New York jewellery designer Noor Shamma talks sustainable jewellery, her design process and being inspired by a love of needlework, stitching and knittingMarch 6, 2020 By Sarah Stockley
New York designer Noor Shamma developed a passion for jewellery and all things beautiful at a very young age, being inspired by a love of needlework, stitching and knitting.
Her namesake brand Noor Shamma, which recently took part in The Jewellery Cut Live, is a member of responsible jewellery group Ethical Metalsmiths as Shamma is a firm believer in making a positive contribution to help create a world in which the environment is respected and there is an improved quality of life for everyone. As such, Noor Shamma jewellery is made through sustainable practices, using recycled, conflict-free and fairly mined metals.
Noor Shamma’s latest collection Luz is inspired by light – find out more in Five Minutes with Noor Shamma.
Tell us a little about your brand.
“Noor Shamma is a sustainable fine jewellery brand that is both timeless and contemporary, interwoven with art, identity and emotion through unique patterns and minimalist motifs. Executed to perfection by the most skilled artisans in New York, the jewellery is responsibly crafted from recycled, conflict-free 18ct gold.”
What inspires your designs?
“I am inspired by architecture, needlework, pattern and motifs.”
What made you want to become a jeweller?
“I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a passion – or borderline obsession – for art, architecture and jewellery. At the age of six or seven, I got introduced to stitching, needlework and knitting, which I still enjoy to this day, and I believe that it has an evident impact on my brand aesthetic. With art being my constant, I got into design school graduating with a BSc in Design Management, and then I naturally transitioned into jewellery while gradually developing my skill set. After many sketches, much experimentation and lots of trial and error, I launched my own jewellery brand, which I personally oversaw from inception to completion. I had a vision, a point of view, and I was ready to share it with the world through this exciting, and timeless, medium.”
How are your jewels made?
“Jewellery design and manufacturing is a process and it actually varies. I sometimes start with sketches, and other times I jot down a bunch of notes and ideas. I love making 3D paper models of my pieces and I add wires to try them on and decide on dimensions. Experimentation continues through discussions with the CAD team, getting their recommendations, and finalising specs. Then prototypes come to life and they either make the cut, need tweaks, or I’m back to the drawing board. It’s worth mentioning that I tend to wear any new prototypes for two to four weeks before moving forward in order to ensure that functionality, mechanism and comfort are all spot on. Like I said, it’s a process – an exciting yet challenging one that results in a lot of growth. Of course, the jewels are sustainably manufactured from 18ct recycled conflict-free gold and the stones are responsibly sourced too.”
Tell us about your latest collection.
“My latest collection Luz is inspired by light, a universal symbol of the spiritual and the divine, of hope and illumination. This collection fits right into the core of the brand’s DNA, reintroducing architectural elements, geometric patterns, and our best-seller U-Hoops, which have made a strong comeback with an exquisite twist that introduces a mix of brilliant-cut diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Each of the pieces are expertly engineered in a way that allows unique multi-functionality through different adaptations, making them perfect day-to-night jewels. I’m currently working on my new collection, a very personal one, which is due to launch this summer – and I can’t wait.”
In February, you took part in The Jewellery Cut Live for the first time. What was that like?
“Charming venue, impeccably organised, fabulous crowd — absolute perfection. The Jewellery Cut Live has been by far one of the best, if not the best, jewellery event I’ve been to. [The Jewellery Cut founders] Rachael and Andrew, along with their team, have outdone themselves by creating the ideal space for the jewellery community to interact with the press, buyers, VIPs, and people who simply love jewellery. I definitely look forward to coming back next season.”