Salinar Journal’s Inspiration from Peru

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My inspiration is drawn from articles I read or visuals I am exposed to at various points in my life. I am deeply fascinated by history and the vast array of traditional and ancient cultures and crafts our planet holds. This lures me in and from here ideas spark.

In a recent interview with Positive Luxury I was asked ‘where does your inspiration come from?’ This is difficult for me to say, it seems to come from outside of me. Elisabeth Gilbert defines this best in her Ted Talk “Your Elusive creative genius.” She explains that creators are not genius themselves but in connection with a kind of genius outside themselves. This seems strange and somewhat awkward to explain, but this is also how I feel the creativity process transpires!

"Creators are not genius themselves but in connection with a kind of genius outside themselves."

Most noteworthy is the Salinar journal boasting a sliding clasp design originating from a jewellery design from the pre-columbian era in northern Peru.

Pre-Columbian Jewellery Inspiration

I was inspired by an elegant and very delicate crescent nose ring from northern Peru, a “nariguera” (nasal ornament), from the 1st century B.C. The nasal ornaments were very widespread jewels. Those in gold were reserved for the elite: tribal leaders and spiritual leaders. Worn only by men, the “narigueras” were hooked to the nasal septum and covered the lower part of the face. If a cacique, tribal leader from this era, had the urge to yawn during an official ceremony, his dignity was saved by his nose ornament!


This kind of jewellery is evidence of the high level of craftsmanship that existed among metalworkers during the pre-columbian period. Peru’s greatest developments in weaving, pottery, agriculture, religion and architecture were marked in the Early Horizon period, about 850 B.C. to 100 A.D. Short-lived and poorly understood, the Salinar culture has an important place in Peruvian history.

Peru Inspiration
Gold nose ornament - picture from the Metropolitan Museum of art
Peru Inspiration Newar Artisans
First designed as earrings, and later transformed as a sliding clasp for the Salinar journal

Together with a team of Nepali artisans, we developed the design further and transposed this onto brass.  Three different designs, as shown above, were delicately handcrafted by the metal-smiths using their traditional skill and ancestry know-how. 

The final design (middle-top) was chosen based on which I found to be most balanced. Furthermore, I selected hemp weave due to its coarse texture and as a result, a beautiful contrast of textures and cultures meet.

I relish the links of cultures. The Salinar Journal, in design, is inspired by an ancient culture from the other side of the world and made in Nepal by such skilled artisans.

With its coarse hemp weave cover adorned with a golden hand-carved clasp, wrapping soft and fibrous inner Daphne paper, this unique journal retains the rugged chic of ancient Latin America.



About Marina Vaptzarova

From Himalayan traditions to the trends of Paris Marina Vaptzarova designs celebrate a meeting of the old and the new. Marina Vaptzarova’s exquisite collections are the expression of dedicated quality and exceptional craftsmanship. The brand actively works towards maintaining a sustainable trade on an environmental, economical and social level. Marina Vaptzarova has recently been awarded the Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury.

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