Every designer will tell you a story, the story of how they came to be inspired, of how the object came into being. Few are quite so faithful to their inspiration as Rosh Mahtani, whose jewellery collection takes the form three-dimensional interpretations of the 100 stories within Dante Alighieri’s epic poem The Divine Comedy
As an undergraduate studying French and Italian at university, Mahtani was enchanted by the mythical creatures, jagged landscapes and terrifying demons of the stories. She envisaged them weaving their way around her fingers and neck as pieces of gold jewellery, all bearing the marks of their travails; sea crabs that have been battered in shipwrecks, and tree branches buffeted by the sea and washed-up on shore.
The Piera Della Vigna ring tells the story of a once-great scholar condemned to live out eternity as a twisted tree, while the Odyssey necklace recalls Dante’s encounter with Ulysses and acts as a reminder that the most interesting journeys in life are the ones that don’t go to plan.
The narrative is expressed through heavily textured pieces of cast in brass or bronze and plated with gold, then set with raw crystals and semi-precious stones, with tales of melancholy and endurance giving way to hope as Dante passes through purgatory and hell into paradise. On the wearer the story continues, each piece transformed into a modern talisman that inspires a story of its own.