“Every built space is made for you to experience it… and everyone experiences it in their own unique way.”
Compelled by her burning passion for travel and discovering new things the world, Beirut-based jewelry designer Talar Manoukian arrived at TUMO Studios in the sun-splashed summer of 2018 to lead an atelier. Fusing metal and concrete to create their own hybridized pieces of jewelry, students used a variety of sources to convey their emotions in their designs. After strolling around the crowded streets of Yerevan, each student selected an architectural space that spoke to them, sparking a 10-day creative journey that ultimately culminated in a one-of-a-kind TUMO Studios collection.
Throwing convention to the wind by using industrial materials that the average person doesn’t typically associate with fine jewelry, Talar and her all-encompassing approach to design forces the wearer to look at materials like concrete in a new light. Starting with a wide range of ideas and inspirations, the young student designers embraced their urban, man-made surroundings to soulfully share their own connections with their city, expressing human emotion through their modern, minimalist collections. “They transformed what moves them into something tangible, something that they can wear on their bodies that coalesces into this very intimate experience between the wearer and the piece, an extension of the wearer’s own layered personality,” explains Talar.
Before they knew it, the 10-day atelier had come to an end, with Talar sad to say goodbye to the city and to her students. “I arrived at TUMO Studios to lead this atelier, but I left with an unfathomably deep well of new experiences and new inspirations,” recounts Talar. “As much I was able to give to my students, they returned the favor threefold. My short time there brought me so much closer to my culture, allowing me to discover new things that I hadn’t known before. And the spirit of the girls in the workshop was indescribable, we became a family. We cared for each other, we helped each other. I felt at home. I felt like I belonged.”