Sundus Talpur’s jewellery is fragile yet sculptural, inspired by the textures and folds of ancient fabrics that form part of the designer’s culturally rich Pakistani heritage. Each engraved warp and weft lends the work a distinct individuality, and leafing through her embroidery and lace-inspired designs is like uncovering delicate layers of history.We are excited to be stocking her range of sterling silver, hand-crafted pieces.
Sundus was born and brought up in Karachi, the daughter of jewellery designer Saba Talpur. Growing up she spent a lot of time in her mother’s studio, which clearly influenced her. She explains; “I was fascinated watching my mother design her jewellery, and to a child’s eyes it looked like play that ended up with gorgeous piece of jewellery. I would go to her store right from school and spend the rest of the day there, but I never imagined I would end up in the same field.”
In fact, Sundus first studied as a sculptor. She graduated from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2013 and planned to pursue a career in this field.However, one project set her on a different course.
She was experimenting with sculpting portraits in lace, working in her mother’s workshop and collaborating with a metalsmith. She cast one portrait into sterling silver and “as an avid maker by nature, this merging of sculpting and goldsmithing techniques made me curious about creating jewellery pieces”
She then made a gold ear cuff, which was inspired by woven textiles, and cast in 21k gold. This marked the beginning of her journey with jewellery.
Sundus started work as a jewellery designer for her mother’s brand and store Aura Art Jewellery and in 2014 launched her first collection of 22k gold hand-sculpted jewellery in Karachi.
She took things further, studying for a year at Central Saint Martins in London, where she graduated in 2017 with an MA in jewellery design.Then she headed back to her home country.
She says, “I went back almost immediately. I absolutely loved my time in London, but I have a huge family in Pakistan and couldn’t wait to get back into that madness. Plus all my production is there, from my casters to my textile artisans, and I knew I had a market waiting for me to come back to, so I returned and relaunched my brand”
Sundus shakes off any comparisons with her mother. Although they’re both jewellery designers and each uses precious metals, that is where the similarity ends. Her mother’s work is classic, with a focus on gemstones and diamonds, while Sundus focusses on the metal and is more abstract. As Sundus says “our design language is completely different”
Although their brands are connected and they share the same physical store, they create and sell individually. Sundus works at home, in a little corner dedicated to her jewellery work. She sources her silver locally from artisans in Karachi, with no middle men.
Her creative process is as individual as her designs. She either dips the textile in wax or layers the modelling wax onto the fabric before sculpting the metal into its shape. She then carves, etches, chisels, and works with both the wax and textile model until the texture of the fabric is completely visible. She uses the wax casting to cast them into gold or silver, a method that preserves the detail and texture, whilst giving a solid metal piece.
She says, “I love to use precious metals, as my work focuses on the metal and its ability to take any form or shape, while reflecting any texture I need. Each piece is hand made, and requires a lot of time and effort, which is why I cast in a precious metal; gold or sterling silver.”
For the past five or six years Sundus has crafted with gold but this sterling silver collection – the one we are stocking – is something new, perhaps an ode to how it all started, inspired by those earliest steps into jewellery making. Sundus has once again returned to the face for inspiration, creating a line that echoes the fine lines of portraits, tracing silhouettes and features in delicately realised textures.Jewellery with soul, a sense of history, and a heady flavour of the country in which it was made.