The beauty of the eye has inspired jewellery designers since ancient times — most commonly in the form of an amulet that protects the wearer from evil. Cora Sheibani now gives the theme a contemporary twist with her Eyes collection, which is inspired by eyes throughout nature.
The large and captivating eyes of owls inspire one pair of earrings, the upper halves of which are engraved with the lines of the creature’s comical eyebrow. The eye patterns on a butterfly’s wing, which protect it from its predators, inspire a brooch that doubles as a pendant. Human eyes are also represented; in one weighty gold ring, a giant blue tanzanite twinkles like an eye from every angle.
Whatever their inspiration, the pieces share a common aesthetic — one of bright hues, clean lines and high-polished gold. “It’s very much about shapes. It’s very graphic, and it’s also very much about colour," says Sheibani, the Swiss-born, London-based designer who is also known for her playful interpretations of cacti, copper baking molds and ice cream cones.
The off-kilter eyes of her Picasso ring and the wide colour spectrum of gemstones — from pastel zircons to purple amethyst to yellow beryl — reflect an artist having fun with her creations. “Animals have all different-coloured eyes, so I didn’t restrict myself," she says. “It was good to experiment with different stones and different silhouettes. It makes the collection much more diverse."