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Amna Shariff

The cultures of the subcontinent expressed in filigree

For centuries, Lahore, Pakistan, has had a tradition of producing uniquely artful adornments, be they textiles for the home or wearable goods suitable for the most important ceremonies. This resplendently creative region continues to dazzle locals and visitors alike, thanks to artists like Amna Shariff, a master jeweler based in Lahore. Shariff’s elaborate jewelry is full of mystery and symbolism, like a “Three Metals Amulet,” a necklace comprising gold, silver, and rose gold, and representative of prosperity for Buddhists. Elsewhere, the artist embellishes her symbolic and beautiful work with gleaming gemstones like lapis lazuli, coral, and turquoise.

Shariff’s workshop, established in 2001, is a small but all-encompassing, one-of-a-kind facility in Lahore—if not in the whole of Pakistan—where manufacturing begins with raw material and ends with a ready-for-market, finished product. From making pure silver into sterling silver, to fabricating a designed piece, to polishing and finishing, all of this is done under one roof.

For nearly twenty years, Shariff has worked tirelessly to develop a team of artisans focused on reviving the lost craft of traditional silver jewelry in Pakistan. “I’m interested in starting a new vernacular in silver jewelry,” explains Shariff, “which is deeply rooted in the ancient tradition of the Indus Valley Civilization to the Mughal Era, where many of my own traditions hail from.” In addition to managing her bustling workshop, for the last few years, Shariff has traveled extensively to share her art with others. She regularly works as a visiting faculty member of the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design.