mmodel wearing Bahati choker

Jewellery Design

Jewellery design is the art or profession of creating jewellery; one of the oldest forms of civilized man’s decorations dating back seven million years. Some of the oldest ornaments were discovered in Kenya and Egypt. Jewellery design has taken many forms over the centuries going from bead work to sophisticated metalworking of the modern day.

Jewellery making process. Artisan working on a metal sheet in Adele Dejak Kiambu workshop
Artisan working on a metal sheet in Kiambu workshop

An Intricate Process

Before a piece of jewellery like our L-Tina ring, for example, is created, I have to start by rendering the design. This means creating a technical drawing using my understanding of architectural and functional aspects of ornaments. My designs have to be market-oriented and are therefore usually wearable pieces by the sophisticated individual who still embraces heritage.

Jewellery designers have many options when it comes to rendering styles including computer generation and the traditional hand drawing and drafting. The method notwithstanding, fundamentals of jewellery design have been constant over the years. Designers seem attached to the techniques, materials of old but we are have also embraced change.

Fashion Jewellery

In the 20th century, people stopped using jewellery only as sacred and ceremonial. Jewellery has been objectified as an adornment, a thing of beauty that should be worn by whoever wants to. In my designs I pick up on African art and with a modern touch, transform it into a wearable ornament by the luxury lover. Different designers choose a technique, quality or color as inspiration but I am somewhat of an oddity. I am inspired by a whole continent as well as my travels to world destinations. From among my collections, you will find chokers inspired by Ashanti masks; shopping bags inspired by images of hands, Turkana people and even palm trees in Egypt. Some of my pieces are named after people, places and things that I find fascinating.

Men's named Ijakaa
Ijakaa BoyBoss Bag

From my sources of inspiration, it is clear to see there is so much to learn about jewellery. It is a vast subject with one goal; image enhancement. Jewellery is worn to make people feel good and jewellery designers are always working to create pieces that reach this feat and surpass it.

My main materials for earrings, pendants, rings, bracelets and other jewellery are recycled brass and aluminum. Not only are these materials great for jewellery, using them means removing an eyesore from the environment. As Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai asked of us, I am working hard to make my own small difference for the environment. If all of us did our part, imagine the heights we reach for preserving nature? As a creator, I must preserve Mother Earth the source of inspiration for all Adele Dejak the Brand products.


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