Sopho Gongliashvili, Impressive Georgian Enamel Jewelry

Sopho Gongliashvili, love through centuries
Sopho Gongliashvili, love through centuries

Who is Sopho Gongliashvili?

Sopho Gongliashvili is a talented Georgian accessory designer who has been creating beautiful and unique jewelry pieces since 2000. She is renowned for her captivating creations that seamlessly blend traditional craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics. Born and raised in Georgia, Gongliashvili embarked on her creative journey by reviving ancient Georgian cloisonné, a very old technique invented by artisans in ancient times, which involves the use of enamel and silver to create intricate designs.

How she get discovered?

In 2012, Sopho participated in London Fashion Week and was nominated for the best designer of the “International Fashion Showcase.” The bold enamel rings and outsize cuffs with traditional Georgian craft skills, which turn them into explosively chic accessories.

What sets her apart?

What sets Sopho apart is her revival of the ancient cloisonné enamel technique, which came to Georgia from the Byzantine Empire in the 12th century and has remained unchanged ever since. This technique involves using thin wires to create small compartments on a metal surface, which are then filled with colored enamel. The end result is a beautiful, intricate design that is unique to each piece.

She regularly pushes Georgia’s historical tradition of enamelwork to mainstream and modern levels, taking inspiration from religious icons like the Khakhuli triptych, a cloisonné enamel icon dated from between the 8th and 12th centuries, and applying it to rings, cuffs, and earrings. Featuring illustrations of animated thick-browed soldiers or pretty, Georgian-tile floral patterns, her work has been presented in many countries around the world, and the world-famous Alicia Keys wore her ring on one of the covers of the American Glamor, and once, one of the U.S. Secretary of States wore her brooch too.

Why she decided to use this technique?

In the 1990s, the situation here in Georgia was very bad, there was almost no electricity at all, and unemployment and poverty peaked. So people tried to occupy themselves at home, to create something handmade as much as possible. At that time, a small group began to revive the technique of making ancient Georgian enamel, which was used mainly for temple objects. No one used this solution for jewelry, and the same “sad” colors were used for the icons, and she decided to change everything in her style— bright colors and different shapes. With her jewelry, she wanted to tell the stories that were there inside her and wanted to come out. This technique gave her the opportunity to implement her ideas.

Which is her creativity process ?

Sopho’s creations are a true form of art that express her inner world through intricate details and a splash of colors. In addition to jewelry, she also make knitwear. Bright colors, distinctive motifs and visual messages play an important role in both. Sopho pours her heart and soul into each piece, making them truly one of a kind. Each collection comes from a story or an idea, which she then give a title to.

Sopho Gongliashvili, love through centuries
Sopho Gongliashvili, love through centuries
Sopho Gongliashvili, love through centuries

Where to buy Sopho’s jewelry?

Since discovering Sopho’s jewelry in Tbilisi, I have been obsessed with her unique creations. While it can be difficult to find her pieces in stores, I was thrilled to discover that Index Flat, a concept store in Moscow, and now three online stores: Nugae Galleria, Ieri Store, Sveno Store carry her designs.

Sopho Gongliashvili, love through centuries

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