of precious metals used in her jewellery. Every piece is hand finished with great passion and attention to detail by her small team of craftsmen and goldsmiths.  The end result – often organic in texture and imperfect in the finish – is a reflection of our ethos and soul.

Available from www.ambersouk.com