The one-of-a-kind clutch bags by Brazilian jeweller Silvia Furmanovich are mini marvels of marquetry. The result of a labour-intensive, month-long process, each is made of sustainably sourced wood from the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, with Furmanovich’s vibrant images translated into detailed wooden forms by artisans in the remote Brazilian state of Acre.
Designed in close collaboration with a client, the colourful clutches ($5,000-$7,000) begin with a theme – insects, flowers, far-flung travels or even the facets of gemstones – before the design is set, then pressed and curved into such woods as red muirapiranga, yellow tatajuba, purple roxinho and azul carvalho. Shapes vary from rectangles to octagons, with bright hues (deep reds, aubergines and brilliant yellows) – a Furmanovich trademark. Back in Furmonovich’s São Paulo atelier, finishing touches range from shells to precious stones such as vivid tourmalines, topazes, citrines and fire opals, all set in 18ct gold.
Recent commissions have included a sleek butterfly clutch accented with citrines and tourmalines in unusual shades of rose green; one depicting celestial skies in inky blue and black marquetry, with an intricate mother-of-pearl inlay depicting a luminous moon; as well as a geometric emerald-inspired poche with a spectacular cabochon tourmaline clasp. Clear diamonds are another starting point for Furmanovich, involving a more neutral palette of black, white and grey, while her signature scarab designs are also popular.