At the age of 12, Sevan Bıçakçı began an apprenticeship with a goldsmith in Istanbul. By the age of 18, he began working as a jewelry artist in the city’s Grand Bazaar, where he soon earned a reputation as the local “problem solver”—no technique or setting was too difficult for him to take on. Today, Sevan Bıçakçı is world-renowned for his award-winning jewelry designs, many of which incorporate labor-intensive ancient crafts such as metal-based painting, engraving, calligraphy, reverse intaglio carving, and micromosaic settings.
Now, for the first time in his decades-long career, Bıçakçı is debuting a collection inspired by a location outside his home city. The new Colección Paraiso was inspired by locales in the Caribbean and consists of 50 one-of-a-kind pieces, many of which play with colorful parrots, tropical flowers, and scenes on the streets of Havana, Cuba. To truly appreciate Bıçakçı’s designs, one should look closely. Magnificent details in each of his pieces reveal themselves upon closer inspection. In this new collection, notice the precise petal striations on a blooming hibiscus or the vibrant colors on the cheeks of a green parrot—an effect that is the result of layers of color painted onto a reverse intaglio (a gemstone carved from the inside), a signature feat of Bıçakçı’s that creates enchanting depth.
Some of the new collection’s standouts include a pair of cufflinks in 24-karat yellow and rose gold and sterling silver with parrots covered with colored diamonds, rubies, and sapphires ($15,500), and a reverse intaglio carved citrine parrot ring in 24-karat yellow gold and sterling silver, made with a multicolored micromosaic ($26,650).
Each of his new pieces can take between three months and a year to complete, with a single design possibly passing through the hands of as many as eight artisans (including Sevan) who assist with carving, painting, stone-setting, and molding.