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Turning coal into jewelry

By Ashwaq Al-Tuwairqi

A young Saudi fashion designer has mastered the art of turning coal into exquisite, graceful and aesthetic jewelry.
Lutfi Bondquji has launched a series of new accessories and jewelries. Dubbed “Oil Accessories,” the Hejazi designer is using coal to make the jewelry. The coal is first polished and the molded coal pieces are then covered with a glossy insulating material. The final pieces are then combined with the metal ones to take the new shapes of jewelry pieces. The final product: modern and unique jewelry.

Bondquji faced several difficulties in her work, especially when molding coal pieces. “I had to spend a long time to get to my desired design and shape. You’ll notice that the design of my accessories is unique. I don’t copy them. Besides, I adorn the accessories with precious stones to add an extra edge to them,” she said.
When dealing with a big lump of coal that she got from a mine in Madinah, Bondquji encountered several problems:  She had to break it apart into small pieces using special tools. She reshaped the small bits into a collar-shaped piece that can be put on around the neck.
As a designer, Bonquji hopes one day she will develop her accessories into valuable gold pieces and write on them ‘Made in Makkah’.
“I make sure all my designs have the feeling of our beautiful past. The heritage is finely blended with modernity to cater to the varied tastes of Saudi women,” she said.
Her advice to other female designers: Focus on materials from the environment and use them in your jewelry and gold products judiciously.

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