Monday, 1 April 2013

Interview: Amanda Gerbasi, founder and designer at KATTRI

KATTRI is a jewellery brand which creates timeless pieces. Amanda Gerbasi is the founder and designer.

Amanda Gerbasi founded KATTRI after inspirations from her family and friends. Her great grandmother left Spain in 1900 to start a new life with her family in Brazil, she started designing and selling jewellery and was the first working woman in her family. Amanda's studies include Modern Languages, European studies as well as Architecture. She worked with friends from new womenswear label Isolda where she was inspired to venture into her passion for design.

Amanda sources rough gems from Minas Gerais (which translates as "General Mines") state in the heart of Brazil. KATTRI's foremost interest is aesthetics and all the gemstones used are conflict free, sourced and cut in Brazil.

1) What inspired you to create your current collection based on mathematical shapes and ideas?

 I am fascinated by the minimalism concept, where the simplest and fewest elements are used to create maximum impact and where empty spaces are equally important as "filled" or full ones.  So I started playing around with basic geometric shapes such as a circle and a rectangle.

The fact that KATTRI's pieces are designed on a 3D CAD software (for greater precision after my initial pencil sketches) also helps to visualise the exact geometric shapes that are being used to create such pieces. The names of the pieces usually come from the most prominent geometric shape used in their design. 

Another very important factor for me is that by giving these pieces such names I'm not attaching any specific meaning to them. In this way, the KATTRI customer is completely free to give their piece absolutely any meaning they want. It's completely up to them.

Hyperbola earring by KATTRI

2) How did you find and choose your conflict free supplier(s) and how easy is it to find such suppliers generally?

Well, I am lucky to come from a country that is one of the world's largest suppliers of gemstones.  Although there are still many social problems in Brazil the minerals sourced there are not used for funding any undemocratic activity or internal wars, and there is no child labour also. Using gemstones widely available in Brazil is my way of making sure I am not contributing to any such activities. 

I don't know how easy it would be to find such suppliers in African or Asian countries.  Also, my current gemstone supplier prides itself in having the highest professional ethics by giving its customers full disclosure of the origin and treatments of their gems.  

3)Do you have a favourite piece from your collection?

 My favourite pieces is the Quadrant ring.  This ring was the first piece I ever designed and the very positive feedback I got from it gave me confidence in my designing skills, so that I could develop a whole collection based on it.

The Quadrant ring by KATTRI

4)What advice would you give to aspiring jewellery designers?

 That's hard but I believe that besides an appealing product in today's market branding it's really important.  This is something that we work very hard on and there's always room for improvement! And of course, you have to really believe in yourself and not give up as it will probably be a tough (but rewarding!) ride.

Quadrant earring by KATTRI

Thanks for the interview Amanda.
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Image sources: KATTRI

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