Aalia Mujtaba

Clarkston, GA | Exhibiting Since 2024

Handmade objects collected from a global upbringing occupied all corners of my childhood home. Earthenware from Panama with its crisp geometric surface design. Paisley patterned shawls from Peshawar, ornate and fluid. My woodworker mother’s handmade furniture – a tribute to her South Asian heritage. I grew up absorbed in the patterns and materials that filled my view, tracing the artist’s mark in each piece with my eyes and hands. Many years later, after the birth of my son, I found myself living back in that house, rocking him in his grandmother’s old mahogany chair, studying the mirror work in a tapestry as he cooed at the reflections it made on the ceiling. Seeing the same objects through his eyes inspired me to create art that seeks to harmonize past and future and honors the reinvention inherent in immigrant experiences. From that threshold, I share my own sense of discovery and belonging and hope it will help wearers connect with the beauty that is present in all people and places.

My work begins in my sketchbook. I complete several drafts of design, seeking harmony by fine-tuning the arc of a curve or angle of a line. Once the design is finalized, I use a mixture of traditional fabrication methods and modern cutting, casting or printing techniques to realize the design in metal, accenting with precious and semi precious gemstones.

The Protractor Collection is inspired by symbols and pictographs. The designs are wearable glyphs, emblematic of the human experience and reminders of the strength, resilience, and creativity required for the journey. The collection features gender-neutral mixed metal accessories that are graphic and bold with rhythmic patterns and shapes.

I’m happy to be a part of the metalsmithing community in Atlanta and beyond. I assist talented fine jewelry designer, Lainey Papageorge of Elaina Designs, and have been teaching metalsmithing at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center for fifteen years. I’m a member of the Metal Arts Guild of Georgia, the American Craft Council and Society of North American Goldsmiths. In 2021 I was the recipient of New York City Jewelry Week’s (NYCJW) Emerging Entrepreneur Award.