This month we sat down with designer and founder of Morphée Joaillerie, Pamela Hastry, to discuss how Belgium has imprinted itself on her artform as a gemologist, designer, and goldsmith. We learned that jewels are not merely stones, but partake in our life stories; spanning cultures and transforming into something touchingly human.
1. How have your travels impacted your art?
After working for brands like Cartier, Van Cleef, and Chaumet, I started a jewelry formation. I wanted to understand different cultural perspectives, patrimony, and heritages and the know-how of this trade. I moved and traveled to engage with different cultures, workshops, and techniques; to learn the best from everywhere. Adaptability is incredibly important and impacts the end product dramatically.
Brussels is almost like neutral territory. It has its identity but it’s composed of many elements and I think that I associate that with myself. There are roots which are undeniable, but then there is also a sense of adaptability or a cross-cultural point of view on things. During my time in Paris or Rome, working in places like Place Vendôme, characteristics of those places are imprinted on me. The quality of craftsmanship and materials remain important to me, those are my roots in my design work; the excellence I strive for.
2. World Citizenry in a Ring:
Recently, a Persian customer who practices the Bahá'í Faith asked me to make a signet ring of his religion. His prophet was martyred in Constantinople, now Istanbul. I made a signet ring using a lot of the symbols of his religion so it may be identified clearly as a religious ring. In Washington DC there is the temple of religions, where all faiths are represented in the architecture, of which there is one pillar dedicated to the Bahá'í Faith.
I took the motif and repeated it on the ring and on the side I used zoomorphic calligraphy written in Arabic. To do something like this, I cannot delegate this craftsmanship totally to a French jeweler because Arabic calligraphy is very specific. So, I made the basic ring in Paris and called upon my friends in Istanbul to finish the ring and complete the zoomorphic calligraphy.
In the end, it took the story of the prophet in the picture and brought it back to Brussels before being sent to Rwanda where my Iranian customer resided!
3. How can people get in touch?
Brussels Boutique - Place du Grand Sablon
1 Impasse Saint Jacques, B-1000 Belgium
Telephone: +32 (0)475 869 879