New York City. April 21, 2020. Jewelry designer Sharón Chandally Pedrini is of Yemeni descent and devoted to carrying on the filigree jewelry heritage of her ancestors.
She founded her Chandally line in New York City in 2009 but has since moved to Tel Aviv, where she has both brick-and-mortar and e shops as well as a mini museum displaying “old tools, unfinished work, and old pieces handed down from my family,” she says in an email interview. “I am a woman practicing an ages-old technique traditionally practiced by men.”
Jewelry designer Sharón Chandally Pedrini
But her start wasn’t so clear cut. Though she did enter university to study jewelry design, she wasn’t all that into it. She was bored with the tedious tasks of sawing and filing, but an instructor wouldn’t let her drop out of the program, telling Pedrini she better catch up with the rest of the class. Reluctantly, she got back to work, exploring instrument construction out of a love for music, which ultimately paved the way for her to find metalsmithing. This is where she found her passion, in soldering.
“Everything changed for me when we started to use the torch,” she says. “I fell in love and was overcome with inspiration from my grandfather (a Yemeni silversmith) and felt deeply connected to it.”
She apprenticed with a jeweler in Ghana and went on to take a three-year apprenticeship with two 80-something uncles (this is when she moved to Israel). From all this teaching, she honed her aesthetic: complex filigree wirework balanced by sacred geometry like sine waves, pyramids, and evil eyes.
“In filigree, the circle motif you see is usually used individually,” she explains. Sometimes she takes that element and multiplies it into a pattern that incorporates negative space. This look is evident in her Myrrh collection, named for “the resin clusters of myrrh I would see in the markets around Jerusalem.”
In her recently made Atlas collection, she juxtaposed cast, 3D-printed geometric shapes with old filigree techniques.
All works are produced by hand by Pedrini and one assistant in Israel. She works in 18k gold and sterling silver, offering some styles in Fairmined Certified gold. She’s also been a member of Ethical Metalsmiths since 2015.
As for gemstones, she primarily works with conflict-free diamonds. “I have been using rose cuts as well as white VVS stones,” she adds. “I love how you can find diamonds with such varying characteristics—different shades, clarities, and inclusions. I also like to integrate unconventional stones at times, like some rough-cut emeralds I used recently for a set of necklaces.”
Pedrini was nominated for Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award in 2016 and received the 2019 Best Luxury Jeweller Design Studio and Boutique – Tel Aviv from Middle East Africa Markets magazine.
Retail prices start at $220 in 18k gold. Find her work exclusively in her own e-shop.
Oxygen ring in oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow gold, $830; available online at Chandally
Window necklace in oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow gold, $2,400; available online at Chandally
Myrrh earrings in 18k yellow gold with 1.1 cts. t.w. conflict-free diamonds, $5,360; available online at Chandally
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