By Chere Di Boscio
As a young girl, Francesca Mancini watched her father, a circuits designer, very carefully. She observed his tools, his techniques, and became fascinated with welding and metal work. But rather than becoming an electrician, she turned her attentions to jewellery
She wasn’t formally trained in the craft, but her designs were guided purely by instinct: “I didn’t know where I was going, but something inside of me told that I should go ahead,” she states.
The result was the establishment of her brand, Giardinoblu, in Italy in 2010. Mancini initially began with what she knew—metal–but as her eco
-consciousness grew, she began to use more organic materials
. Edible ones, in fact.
Whilst her first range, the DropColletion
, made from large, organic blobs of sterling silver
and tin, remains one of her top sellers, the eco-friendly BeetleCollection
is set to supersede it. Jewellery doesn’t get much more eco-friendly than this: the spiky textures of the Beetle Collection’s come from nothing less than various types of raw rice.
Mancini says that for her, jewellery is more than just a fashion statement: “every piece has a soul inside,” she claims.
And this soul is a kind of extension of the person wearing it: “the best jewel ever is found in inside of you; what you wear is just a reflection of who you are,” she states.
Her latest addition to her range is the Giardinoblu, or “Blue garden” in Italian, incorporating crudely beautiful stones, such as amethyst and turquoise. But the ‘Blu’ in the name is not due to the colours of the stones; for Mancini, the “blue garden” is “our inner dimension, the unique and deep word that grows and evolves with our visions, experience and dreams”.
With notions like these, it’s not surprising that Mancini calls herself not a ‘jewellery designer’ alone, but an “Organic Designer, eco jewellery maker”, and perhaps most importantly of all, “a listener and interpreter of nature.”