Fine jewellery and object d’art creator Ambra Gambale, designs unique and exquisite handmade pieces with the finest quality diamonds and precious metals which are morphed into girly, playful and grisly forms. Born and raised in South Africa, and of Sicilian descent, Ambra’s creations further purvey a certain ‘afro-centric’ magic combining rustic form with elusive european charm.
Relentlessly haunted by the many animal carcusses strewn throughout the roads and plains of her African homeland, a series of dreams involving adorned animal skulls compelled Ambra to capture and preserve the beauty of dead creatures rather than letting them go to waste. By crafting them into artworks of bone juxtaposed with combinations of metal and diamonds, the creatures would be embalmed forever in pieces of art jewellery.
Each ethnically sourced animal skull undergoes a specialized technique of metalizing bone with bronze, silver nickel and gun metal after-effects. Some skulls are further set with diamonds and embellished with intricately hand carved silver or gold spiders, moths, ladybirds and snakes. There are also less costly (and very animated) ceramic and resin alternatives.
Ambra is particularly fascinated by the combination of lustrous metal against the blackness of ebony wood as well as the ‘curious interplay’ of diamonds and resin. Even though her collection caters for the uber feminine individual with diamond baby-pink resin rings and bracelets featuring diamond symbols of luck, peace and protection, it also boasts dark and ghoulish curiosities for those with more of a macabre persuasion. This includes eighteen carat rose gold bird’s claws clutching luscious balls of ebony earrings, broody silver jackal skulls etched onto ebony based rings and gold fox heads which move naughtily on diamond encrusted skeletons.
Continually ebbing between worlds of dark and light, the designer transports us into a world of magic realism where crocodile skulls, secret love keys, frogs with wings and diamond encrusted cocoons make for the ultimate ‘beautiful nightmare’.