- Lonali Rodrigo and ALKE Founder Sara Nazoor collab to upcycle sea glass
By Venessa Anthony
Lonali Rodrigo’s House of Lonali, being a pioneer in upcycling, is working with new-generation brands to design a better future together, bringing together a collection of upcycled jewellery that celebrates collaboration. The jewellery items in the latest such collaboration include rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces that are made out of sea glass and brass. Each piece is uniquely handcrafted by jewellery artist Sara Nazoor from the brand ALKE.
The Morning Brunch caught up with Lonali Rodrigo and Sara Nazoor on the collaboration and how it came to be.
Speaking on the idea of turning sea glass into jewellery, Lonali said: “I was given a bottle made from sea glass by one of my mentors in 2012, who sadly passed away, and ever since then, I’ve been collecting sea glass.”
Over the years, she had quite the collection, and thought she should create something with it, which is when inspiration struck for the jewellery collection. When she met Sara, she realised that she would be the perfect person to upcycle this seaglass with her.
“I always knew I wanted to do something with the glass, but it took about 10 years for me to come up with an idea and get started on it,” she added.
Sara has always worked with recycled materials, and when Lonali reached out to her for a collaboration, she was excited, as sea glass was something she had never worked with before.
Right now, the jewellery collection features over 40 designs. Giving us more insight into the collection, Sara described that it includes long necklaces, chokers, and various earring designs. “Each piece is unique – no two pieces of sea glass are alike, so every piece is something we can never recreate,” Sara added.
When speaking about the inspiration behind the designs, Lonali explained that when they upcycle, they are usually inspired by the material – in this case, the sea glass. “The glass, the shape, the colour, the texture were all sources of inspiration for us,” Lonali stated, with Sara adding: “We looked at the material, and usually, when we upcycle, we want to give prominence to that material, like where it comes from and other deciding factors.” That is what inspired the textures, shapes, and designs of this jewellery collection.
Explaining a bit more about the creative process, Lonali told us that with sea glass, you can see the original letters that come embedded on the glass bottles, so even though sea glass is essentially naturally weathered pieces of glass, which often have the appearance of tumbled stone, the origin of the bottle was hard to miss.
“When upcycling, we wanted to stay true to its origins, and we attempted to retain the beauty of what it is, rather than break it down into smaller pieces or newer shapes. We wanted it to have the feel of a glass bottle, as an ode to what it once was,” Lonali informed us. In the end, they ended up creating abstract pieces that stayed true to their original form. To Sara, this is a method of expression that showcases the places from which the material she is working with originated.
Lonali added that working with seaglass was a new and exciting venture for her, saying that if people want to collect sea glass to transform it into something new, they absolutely should. “It’s a lovely raw material and I want to encourage more people to collect it,” she said.
In the future, she added, the duo might be able to help people turn their collections of sea glass into pieces of jewellery, or even teach them how to make such jewellery out of sea glass. Currently, they told us that the unique and limited pieces are now available online and at The Design Collective.
Both Lonali and Sara noted that there is so much possibility that could come out of this collaboration, and that they have many exciting plans for the future. The two are very keen to see where this goes, and note that the possibilities are endless.