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Barbara has been studying, practicing, and refining her craft for more than 15 years. She began her studies in her hometown of Montreal in the mid 90s and forged ahead using a small collection of hand tools and a penchant for refined aesthetic. More recently, she has made an annual trek to the town of San Miguel de Allende to focus her skills and expand her designs.  The vibrant and collaborative environment of this creative Mexican enclave has left an indelible mark on Barbara’s approach to her work and with each return to Montreal she brings forth the spoils of her study.

 

Like the city she calls home, Barbara’s creations are a reflection of intersecting yet harmonious elements. She draws equally from the linear world of architecture and the amorphous forms of nature. Photos, both mental and literal, are taken and collected every day, everywhere: the entrance of a building, the buckle on a shoe, some dried branches, peeling birch bark. Each piece finds its resolution when these two worlds strike a balance in metal form. “ButterFly” is a perfect example of this notion. The angular qualities inspired from the world of design and architecture take flight into a nuanced form of the natural world.

 

Each piece is designed and crafted personally by Barbara. Her process is very much grounded in the here and now of the raw materials and tools in front of her. While she brings the inspiration of the world outside the studio to the workbench, it is ultimately the materials that guide her hand. At times this practice finds form in end pieces of silver cobbled together, while at other times wax is painstakingly carved away at for hours until the piece reveals itself.

 

Aesthetically, Barbara’s jewelry is contemporary, bold, and understatedly elegant. She delights when the piece does not betray its process, the hand of the maker merging, even disappearing, into the material. But her modern sensibility does not preclude a traditional and historic sensitivity. Amzallag, Barbara’s paternal family name, literally means ‘makers of chains,’ a cultural inheritance she embraces and celebrates. 


Barbara Amzallag’s work is ultimately a celebration of the sensual – of the exchange between skin and metal and the sense of the personal that develops. With each new piece there exists a myriad of possibilities waiting to be revealed and refined, a notion that captivates Barbara and one she wishes to share with the world.

 

 

 Barbara’s jewelry is contemporary, bold, and understatedly elegant