An interview with Verda Alaton from TOHUM
Let us introduce you to Verda Alaton, a jewellery designer whose label, TOHUM, was founded in 2008. Having lived between Istanbul, Switzerland and New York her jewellery is heavily inspired by other cultures mainly African adornment. There’s are very natural and organic look in all the pieces that have been created, using a range of stones including semiprecious, rock crystal and antique shells. This allows the price range of her collection to be wide. Starting from £180. Every design is a bespoke piece, handcrafted using traditional techniques following the character of each stone to express individual character.
Verda is often commissioned to make one-off gifts for loved ones, she tries to ensure the pieces suit the wearer and somehow reflect their personality. Her jewellery is very personal, which is why an item would be such a thoughtful gift.
Why did you want to go down the jewellery route?
Jewellery is one of the most striking ways to express ourself, it shows our values, way of living, at times our beliefs, shows about our character – if we are introverted, confident, daring. We can have a plain style in clothing but our choice of jewellery will tell much about ourselves.
Where does the name Tohum come from?
Tohum means “seed” in Turkish. It symbolises the very simple and individual thing in nature. Each seed will flourish uniquely, just the way we are all unique in the universe, each TOHUM design is unique in its material, crafting and design. There will never be the same piece again. So each wearer will have a unique piece to her/himself. Rather than trends, I believe in the individual expression of the self. Each wearer will choose the piece (size, shape, material, colour) that matches with her/his character, style and soul.
Which is your favourite piece of jewellery?
My favorite jewellery has got to be rings, as we talk with our hands – it is one of the most expressive part of our bodies. I like to adorn hands and make them talk. Hands will tell much about ourselves. Body adornment is all about personal expression. Although I love to design mostly rings, I do also design necklaces, bracelets, earrings and cufflinks.
Why did you take inspiration from African art?
African art is very strongly connected to nature. All materials in African art are natural, handcrafted in a unique way and is extremely expressive. Arts are made to be part of daily life and passed through generations. I love the philosophy behind it. Africa, all together is very pure and unique. Life is fully connected to nature. With the philosophy behind TOHUM, I aim to bring people as close to nature as possible in a humble, pure and unique way.
To learn more or to buy pieces from Verda’s current collection click here.