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African Design Roots in Shimmering Sculptural Jewellery

Fluid, sculptural pieces formed out of shimmering gold and silver metals combined with African design are defining characteristics of Algerian designer, Taher Chemirik’s striking jewellery pieces, which include bold, oversized cuffs and giant links that form statement chokers. Hailing from a family of designers, Taher describes his upbringing as ‘unconventional’, and cites his sources of inspiration as being his African roots, Oriental sophistication, modern art, and the antiques he collects in Paris’ famed flea markets; the city he now calls home.
[Image credit: Choker – Taher Chemirik/Artsy]

After studying architecture in Algeria, Taher left his home country for Paris where he studied Fine Art. Upon graduation the designer worked for the Opera de Paris designing costumes and accessories. A desire to learn more about jewellery making saw Taher leave the comfort of another respected design job to become an apprentice at a traditional Parisian jewellery atelier, where he learnt many secrets of the highly-skilled trade. Following his apprenticeship Taher’s work was noticed by Karl Largerfeld, who invited him to collaborate on a project, marking the first of many such collaborations with leading international designers. Handcrafted by Taher himself, every piece produced is stamped with a signature mark to ensure authenticity, and is crafted using precious metals: gold, sterling silver and platinum; and materials such as ebony wood, which are all then set with Tahitian pearls, and gemstones including tourmalines, rubies, emeralds, quartz and chalcedony in an array of vivid colours, with a sprinkling of diamonds added for extra sophistication.
[Image credits: top, Cuff via La Petite Blog
bottom, Cuff – Taher Chemirik/Artsy]
In addition to his own eponymous brand, Taher also designs jewellery, accessories and silverware collections for Parisian Maisons. Taher’s jewellery is also part of the permanent collection at the Musee National des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and in 2007 the designer was honoured with a listing in Time magazine’s ‘The Design 100’. In another nod to his architectural training Taher Chemirik has recently designed an elegant range of interior furniture, which echoes his sculptural jewellery designs in form and structure and includes a brass screen, and a coffee table made from brass, and topped with sardonyx hard stone.
[Image credit: Pathway Coffee Table – Taher Chemirik/Artsy]
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For further information about Taher Chemirik visit:

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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