Ana Barbu recipient of AUTOR Awesome Award goes to ALCHIMIA School

Ana Barbu recipient of AUTOR Awesome Award goes to ALCHIMIA School

Ana Barbu recipient of AUTOR Awesome Award goes to ALCHIMIA School 550 367 Dautor

AUTOR Fair 2016 continues the approach started three years ago and rewards the most emerging and talented contemporary jewellery artists among those selected to exhibit at the fair.


The Autor Awesome Award is designed to help an emerging young artist to develop both conceptual and technical skills. The award is offered in partnership with Alchimia Jewellery School and consists of a two-week intensive course in Florence, Italy.

The winner of the 2016 edition is Ana Barbu | Uzura, who has seduced the public with her constant creative approach and convinced the jury of her seriousness with a unique, strongly personal and atypical jewellery collection. The author continues to aim to support young contemporary jewellery creation by generating awards and contexts designed to boost young up-and-coming designers. Below, Ana shares how her encounter with Alchimia went and what aspects stood out from the whole experience:

Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School was for me a kind of Mecca of solutions, in a context where lately I was still looking for a more refined solution to turn trash into gold. Before I got there, I was attached to a rather hasty way of working, in which I observe an object, clean it, try to make it more resistant and then mount it in a precious metal, usually silver. Save and exit. Most of my work was, not designing, but collecting. I can’t say that the two weeks in Florence radically changed this way of working, but it definitely gave me a new perspective and gave me, I think, many of the solutions I was looking for.

At the beginning of the workshops, I presented a portfolio and an intention, and the teachers of the intensive courses, Lavinia Rossetti and Marzia Rossi, suggested a direction to work in, namely experimenting on the material and exacerbating the attention when it comes to the technical details of the jewellery. In addition to general recommendations on how the material can be treated, I learned many tricks that aesthetically benefit my method. Marzia and Lavinia reacted very well to my style and knew exactly what I could learn; as was the case for all six students on the intensive course, who each received a personalised course.

In terms of equipment I stuck to basic tools, as you don’t need a large number of tools to produce a good design, and for complicated procedures that require special equipment, Alchimia recommends either specialising in those areas or going to specialists.

An impressive amount of information packed into a one-hour-a-week meeting, I got from Doris Maninger, one of the school’s founders. Doris has over 20 years of jewellery experience and at a glance can uncover the problems with a piece of jewellery and the solutions that can make it perfect; even a simple chat with her can be revealing.

The trip to Florence, a city of traditional craftsmanship, was an integral learning experience. After classes, we visited numerous workshops that have refined their methods over several generations and chatted with artisans in various fields, wood, paper, finishing, restoration, as well as passionate collectors. I learned for the umpteenth time that there is no quick and easy way, only patience and perseverance.”