The discovery of vegetable ivory. The idea of working it to create unique pieces. That is how the Tagua Seeds Collection was generated. With an objective: to spread the culture of raw material sustainability
Friday, 27 October 2017,
by Maristella Campi
Every item of jewelry designed by alexandra mor comes from an emotional, intimate and interior jour- ney, made of ideas to be developed and feelings to be put into concrete form following her inexhaustible instinct and profound technical knowledge. The designer, who grew up in Israel amid a vast cultural melting pot and went on to train professionally in New York where she works in her studio-atelier-workshop, knows what she wants and how she wants it, where to start from and where to get to, without ever subjecting creativity to monotony. In fact she actually nurtures it with the desire to take on new challenges. For seven years she has been moving gracefully within her marvellous world of made-to-order, limited-edition and one-of-a-kind jewelry with highly valuable stones and diamonds as the central focus, thus increasing the value of her work. Since the very beginning, Alexandra Mor’s approach to design has been a genuine fusion of a study of the classical techniques with a contemporary vision of decoration, blending her passion for art and architecture with a concrete glance of what is happening around her. «My Haute Joaillerie is the embodiment of modern women’s spirit», she loves to say. Her particular attraction to com- plex shapes, built onto airy ‘scaolding’ holds an important place in her creative journeys, demonstrating her ability to move between the rationality of mathe- matical and geometrical formulas, to be respected so as not to relegate the design to the world of ideas, and the conceptual link with the jewelry tradition of Place Vendôme, re-interpreted with a modern logical thread, as well as the influence of fashion seen as an infinite source of inspiration. But above all, her style can be recognized by her profound sensitivity towards living and lively material and her latest work fits exactly into this context. Research into one of the main current topics that is redefining the jewelry world guidelines, as well as those of other worlds: the sustainability of resources to safeguard the planet. A necessary study to give her work as a designer further impetus and which led her to the island of Bali where, during a lengthy meditative and creative stay, she found the solution to a number of questions. This was how her Tagua Seeds Collection or vegetable ivory jewelry came about.
There were two reasons that urged Alexandra Mor to work vegetable ivory, also known as tagua or corozo, a material produced from palm tree seeds and a valid botanic alternative to animal ivory to which it is similar both in aspect and consistency. «There is so much about the ‘discovery’ of tagua and my journey to Bali that connects with my spiritual and personal story as a woman and a designer» she says. «For me, tagua symbolizes harmony and love, preservation and safeguarding, peace and fertility, protection from negativity, and therefore positivity. Discovering it was my ‘Taksu’, as they say in Bali, that is, something that brings my charisma and energy to light.» When talking more specifically about the collection, she underlines that her aim was to «highlight the real possibilities that vegetable ivory oers to designers, even in High Jewelry, to create unique and extraordinarily valuable items. And to oer the Balinese carvers the chance to demonstrate their enormous manual skills and give goldsmiths the possibility to work 22-karat gold in the same way as in ancient times. Because they are the witnesses and the only spokesmen of a her- itage that must never be lost.» The result is surprising. Vegetable ivory, carved and sculptured with millimetric precision in order to respect every detail of Alexandra Mor’s designs, blend with Baroque pearls and red and black lotus flower wooden beads. Her work has been immortalised by the photography of Ken Kochey, who captured every step of the making, offering a complete interpretation of the manual process that each item was created through. Every piece embodies the enchantment of the Balinese culture, the call to spirituality as well as the desire to transmit a broader message to all those who care about the future of the planet.