Jewelry Designer and founder, Fernanda Sibilia.
From blowtorch to paintbrush, Fernanda Sibilia has been manipulating metals for years: first at Argentina’s prestigious Escuela Municipal de Joyeria, and thereafter for her namesake jewelry line, established in 1996. The Aesthetic Movement partner recently upgraded to a large new studio and workshop in the La Paternal neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Sibilia channels the country’s culture and expert craftsmanship into dramatic, hand-shaped pieces inspired by Latin American art movements and architecture. Below Fernanda shares with A/M some details about the new space, and the process behind developing her unique products. We’re looking forward to seeing all of the new designs that this expansion brings, as this beautiful collection continues to grow.
All images courtesy of Sibilia.
Q&A with fernanda sibilia
Tell us a little about the studio move — what drove needing a new space?
Sibilia has grown consistently in recent years, and our former studio didn’t fit us anymore. We needed a new space, with plenty of light and possibilities to work together as a team.
The new one is located in the La Paternal neighborhood of Buenos Aires. There are many body shops and big spaces, and some of them have become new art and design studios. It’s emerging — full of energy, mixing tradition and trend — a new art and design district that is developing in our lovely city.
A painter adds the finishing touches to a Sibilia bracelet.
Are all of the Sibilia pieces designed and produced in this new location?
Yes! All of our products are handmade entirely in our new studio, where we manage everything from design and production to shipping. We don’t work with stock. Each piece is made to order, and that’s what makes them unique.
Where do you find inspiration for jewelry and other products?
It’s easy to find inspiration in a city like Buenos Aires! For the new collection we were inspired by the malleable lines of Surrealist art's biomorphic forms. We experimented with concepts of persistent memory, dripping clocks, and time which melts away. We also drew off of Fauvist references and Matisse's unique use of colour and shape. Transgressive forms which go beyond simple mimicry. Bright, vivid colours dominate the collection with a botanical-inspired fern green, Yves Klein Blue, coral and vintage monochrome, milky off-white, and soot-black.
Tools from the Sibilia studio.
“All of our products are handmade entirely in our new studio; each piece is made to order, and that’s what makes them unique.”
Fernanda’s nephew Julian, a member of the design team, constructs a mobile from the SS19 collection.
What is the process of bringing a piece of Sibilia to life?
When we have a concept of what the next collection is going to be about, we do a lot of research to explore the best possibilities. We start to play with shapes, paper, metal, colors, family groups, pictures, and catalogs until we get to a place that really satisfies us.
At that point we start making “las fichas,” or the definitive statement on how each piece is going to be reproduced, which explains the many processes that will take part in the production. Finally, we make a selection of the best new designs, and that’s when a new collection is born.
An office space within the new Sibilia workshop and studio.
“We start to play with shapes, paper, metal, colors, family groups, pictures, and catalogs until we get to a place that really satisfies us.”
Fernanda Sibilia, and members of her team, working within the new space.
You seem to have a great group working with you. Can you share more about the people and their roles?
Now we are 15. Some have been working at Sibilia for 20 years!
The new studio has three floors. On the ground floor we have our secret garden — the social area — as well as production. This is where Ezequiel, our Production Manager, works with the artisans that are making all of the metal pieces. On the next floor is where “las pintoras,” the painters, work. These are art and design students, and the ones who apply the magic to the pieces. On the same floor is where Debora, our Assembly & Quality Manager, works with her team to do just that — assemble all the pieces, check that everything is perfect, and prepare the shipping boxes for our customers.
The third floor is my special place, where I work with Maria, Florentina, and my nephew Julian. Together we create and design all of our collections. And close to us, on the same floor, is where our Operations Director Flavia works.
Lastly — how do you know when it’s time to expand upon your current offering?
Always!! We can’t stop creating new things! We just showed our latest collection in Paris during fashion week, and it was really fun.
The ground floor of the Sibilia studio.
“The stairs connect each floor to the other, and the glass roof is a source of daylight and shadow. They make the studio a living place.”