Artist Profile: Karazi Design

Samia Shalabi is the creator of Karazi Design. Living and working in Bali, Samia draws inspiration for her line from travel and the people in her life. She works closely with Balinese silver and gold smiths who teach her and whose extensive knowledge about jewelry informs her creations. We are so excited to carry Karazi Design at Hitchcock Madrona! We are sure that you too will be inspired Samia’s jewelry, as well as her approach to life which is so well conveyed in her answers to our questionnaire. Thank you Samia!

Samia working on her jewelry in Bali

How would you describe your line’s aesthetic?

My jewelry is classic and edgy, timeless yet modern, with a boho chic feeling. I like to design jewelry that can be worn with pretty much anything, anytime, now and 10 years from now.

When you design your jewelry, is there any particular woman whom you design for?

I design for all the beautiful women of the world; in particular, I would say, fashion conscious woman with timeless, global taste.

Carved horn and sterling silver necklace

What is your favorite way to style your pieces?

I love mixing metals and materials, precious stones with found pieces. I like the juxtaposition of modern and ancient and mix my jewels that way. Wood bangles mixed with a gold necklace. In my jewelry you will find that I like to mix oxidized silver with gold and I like to use different materials, such as horn and antler along with rough and polished precious stones.

Carved antler and gold plated sterling silver earrings

Where do you find inspiration for your collections?

From my travels around the world, the amazing people I meet along the way, and the energy of the land wherever I am. These things inspire me to no end!

What do you particularly love about designing jewelry?

I love the creative process. For me, I like my life and work to be one, and I enjoy both. So, I am always designing in my head. I am now living in Bali and I feel infinitely inspired. So the design process is happening all the time. There are no particular times—I sit down and do it; when there is inspiration, I go with that and get busy. If there are moments of dryness (in terms of designing), I go with that too and enjoy!

Samia working with a jeweler in Bali

What would you say are three key pieces of jewelry that every woman should own?

Sassy earrings that stand out and say hello, an everyday necklace, and bangles.

What aspect of the design process do you find most challenging?

I work with many amazing metal smiths and carvers all over the world. The most challenging [thing] for me is getting it done on time. Each culture I work with has a different sense of time and I find it challenging to meet my deadlines because of the cultural differences we have, but it’s also a wonderful challenge of letting go and knowing it will be done when it is ready (and almost always just in the knick of time). I also want the pieces to be of high quality and pushing time in Bali, or in the other places that I work, does not produce the results I would like. So… the waiting game is the challenge for me.

What do you consider to be the most rewarding aspect of being a jewelry designer?

As I am thinking of the answer to this question, I realize my answer is nearly the same as the above, just from a different perspective. It’s the people I work with and finding the right people to work with. As challenging as it is to work in other cultures, it is also my complete joy. I sit with my jewelry teachers, metal smiths, and carvers for hours and learn from them. We talk about life and philosophy and enjoy each other’s company as we sip tea, discuss designs, and get to work!

What jewelry designers do you admire?

Love love love Judy Geib and Pippa Small jewelry.

Carved horn and sterling silver (with portion gold plated) necklace

What are you currently working on?

I just got back to Bali and am in the process of working on two lines of jewelry. One is called “Bali Collection” in which I am reproducing some of the sold out pieces from the current collection and adding a few more sassy aquamarine and gold pieces. The other line is called “Satu,” which is collaboration between Rachel Griffin and myself. We have designed a line of jewelry and are employing unemployed, skilled craftswomen in Bali to make it. It’s all part of a bigger project in which we hope to create jewelry with women all around the world.  It’s all very exciting!

Thank you again Samia!  We currently have all the featured pieces in stock.

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