EP. 03 - Amani Al-Kidwa

 
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For this episode I’ve invited Amani Al-Kidwa, a Jewellery Designer & Maker working and living in London. She’s the founder of Najwa Studios, which collections are inspired by the emotional power of the things we choose to adorn ourselves with in our daily lives. I met Amani on Instagram few years ago. We initially admired each others work until having the opportunity to meet and pose for her 1st lookbook while I was living in London.
I am pleased to introduce you to Amani’s fascinating and deeply authentic work, informed by her strong interest in traditional craft practices, especially North African and Middle Eastern jewellery traditions, paired with an ongoing fascination with the mysticism and mythology that surround the body.
Enjoy the interview.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

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AMANI’S QUOTES

It’s funny how it was always there but I didn’t think it was a serious thing to do (at the time), so I didn’t explore it.
— ON CHILDHOOD PASSIONS
The making part of my process and the reflecting part of my process need to be very separate, so I give myself time to make without thinking too much or trying not to judge what I make.
— ON THE CREATIVE PROCESS
There’s a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves by thinking that everything we make needs to be good enough to share or sell. It’s very unrealistic. You’re not a machine. Not everything you make is gonna be amazing. It’s a normal part of the creative process to make things you don’t like.
— ON OVERCOMING IMPERFECTION

TOPICS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE

  • The influence of her multicultural background on her creativity

  • How developing an interest for Middle Eastern & North African craft practices (textile, ceramic, jewellery) helped her reconnect to her heritage

  • How her mother cultivated her kids’ creativity

  • Initial interest for biology & genetics

  • Moving to London 10 years ago to study Design at Central Saint Martins

  • Her career shift as a Pastry Chef

  • The vulnerability of giving up a secure job to go back to school full-time

  • Her organic transition between Textile Design studies to Jewellery making

  • Her strong interest for small scale and durable materials

  • The tendency we have to drop childhood passions during teenage years for validation

  • The inspiration behind her jewellery collections

  • The apprentice habit: cultivating the habit of reaching out to people you want

  • Slow living & conscious buying

  • Small businesses solidarity

  • Interest for terroir (local materials) in food & in craft practices

  • Her love/hate relationship with social media

  • Her creative process

  • The trap of oversharing : producing to be seen


RESSOURCES

Amani’s favourite food spots in London:


MORE INFO ABOUT AMANI