Peruvian designer Andrea Jose strives to transform the way we view the resourcing and production of jewellery.
Working in social development with mining projects whilst learning jewellery techniques with master artisans, the particularly male dominated mining industry inspired and motivated her to value the work of strong female community leaders. Her work, celebrates the value of a reciprocal approach within the jewellery system. Andrea Jose holds an MA in Design from Central Saint Martins in London.
The historical legacy of Peruvian culture had a strong emphasis of creating prosperity through reciprocity. Relying in the connection of giving and receiving back.
The values of heritage, craftsmanship and longevity are the summary of the work that designer Andrea Jose, has developed throughout her years of professional work as a social entrepreneur and a design researcher together with historians, biologists, social experts, local crafts communities and goldsmiths based in different areas of Peru.
Each of the pieces created at her home studio in Peru or whilst she is traveling and visiting other goldsmiths’ workshops, reflect the richness
of this research. The deep understanding of culture, history and materials native to Peru are present at her debut Jarap’ay Collection, which applies the ancient textile tradition unique to Peru in contemporary heirloom jewellery which she calls the ‘Pearls of the Andes’.
The mercury-free gold used in her collections is the result of a collaboration with Don Pedro, a formal miner from Madre de Dios, the first ever mine-to-market purchase of mercury-free gold from the Peruvian Amazon.
Whilst Don Pedro taught her how to mine the gold at his Paolita II Concession, Andrea Jose shared her metalsmith skills with him. Using a regenerative perspective, this mining concession has been the first pilot to be reforested in the Amazonian region. Now, more miners are joining to this way of sourcing responsibly at the Amazon rainforest.
Every detail of the value chain is for Andrea Jose, the jewellery itself: from the community relationships with the miners, local goldsmiths and the ecosystem. Recently nominated as one of the Bright Young Gems Eco-Heroes 2021 by Retail Jeweller magazine, Andrea Jose is opening ways for what the new normal for the fine jewellery industry should be.