BASEL, March 20, 2010 – Munich-based designer Tamara Comolli outlined her passion for Ocean Jasper and the adventure in Madagascar which led to the stone featuring in her Hippie Glam collection.
“In September 2008 I began looking for new gemstone material with a natural, wild character that would suit my Bohemian style,” Comolli told the Baselworld Daily News in an interview.
“I looked for suitable material in Asia, both at the fair in Bangkok and in Hong Kong.
“I only found what I was looking for on the last day.”
Comolli added, “They were raw stones, wild and crazy and yet natural at the same time. I decided to have them cut.”
ADVENTURE IN MADAGASCAR
Comolli found out that the stones were from Madagascar.
“Luckily I knew a gemstone cutter in Madagascar. We visited him and set off to find the material. It was a real adventure.”
Comolli chartered a plane and a boat to get to an old, collapsed mine in an impenetrable area.
“This jasper is called Ocean Jasper, because the finest deposits are located below the shoreline and can only be extracted at low tide,” she said.
“Boats are loaded, then wait on the sand for the tide to turn so that they can transport the raw stones to the port and then on to the gemstone cutter.”
Asked what makes Ocean Jasper so special to her, Comolli said, “There are transparent, semi-transparent and opaque elements all in one stone.”
She said, “No two stones are alike and that is what makes it so special to me.”
Comolli said she sought Ocean Jasper for her Hippie Glam collection.
“It was deliberate,” she said. “I had an image of a wild hippie stone in my mind and a casual collection.”
Baselworld, a leading watches and jewellery trade fair, runs from March 18 to 25.