Fernando Jorge’s Brazilian Blooms
“There is nothing about my career that I always knew,” jewelry designer Fernando Jorge says. “Looking back, everything makes sense, but the decisions were very unplanned and organic.”
Born and raised in Brazil, Jorge first became interested in jewelry through his “love of drawing.” Although no one else in his family works in a creative field, Jorge credits both his grandmothers with influencing his career choice: One grandmother, a schoolteacher, was an artist and a singer; the other “had a huge passion for fashion and jewelry, and always dressed impeccably.” While at design school in Sao Paulo, Jorge worked for a large manufacturer producing pieces for H. Stern. After a stint at an independent jewelry label, he moved to London to earn his MA at Central Saint Martins. “When I decided to move from Brazil, my professional life was really comfortable,” he recalls. “It occurred to me that being too comfortable still in my 20s was a waste of time and precious energy, and I had to shake things up. I went for a visit to Central Saint Martins and decided to move in an impulse.”
In 2010, Jorge launched his eponymous jewelry line. Drawing is still an integral part of his process; after coming up with an initial idea or mood, the designer will sketch a new collection before selecting his materials. “That’s how I find the expression and give character to a collection,” he explains. His new collection Bloom, however, is something of an exception. Currently composed of six one-of-a-kind pieces—Jorge is working on more pieces that he can reproduce—Bloom began with colors. When you look at the pieces, the different tones are particularly striking: the “Orchidea” bracelet and earrings are a composed of vibrant violet and lilac stones; the gems in the “Bromelia” earrings and ring are a range of rich reds and oranges.
Though Jorge set out to explore a “tropical, exotic, and Brazilian” mood with Bloom, the collection is global in its scope. “I became attracted by the idea of putting together small parts of the world in the same piece creating tonal combinations,” he says. “I used Australian boulder opals with tanzanites, Mexican fire opals with rubellites from Brazil, lavender jadeite from Myanmar with kunzites from Brazil, to name a few.”
Currently, Jorge’s stockists include Barneys New York, Harrods, Le Bon Marché, Net-a-Porter, and Moda Operandi, but the six original Bloom pieces can be purchased through Jorge directly. “Whenever an important piece is sold, it is a mix of feelings, but I am definitely more happy than sad,” he admits. “From my experience, a client who buys such a special piece from me is usually someone who follows my work and I will likely meet again, hopefully wearing my piece.”
As for the future of the jewelry industry, Jorge is not concerned about modern developments such as synthetic diamonds. “When I first started, 3D printing was a ‘threat’ to the industry but now it has been completely incorporated,” he explains. “I am so attracted to the idea that diamonds have been in this planet for way longer than we have, that synthetic diamonds are not appealing to me,” he continues. “However, I have recently found out that it will be possible to synthetize anything into a piece of diamond. For example, you can transform an old record collection or even remains of a loved one into a diamond. That gets me thinking…”
FOR MORE ON BLOOM AND FERNANDO JORGE, VISIT THE DESIGNER’S WEBSITE.