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Catherine Sarr is a Chicago-based, French-born jewelry designer and art collector who founded her brand Almasika in 2014. In an interview with Forbes, she discusses her plunge into the jewelry world and how art collecting has influenced her design decisions.

Sarr was asked about her and her husband's passion for art collection, and if that has had any influence on her jewelry designs."In some ways, yes, as I have long been inspired by the power of art to spark dialogue and tell stories," said Sarr. "I learn from various creatives and I would say that cultural craftspeople, in general, act both as interlocutors and sources of inspiration. There’s a lot of research that goes into the meaning of a shape, a story, or a form that inspires my design. Each piece of the jewelry connects to larger traditions and significance that span generations and cultures.

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"An abundance of influences goes into every design, but what is always at the core of every design are universal symbols and stories that transcend cultural boundaries," said Sarr about where she finds the inspiration for all of her designs. "From reading a book by the fireplace to letting my mind flow in captivating art pieces, to conducting in-depth research on forms, symbols, and stories — all those elements can trigger the design of a new piece for me."

Symbols are a perennial source of inspiration for Sarr

Sarr was then asked to describe her favorite piece of jewelry that she'd ever created, to which she responded, "The open cuff from our Berceau (‘cradle’) collection has simple, organic lines following the curves of the body, appealing to our innate aesthetic sensibilities. It takes inspiration from the cradle of humanity and the ancestral adornments that became an extension of the human form."

A simple pendant necklace is perfect for wearing every day

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When asked to talk about her latest collection of jewelry, Sarr said, "Sagesse, the name of our latest collection, means ‘wisdom’ in French. I explore deeply symbolic proverbs related to life and human aspirations. Traditional wise adages have shaped my approach to life, so my intention was to reinterpret these timeless concepts with the hallmarks of Almasika jewelry, including sculpturally rounded shapes and the symbolic significance that is essential to my creations. I have always been fascinated by the cultural aspect of jewelry, and with Sagesse, I wanted to explore further the duality of jewelry as adornment and a spiritual object."

Information originally sourced from Forbes.