Founded by the Kornerup brothers in Copenhagen, Shamballa Jewels is dedicated to a balance of Eastern symbolism and Western luxury. Their macramé technique, combined with the highest quality precious stones and metals, is most evident in the collection’s signature Shamballa bracelet. We caught up with Copenhagen-based Creative Director Mads Kornerup in Paris to explore the jewellery’s mysticism and spiritual energy. -The Stone Set
“SHABALLA'S PHILOSOPHY IS THAT THE VALUE OF MATERIAL GOODS, JEWELRY INCLUDED, LIES NOT ONLY IN THE MATERIALS BUT IN THE EMOTIONS THEY EVOKE AND REPRESENT. Through my jewellery, I aim to encourage people to find their inner Shamballa—a mythical Himalayan Kingdom said to be populated by wise and compassionate people. I use many spiritual symbols in my designs, like the Buddhist Thunderbolt, the Tibetan Phurpa Knife that binds evil, rings inspired by Buddhist prayer wheels, pyramids, which have long been used across civilisations to find deeper meaning and for meditation. This is why my designs lay a lot of emphasis on customisation.
WHEN I WAS 19 AND IN BRAZIL, I FIRST GOT MESMERIZED BY GEMSTONES. I can’t remember a time when I was not interested in jewellery. In my early days, I dabbled in importing and designing silver jewellery. My brother and I had a teenage dream of a motorcycle road trip to sell jewellery across the USA. The trip never happened, but memories tell me that I always wanted to be a jeweller. In the 90’s, I travelled to Thailand, Nepal, India, Indonesia—it was just travelling, a bit of yoga and meditation. I was so fascinated by the ancient stories, that I felt the need to spread them further. I observed master goldsmiths and learned from them. My brother has always been a part of my jewellery dreams, so it was natural that he would join me to take care of the business.
THE MOST RECURRING MOTIF IS THE DOUBLE THUNDERBOLT WHICH IS OUR LOGO; WE CALL IT THE STAR OF SHAMBALLA. It is a powerful symbol for irresistible force in Oriental cultures. It represents pure consciousness, a state that cannot be destroyed or corrupted and has no beginning or end. To me, it signifies the irresistible force created when creativity springs in a pure, conscious mind. I believe this creative force is found in everyone.
I AM HUMBLED AND AMAZED THAT GREAT MASTERS OF DESIGN SUCH AS KARL LAGERFELD, VALENTINO, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG AND OTHERS CHOOSE TO WEAR MY JEWELLERY. They like that it can be personalised, so each piece is unique, and furthermore, meaningful. Perhaps they like that our jewellery encourages people to explore the possibility of being; to breathe and explore a deeper personal meaning.” -Mads Kornerup, Creative Director, Shamballa Jewels.
Photography by Stefania Yarhi.