Jewelry of one thousand and one nights
Morocco teaches that drawing from other cultures is enriching. The collection designed and handcrafted in Marrakech is the best proof of this. During her trip to Africa, Anna Orska visited local metalwork workshops and became enthralled with traditional Moroccan lamps. The lanterns of various shapes and sizes seduce with the precision of their handcrafted workmanship and intricate lace embellishments that let the light shine through, splitting it into thousands of shimmering reflections. This made the small local studio feel like an African desert under a starry sky. Adapting this non-jewelry craft to jewelry forms, the designer created a collection with the lights of one thousand and one nights. In necklaces, bracelets and earrings made of sheet metal, local masters cut rich floral ornaments, achieving the effect of intricate lace. Then, using the repoussage technique, they brought out the nuances and deepened the relief, creating a distinctive chiaroscuro effect. Combining simple forms with detailed embellishments, the collection acquired a contemporary European look. Finally, the play of symmetry and asymmetry gave it the characteristic style of the ORSKA brand.
Crafts of the World – Anna Orska in Morocco
Anna Orska has once again embarked on a design journey. She returned to the international trail after a break of more than two years, during which she explored Polish crafts, visiting, among others, the country's last Crystal Glassworks in Piechowice, where the Julia Collection was created. This time she wandered to the African continent, drawing inspiration from the rich culture of Morocco. In this distant country, tastes, sounds and lifestyles from different cultures combine into a colorful mosaic, which in its diversity delights with its coherence. Over the years, Arab, Roman, Persian, Indian, Semitic and European influences have created a remarkable cultural melting pot in Morocco that is constantly evolving. In a place made of creativity, inspiration strikes from every direction. Therefore, it was a big challenge to choose and focus on just one craft. Before Anna Orska made her design decision, she visited Morocco as many as five times. She knocked on more than a dozen workshops and personally tried her hand at several techniques.
Moroccan crafts and ornaments
The designer visited the workshops of fabric weavers and dyers, learned the secrets of making gebs (decorative plaster wall ornaments), tried wood carving and admired hand-cut zellij ceramic mosaics. All of these crafts have much in common. Each requires great craftsmanship, precision and patience, putting the work of human hands at the center. Ornamentation is also a common element, multiplying fine geometric, calligraphic and floral patterns; in keeping with Islamic tradition, avoiding depictions of humans and animals.
Minimalism is foreign to Moroccan art. On one surface, colorful ceramic mosaics are traditionally juxtaposed with plaster reliefs and inlaid wood, creating a cohesive whole. There is an elegance and good sense of style in these rich combinations that does not overwhelm, but delights. Morocco teaches that drawing from other cultures enriches. The same idea has guided Anna Orska's artisanal travels from the beginning. Reinterpreting the aesthetics of the colorful African country, the designer ultimately focused on elaborate ornamentation, which rarely appears in her minimalist designs. Reaching for the traditional technique of making metal lamps, she translated it into jewelry.
Light of Morocco – traditional metalwork
Moroccan lamps are complex, full of ornaments and diffuse warm light. The intricate designs are made entirely of metal and created by hand by local masters. First, a paper template is created. Then the desired elements are cut from a sheet of metal, and even before decorating, the metal is molded into the proper shape. Then the ornaments are embossed on the surface of the metal, and finally the spaces are cut out, creating openwork patterns. There are so many ornaments that it takes a while to focus on a particular piece. Precision and attention to detail make this non-jewelry craft very jewelry-like.
Moroccan lamps are very impressive even before they are lit. However, the fullness of the artists' craftsmanship and the uniqueness of the artifacts they create can be appreciated most when they glow in the dark. They disperse beams of light in a way that evokes a mixture of awe and disbelief.
Moroccan jewelry – openwork, repousse, crystals and natural stones
Anna Orska has brought a touch of her own style to the rich design of Morocco. She recreated the pieces, which are customarily made of golden brass, in silver and nickel silver, additionally coating them with graphite oxidation to enhance the repoussed patterns. She juxtaposed the dark texture of the main elements with gold-plated details in the form of gemstone settings, decorative links or ornament edges. She enriched many of the designs with sea-blue zircons, and additionally used faceted aquamarines and plated sapphires in necklaces and bracelets. The collection, which has a strong ethnic character, has been given a more contemporary twist by skillfully combining minimalist accents with striking elements. The skillful use of symmetry and asymmetry gave the designs the distinctive style of the ORSKA brand.
How to wear jewelry from the Morocco collection
The eclecticism of Morocco provokes experimentation with its designs. Moroccan earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings are bold enough to be worn as sole accessories to everyday outfits, such as a basic shirt or t-shirt. But you can go wild with this jewelry. Handcrafted from silver and nickel silver, the designs look most impressive when paired with colorful outfits inspired by the bustling streets of Marrakech. With a rainbow of colors and a mix of patterns, you will get the most striking sets. Magnificent necklaces or long earrings like the company of airy fabrics, but they will work well not only in a summer closet. They will also be a great addition to thick sweaters or soft scarves. Moroccan jewelry surrounded by dense aromas will enliven the atmosphere straight from the tales of one thousand and one nights.