Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NEGAR KHATAMI | KATAMI DESIGNS

Sterling Silver
Sancus Pendant Necklace
The Iranian cities Ardabil, and Nir are former trade hubs with intriguing characteristics. 

Due to its location, near the salty Lake Urmia, Nir is known for its salt industry while Ardabil has a thriving Persian carpet business. 

Iran is also the ancestral home of featured jewelry designer Negar Khatami.

From the haute, ruched fabric designs of Maryam Keyhani to the bold, urban flair of Melody Ehsani, Iranian jewelry styles are very diverse. 

Like her contemporaries, Khatami brings a fresh perspective to her classically structured jewelry designs.

Based in Vancouver, Canada Khatami has long been an avid student of the world developing an appreciation for different cultures. 

Her handmade jewelry collections of 14-and 18-karat gold, sterling silver, and gemstones are based in ancient Persian symbolism, life and love, protection and a “crooked tree branch” Khatami found in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

Pendant necklaces, bangle bracelets, and earrings in many cases are roughhewn with distressed surface textures, oxidation and non-descript forms.  They evoke images of excavations where unearthed treasures are left largely untouched and natural.  It is powerful imagery full of gravitas, presence and a story of history to tell.

Surprisingly the studious jeweler ventured into the world of jewelry making by chance.  A business major, Khatami became a reluctant fixture in the corporate world.  However, after several years on the corporate ladder she felt a longing for a change.
18K Gold Mila Earrings
“I had believed I would work my way to becoming a stockbroker or bank manager.  Somewhere along the line, I had changed and felt a need to search for a new career,” she recalls.

“It was 2008 and there was a flyer that came in the mail from Vancouver Community College.  So I looked through it and decided to take a jewelry-making course—a night class.  It was a long shot but I felt like maybe there was something to this. 

When I cut my first piece of sterling silver sheet I got a huge rush of excitement!  I then took classes with a talented German goldsmith to learn more hands-on techniques.  I knew this was my calling.”

After initially working from a small storage area of her house, Khatami set up a spacious studio in Vancouver four years ago.  It is a space she shares with “four independent artists” that rent a jewelry bench. 

“It’s like a little piece of heaven.  Life in Vancouver has been such a blessing.  It has such a lush atmosphere, and warm multi-cultural environment,” she enthuses.  “My line is diverse and there is really something for everyone.  Each piece I make comes with a wish and a story.”
Sterling Silver Felictas Bracelet

2014 Jewelry Trend AlertProtective talismans are a huge trend this year, and Khatami’s Aevum Collection is full of pendant designs inspired by doorknockers.  

Doorknockers were once believed to protect homeowners from evil spirits.
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