Cyntia Tomi’s lines are influenced by two diverse cultures – distinct architecture of Brazil and stark minimalism that defines Japanese aesthetics.
Cyntia Tomi’s ruminations in gold and silver are informed by her Japanese roots. Minimalism and geometry meld with architectural inspirations from the city she grew up in – Brasília. “Brasília was built in the 1950s – 1960s to be the capital of Brazil. It was built under the influence of Concretism Art, which emphasises geometrical abstraction. Brasília is a planned city, modern, with an unusual architecture – I think my work represents the combination of the modern architecture that has surrounded me since my childhood and the minimalism seen in Japanese culture,” says the designer.
“I grew up loving jewellery, mostly, because of my maternal grandmother. Although she never could afford any jewellery, she always admired the collections whenever we went to a mall. She particularly loved emeralds and pearls. Growing up, my mother always gifted my sister and I with 18-karat gold jewellery,” she adds.
In 2000, Cyntia’s husband won a scholarship to study art restoration in Florence. “Florence is rich in the history of jewellery making and there are very good jewellery schools there and that caught my attention,” says Cyntia. She enrolled at the Le Arti Orafe Institute. “I particularly loved the lessons on jewellery history and the classes where we were encouraged to create our own pieces. Geometry was very challenging; I had a hard time picturing the objects in 3D,” she notes.
Cyntia launched her namesake jewellery brand in 2017 – a few years after she moved back to Brazil.
Fences, her debut collection, saw her employ parallel lines connected by gemstones. This she felt would make the pieces look bigger without using a lot of gold. “I searched for “modern fences” on the internet and found so many beautiful and different shapes,” says Cyntia, who used gemstones like agate in various colours, rubellite and small diamonds in the line.
“I love the Bauhaus architecture and design. My inspiration for the new designs come from many sources – objects, architecture, geometrical shapes, fashion, and art works,” she explains. “I always try to find balance in the geometric shapes in my work. Many of the pieces I create feature mainly of 18-karat gold. Gemstones are usually just the detail on the piece adding to the contrast on the material.”
The Colours of Brazil collection – set with citrine, garnet, amethyst, sky topaz, peridot and London Topaz – is an homage to her country, while the Maze collection is a result of creative experiments with parallel lines. The shapes in the Maze series were inspired especially by the ones built in European gardens, points out the designer. “For this collection, I decided to use gemstones that had some transparency.” Crafted in yellow gold, the pieces featuring arcs and circles are punctuated with diamond and green beryl.
Working with gold has been challenging owing to the high cost of the material, observes Cyntia. That’s where silver comes into play – Frestas and Pages collections, made in sterling silver, thus have a bit of volume. “I free myself from any concerns about the cost of gold when working with silver. I love silver and use it with crystal rock to make big, heavy pieces.” The Pages Cristal ring is one of her best sellers in silver.
Many businesses were impacted by the pandemic; Cyntia, too, had her share of challenges to overcome. She wisely steered clear of trunk shows and trade events last year, while still growing her business and seeking new retailers.
“I joined the La Maison Couture platform in London. I’m a huge fan of Tania McNab (its founder) and felt very fortunate to be part of her project. I also started working with Agency Connect after being introduced by Larissa Moraes, a very talented jewellery designer from Brazil. They represent my brand and show my work to important buyers globally. The agency offers me great professional advice on how to better present my work in order to fulfill buyer expectations. Their expertise is teaching me so much more about the international jewellery market,” adds Cyntia.