Randa Tab­bah's city-in­spired jew­elry

Lebanon Traveler - - CONTENT - An­nie Keropian-dil­sizian

Jew­elry designer Randa Tab­bah’s pieces are di­rectly in­spired by the city. She talks to Le­banon Trav­eler about her de­signs

With a ca­reer span­ning more than twenty years, Randa Tab­bah was born into a long line of jew­el­ers and crafts­men, with an in­her­ent love of art and de­sign. Her cre­ations em­body a pas­sion for true crafts­man­ship and are deeply rooted in mod­ern aes­thetics. With this pas­sion lead­ing her from Beirut to Paris to New York and around the world, Randa has found beauty in ar­chi­tec­tural land­scapes and the sto­ries be­hind them. Earn­ing a de­gree in fine arts at Beirut Uni­ver­sity Col­lege, she honed her craft at L’ecole de la Bi­jouterie et de la Joail­lerie in Paris. Then be­com­ing an ap­pren­tice as a wax model maker of jew­elry and ac­ces­sories. Af­ter re­turn­ing to Le­banon in 1993, she opened her own stu­dio in Achrafieh, and later a bou­tique in Saifi Vil­lage in 2007. Her first col­lec­tion, “New York”, was a break­through in con­tem­po­rary de­sign, in­spired by the iconic land­marks of the city. Struc­tural in form and with a fo­cus on clean lines and geo­met­ric pat­terns, the col­lec­tion was ex­hib­ited in the Aaron Faber Gallery in Man­hat­tan and awarded the In­ter­na­tional Tahi­tian Pearl tro­phy.

How does your Le­banese her­itage in­spire you?

One of my lat­est col­lec­tions “Some­where in Beirut” started out while talk­ing to my daugh­ter about old Beirut. We would walk to­gether and I would point out the street where I used to play as a child or where my fa­ther worked. We thought how won­der­ful it would be to be able to wear those mem­o­ries, so we came up with the con­cept of a map to which gem­stones [could be added] at key lo­ca­tions.

What is your de­sign process?

Jew­elry mak­ing is an or­ganic process, un­re­stricted by pre­con­ceived no­tions of what the piece ought to look like. With an open mind and free hand, I let the nat­u­ral shape and color of the stone di­rect the de­sign. Some­times I start sketch­ing, in­spired by the shapes around me and at other times I begin work­ing di­rectly on wax or metal with­out a de­sign con­cept. When the piece takes shape, the ate­lier work fol­lows.

How is the de­sign scene evolv­ing in Le­banon?

When I first started out, peo­ple looked at me as if I came from Mars. They weren’t used to the geo­met­ric de­signs of my pieces. Men ac­tu­ally were more ap­pre­cia­tive than women, es­pe­cially ar­chi­tects and those in the de­sign field. Now, the sit­u­a­tion is very dif­fer­ent. Peo­ple are more open and well trav­eled so they un­der­stand the con­cepts.

What’s the best piece of ad­vice you can give to new de­sign­ers?

De­sign doesn’t come eas­ily. Your first idea is not al­ways the one that works. You have to work at it tire­lessly. Once you’re happy with the de­sign, you have to make sure that it’s er­gonom­i­cally cor­rect. It’s a process and one that is not as easy as you might think. You must take into con­sid­er­a­tion the aes­thetics and the fit, as well as the fin­ish­ing – then it’s a true master­piece. Randa Tab­bah Jew­elry De­sign 01 975030 signumrt.com Moukha­las­siyeh street, Saifi Vil­lage, Beirut

5 1 Some­where In Beirut (SIB) pen­dent, Hamra 2 SIB bracelet,

Hamra 3 Ser­pen­tine

bracelet 4 Par­a­line bracelet 5 Bamboo ring 6 Mo­jito ring 7 Crazy ear­rings

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