HONORING HISTORY AND TRADITION
Famed for her handcrafted enamel jewelry, designer Cecilia Fein-Hughes is recognized for packing all the elements of life, meaningful signs, and her talented vision onto the surface of a signet ring or pendant. Cecilia Fein-Hughes draws inspiration from two distinct sources: tattoos and fairy tales.
28-year-old Hughes considers herself a storyteller and believes that designing jewelry is the most authentic way to tell her story: “I was born in the early hours of the night in Devon, southwest England. I have great memories of the English countryside, and some of my happiest moments were spent in my grandmother’s garden in Devon, making daisy wreaths, surrounded by clouds. I’ve always been intrigued and interested in the tattoos of the sailors on the coast, and I found myself particularly drawn to swallow and arrow tattoos – they’re very realistic and memorable. The first jewelry I started making also featured mystical and mysterious English stories.”
Cecilia’s father is the CEO of Cece jewelry after a career in the construction industry, her mother is in charge of the creative side of the business, and her sister is a new addition to the company. So, Cece jewelry is a family business. Handmade jewelry crafted in London’s Hatton Garden featuring an ancient enameling technique dating back to Byzantine times is grabbing attention. The jewelry brand has made its unique pieces available not only in the UK, but also in the US market.
When we jump from the characteristic gray atmosphere of the UK to ancient India, which combines the colorful and diverse designs and cultures of the East, we find Sabiyasachi, a brand famed for its traditional flair. A few months ago, Britain’s King Charles and Queen Camilla were spotted wearing playful Indian elephant designed masks at the Animal Ball, a fundraiser for The Elephant Family, an organization dedicated to protecting Asian elephants and their habitats. The masks were designed by Kolkata based jewelry and fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee in collaboration with a group of Bengali artisans.
At the event, the designer debuted the “Animal Ball Edition,” a high jewelry collection featuring animal motifs. According to Mukherjee, the jewelry, masks, bags, belts and other accessories in the new collection reflect a combination of several endangered Indian arts and are truly an animated piece of the Elephant Family Project.
The new fine jewelry collection is inspired by the Bengal tiger and features images of elephants, frogs, Indian sheep, and plants commonly found in India’s biodiverse forests and savannas. The Animal Ball Edition is a tangible testament to the hard work of nearly 1,000 artisans and their commitment to preserving Indian craftsmanship.
Mukherjee himself comments: “My focus has always been on preserving India’s craft and textile heritage and I have done a lot of work on this front. For me, the key to preserving handicrafts is economic sustainability. The Elephant Family mirrors my mission and vision for preserving the legacy. We revive traditions and create new projects to not only keep crafts relevant, but to ensure that they can be truly appreciated and celebrated today.”