Art & Design
Posted by Kate Starke
27. Aug, 2013
Symbols have always been an important part of communication and self-expression. People in all civilisations have worn them on their body as a way to display their identity, status and spirituality with pride.
This is the sentiment used by Samantha Choudhury, creator and designer behind Melbourne jewellery label Samah Designs. Launched in November last year, Samah Designs features unique, laser-cut jewellery based on the symbols and patterns found in indigenous cultures the world over.
The name of the label comes from Sam’s nickname, Samah, which in Arabic means “a limitless sky.”
“I really liked what it meant because to me it felt as if the world was open to me and starting my own business,” says Sam.
Sam’s family is from Bangladesh, which she says has given her an appreciation for colour, beauty, art and design. Her first collection—the auspiciously named Imaan, meaning faith—was inspired by her travels around North Africa. There she found a muse in the intricate geometry used in their architecture, especially in places of worship.
The bold collection consists of 27 hand-made pieces featuring the 10-point star, Fatima’s Hand and Zellige pattern so often found in North Africa and the Middle East.
“I want my jewellery to tell a story and evoke a kaleidoscope of cultures and traditions represented through symmetry and beauty,” she says.
Inspiration for her upcoming collection, “Wanderlust,” has come from West Africa, the African Horn, Egypt, Turkey and the Navajo and Cherokee tribes of native America.
“This new line has been a labour of love.
“I’ve done a lot of research on each piece and each design; the anthropology of these cultures, where the symbols come from.”
Since the launch of her label, Sam has showcased her jewellery at the People’s Market in Collingwood, the Suitcase Rummage in Thornbury and was chosen to be featured in the Best of Etsy Australia as a part of L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion week 2013.
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