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For this instalment of the series, we spoke to Sima Vaziry of Sima Vaziry Jewellery. Sima is an award-winning jewellery designer who designs and makes her jewellery at her Oxo Tower Wharf studio. Sima has also worked extensively with the British Museum since 2010, collaborating in exhibitions and holding her own private jewellery collection at the museum. Sima’s jewellery designs are heavily influenced by Persian, Afghan, and Middle Eastern art and architecture.
Having originally studied and worked as a graphic designer for 25 years, jewellery making was initially only a hobby for Sima. It quickly turned from a hobby to her business overnight.
She tells us that she loves being a part of the creative Oxo Tower Wharf community of designer-makers. Having a shop at Oxo allows her to meet lots of artisans who design and make their own work. The atmosphere is incredibly relaxing, as usually, visitors and tourists visit Oxo Tower Wharf on the South Bank to relax and enjoy a boutique-led shopping experience. The designer-maker community is full of friendly faces who are always happy to say hello to anyone who pops by.
She believes that customers appreciate the makers at Oxo Tower Wharf as they know that these products cannot be found on the high street. The jewellery, ceramics, textile and leatherwork made is unique, inspiring and creative, as it is all handmade by the makers themselves and not mass produced.
Sima’s customer’s not only purchase a piece of jewellery, but they also purchase the story behind it. Each piece of jewellery made by Sima tells its own story. Using poetry and Persian calligraphy, Sima tells stories of love and hope through the material, taking inspiration from ancient Persian poets like Rumi. Her calligraphy is then reduced and stamped onto her jewellery pieces, adorning necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.
Sima’s jewellery making process includes working with clay which is made of silver, water and binder, shaped into her design before being dried and put into a kiln. Once the clay is fired in a kiln, it turns into pure silver. Sometimes this is also mixed with sterling silver to produce a stronger material when making the jewellery.
Alongside creating jewellery, Sima has also published a book: ‘Patterns of Afghanistan: Inspired by Tribal Embroidery Motifs’, where she designed a total of 720 patterns for this book based on traditional Afghan embroideries. Embroidery in Afghanistan is done by women and young girls who create exquisite work to express themselves. These patterns communicate visual stories from tribe to tribe and ensure the survival of their handed down traditions.
These patterns may be used as the basis for the design of a multitude of different items, including jewellery, fabrics, clothing items, cushions, curtains and packaging. You can purchase your copy of the book here.
We asked Sima: “If you had to describe Sima Vaziry Jewellery in three words, which three words would you pick?”
She responded: “Inspiring, unique, and storytelling!”
Visit Sima Vaziry Jewellery at Oxo Tower Wharf to explore a range of bespoke Middle Eastern style jewellery, or commission a piece of your own.
Discover Sima Vaziry Jewellery’s new collections on their Instagram and website:
Meet our designer-makers at Oxo Tower Wharf: