THE JEWELLERY ART OF: RANDA KHALIL RAAD
GEMOLOGUE – The unique quality that each jewellery designer brings to a piece of art is a reflection of their own personal relationship forged over the years with the precious metals they use, and the many long hours they have spent perfecting their craft.
The way that metal behaves in the hands of the artist makes every creation something special and unique for the jewellery wearer, and this is especially true of Randa Khalil Raad’s jewellery.
We spent a lovely afternoon together in the Horticultural Oasis at Blakes Hotel in the heart of Chelsea, London. A sumptuous garden setting celebrating summer with an exotic flair, it was the perfect setting to be enraptured by Randa’s Middle Eastern charm.
Adored by a loyal following in Lebanon, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Randa is like a celebrity in the Middle East and a favourite among many private royal clients. Her jewellery journey is one of inspiration, filled with her own unique philosophy and craftsmanship. It didn’t take long for me to succumb to this amazing woman’s charm.
Her incredible story begins in 1975 in Kuwait, where she fled from the Lebanese war. During this time, she was helping a friend start up the Museum of Islamic Art, and was introduced to a jewellery expert from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC). This expert taught Randa how to work with her hands and make jewellery. She learned the art of silver granulation, working with gold, ceramics and stones, casting and engraving.
Randa’s early influences are an eclectic combination of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic art, and this is reflected in the alluring sculptural element of her jewellery. Her pieces are about textures and shapes, and she has soft spot for gold.
This chunky ring is my favourite piece from this collection and not just because it makes a statement (and you know how much I love that!) But because it vibrates and makes sounds with every movement of your hand. It’s a fabulous piece of fine jewellery to meditate.
You should shine in jewellery, not jewellery should shine on you – Randa Khalil Raad
Each piece coming our of Randa’s workshop is unique and reflects her mood on that particular day.
Every design is hand-sketched by Randa herself and contains a special story. For instance, this cheerful ring was inspired by Randa’s granddaughter, who loves flowers – something that fills Randa’s heart with happiness.
Jewellery is Randa’s heart. Where the heart goes, jewellery follows.
Even though Randa’s journey began in the Middle East, her jewellery is very sensual and curvaceous in nature.
Passion is the message to the universe in everything you do.
These rings and earrings inspired by the intricate lacework of guipure.
Randa designs all of her one-off pieces by hand and oversees every step of the production process in her workshop of six artisans.
She is on top of every detail that goes into each handmade piece of jewellery. Even all the chains are exquisitely handmade, which is unique and hard to find. She says she likes the way she and her artisans sweat over each piece.
Content to remain as slow as “the turtle” as far as 3D technology goes, Randa is very anti fast-fashion when it comes to jewellery. She believes this digital working process eliminates all soul.
Randa is very spiritual and on her own timeless planet.
Each imperfect jewel coming out of her workshop is full of perfect imperfections! And she’s perfectly fine with that!
For Randa, designing jewellery is all about the journey and the relationships you forge along the way. What an amazing woman! So much energy and lust for life! She truly is an inspiration.
You can find Randa online at: Randa Khalil Raad Jewellery
If you like Middle Eastern jewellery style you might also love to discover my visit to Jewellery Arabia Bahrain with Azza Showroom and the spiritual jewels of Th’haba Jewelry.
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and art direction by Liza Urla. All photos and videos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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