Montserrat Álvarez of Parisian-based accessories brand Heimat Atlantica puts a cheerful spin on ancient artisanal techniques.

‘My background as an art historian means I am always searching for new crafts and artisans to work with,’ says Álvarez. ‘There is an intellectual honesty in traditional know-hows. In each particular aspect of their structure, we can find efficiency and the resulting objects’ shapes are the result of collective intelligence.’

For this new capsule collection of earrings, necklaces and vases, created for accessories boutique On Pedder, she has collaborated with artist Mario Feijoo. ‘At his workshop, I saw some stones with a marble-like finish,’ she says. ‘He had mixed the components of the porcelain with minerals to achieve this finishing. To me, it was like alchemy – it is very unique as the colour is not a decoration, but it is part of the ceramic stoneware. I wanted to share this material, which he calls cerampedra (ceramic-stone in Galician).’ When contrasted against the bold hues of dangling Swarovski hanging crystal pearls, it becomes instantly contemporary.

Heimat Atlantik

Once formed, the pieces were mounted into their bases by Angel Porto, a goldsmith in Galicia’s Santiago de Compostella who specialises in the traditional Galician work of mixing the silver with jet. The faces themselves are directly inspired by artists Álvarez admires. The faintly surprised face carved into the headboard of Italian sculptor Mario Ceroli’s Bocca della Verita bed is here, as are the unexpected design quirks of French designer Ronan Bouroullec’s drawings of pre-Colombian vases.

The talismanic nature of the designs, too, nod to cultural threads, and ancient religious iconography imbues the pieces with an additional function. Álvarez incorporates a personal fascination with the Roman empire into the core of the design: ‘For this collection I wanted to create talismans for our houses. Each Roman home had a set of protective deities,’ she says. ‘The sets we created are composed of vases to protect our interiors and the necklace or earrings that we can bring with us when we go out’. §

Heimat Atlantica