Swiss-born, London-based Cora Sheibani is not your typical jewellery designer, in fact, one might say she’s more of a quintessential artist. Working from her home in Kensington, where she lives with her husband, three children, two dogs, snake and goldfish, she designs one-off pieces which she showcases in galleries, fairs and private settings (not jewellery retail stores) across Europe and the USA. Her designs are oftentimes accompanied by bounded books showcasing her collections and the inspirations behind them. Growing up in the home of a prominent art dealer and design collector with artists like Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat dropping by, Cora was bound to have a deep appreciation for modern art and design, which she broadened while studying art history in Florence and New York. It wasn’t until she married and moved to London in 2001 that she focused on jewellery, studying gemology and launching her eponymous brand a year later. Characterised by the exuberant use of colourful gemstones, Cora’s jewellery is heavy and solid, playfully embracing bold forms and graphic lines. Her unconventional approach is attested by the everyday things she’s inspired by, from clouds, cacti and copper moulds of which she has amassed an enormous collection. The latter are behind Cora’s most “delicious” collection, a series of rings that take the shape of tarts, puddings and cupcakes, complete with blue sapphire berries, spinel strawberries and diamond sprinkles. With her latest collection "Glow" centred on unique gemstones that naturally fluoresce under UV light, Cora never ceases to fascinate and surprise us. We recently caught up with the talented jeweller to ask her about her inspirations, travels and most treasured possessions.
How would you define yourself in three words?
Creative, colourful and energetic.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everyday objects such as copper moulds, clouds and cacti.
Which colours are you currently enamoured of?
Brick brown of silex jasper stone.
A timeless design piece you own?
Zaha Hadid Aqua table.
What’s an accessory you had for ages?
My own Ice Cream ring that I designed and made 12 years ago in two shades of green.
The beauty product you can’t live without?
A type of Henna mix by Aldo Coppola allows me to remain looking like a redhead even though I have gone quite grey!
Three Instagram accounts you check daily?
My mother's of course: @artwhizz
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
A trip around the Tassili region of Algeria accompanied by Tuareg guides and dromedaries as well as an amazing set of family and friends.
What do you miss most when travelling?
I’ll tell you what I miss most when not travelling: being able to absorb and immerse yourself into a foreign culture first hand, through smell, food, and art. It's only through first-hand experiences that you can fully understand how different we all are around the world.
Your latest discovery?
The great books on colour by Michel Pastoureau.
V&A museum where I am one of the founding co-chairs of their Young Patron's Circle.
Zaha Hadid - 'Aqua' table
What is on your bookshelf?
All my book shelves are full up, so books are gathering in towers around the house. Some on the top of the piles are: The Magic Language of Others by E. J Koh, The Colours of Our Memories by Michel Pastoureau, Andrew Grima: The Father of Modern Jewellery by William Grant, and the Biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor by Artemis Cooper.
What quote do you live by?
Living and having a child with a developmental issue during Covid, I have had to learn that "Everything flows, and nothing abides, everything gives way, and nothing stays fixed", as Heraclitus said.
What is your most treasured possession?
Your idea of happiness?
An hour of tennis followed by sitting in bed reading a book while my kids surround me keeping themselves busy.