Rania Elkalla: Founder of “Shell Homage”

Rania Elkalla is an Egyptian industrial designer who designs and produces wonderful home accessories and small furniture. Not only the design of their products is special, but also the material from which Rania makes these accessories. I got to know Rania a few years ago when she came to Berlin with the intention of finding a university that would support her idea of ​​producing a biodegradable material from nut and egg shells as part of her master’s thesis. That sounded adventurous! I admired her courage and wished her good luck. Up to now she won several awards for her material, which does not contain any chemicals and is 100% biodegradable – including the Italian “A Design Award” 2016.

We have become friends over the years.From time to time we meet here in Berlin when Rania, who now lives in Cairo again, comes to Germany. Each time I meet her I am fascinated by her energy and charisma, which is absolutely convincing and inspires everybody for her project. Rania has now founded her own company: Shell Homage, with which she sells her products.

Last year she asked me to design a few pieces of jewelry to see if the material could be used in jewelry. The jewelry pieces which were born out of this cooperation are very beautiful. The material can be used easily for making jewelry. It can be worked with simple goldsmith tools and brought into shape. In addition it has a look reminiscent of stone, so that e.g. large earrings can be made that are wonderfully light. Only at a second glance you can see that the “stones” are not real. Rania gives her material a wide variety of colors by adding natural color pigments to the still liquid mass. The surface of this material is rough and uneven, each pressed plate is absolutely unique.

Rania has created a very special material that is trend-setting. In combination with her light and very modern designs, she creates very special accessories that are practical, stylish and last but not least environmentally friendly.

Follow the links to find out more about Rania Elkalla and her company “Shell Homage”:



Angelika Wolpert: Metalsmith, Jewelry Designer, Artist

On a rainy Friday, the 10th of November, I went to Kreuzberg towards the gallery of goldsmith and ethnologist Martina Dempf to listen to a lecture by Angelika Wolpert, as part of the exhibition “Made in Kreuzberg”, where a Photographer and five jewelry artists give an insight into their work.

Angelika Wolpert is a goldsmith, jewelry designer and artist. In her lecture she leads unpretentiously and approachable through her artistic work. She retrospectively looks back on her career and explains how she – although being a goldsmith – started to work with metal and ended up working with paper.
At the beginning of her career as a metalsmith Wolpert works with hollow bodies, which is the first indication that her work will move towards sculpture in the future. “I just did not want to do tin cans any more”, she describes her strong urge to work with a material that can be sculpted plastically. So she began to work with Pappmaschée, then she makes paper, which she painted first and then later mixed with color pigments. The result is a body of works that can be seen as gems as well as sculptures. Playfully she moves between larger sculptures and pieces of jewelry. She still likes the small format of the jewelry.

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