The Figueras family has historically had very close ties to the cultural and architectural movement of modernism in Barcelona
Arior was founded in 1968 by the painter, sculptor and jeweller Jordi Figueras i Bas (Barcelona, 1942). His career began in 1957, when he embarked on his artistic training at the Escola Massana, working on clay modelling. He juggled his studies and work, starting out as an apprentice at Serrahima’s old jewellery workshop.
After doing the rounds at different jewellery workshops, he decided to open a small workshop in the Gràcia neighbourhood, where he began to design, manufacture and distribute his jewellery.
The colour, shapes and Gaudí-inspired designs of his earliest collections were no coincidence. The Figueras family has historically had very close ties to the cultural and architectural movement of modernism in Barcelona;
proof of this is Casa Figueras, known as Torre Bellesguard. It was bought by Jordi’s great-grandmother, Maria Sagués i Molins in 1900, with the witness signature of Antoni Gaudí. Thanks to the friendship of her sons—Jordi’s grandfather and great-uncle, Francesc and Jaume Figueras i Sagués—with Gaudí, they commissioned him to design a summer home for them in this former fortress dating back to 1410, where Martin the Humane, the last Catalan king of the Kingdom of Aragon, established his residence. This house is considered to be the most personal and intimate work by Gaudí, as the relationship between the Figueras family and the brilliant architecture went far beyond that of mere economic patronage.
Casa Figueras is considered to be the most personal and intimate work by Gaudí, as the relationship between the Figueras family and the brilliant architecture went far beyond that of mere economic patronage.
With this commission, the Figueras family consolidated themselves as patrons of this “new art”, as drivers for a new architectural and cultural identity in Catalonia, which they added to with the décor on the façades of their shops.
It all started in 1820 when Jaume Figueras i Bonastre founded a soup pasta factory which was later moved to La Rambla, 83 (where the Pastisseria Escribà is at present) in 1840. One of his sons, Jordi’s great-grandfather, Jaume Figueras i Barrulls, with the help of his wife, Maria Sagués, brought the company to new heights and diversified the business. In 1902, the children of the Figueras-Sagués family (Jordi’s grandfather and great-uncle) wanted to update the image of the shop along Les Rambles, which was known as l’Antiga Casa Figueras.
For this undertaking, they got in touch with the foremost professionals at the time, among whom were the stage designer Antoni Ros i Güell and the mosaic artist Mario Maragliano, among others.
Almost at the same time, decoration of the façade of another soup pasta shop on Carrer del Carme—which was recently discovered (in 2016)—also took place. The mosaics were done by the same artists who did the other shop.
Thanks to the Figueras family’s relationship with the intellectual and artistic currents of the time, their business activity became inextricably linked to the modernist movement of the early 20th century. And not only with Gaudí, but also with different artists at the time and great thinkers such as Àngel Guimerà, Pau Casals, among others.
All these influences contributed to how Jordi Figueras viewed art and jewellery making, and this is how he passed them on to his son, Roger Figueras, who took over the company’s reins in 2006, breathing new life into it and introducing a participatory work system. Each piece is created and developed within the company itself (design, smelting, finishes, enamelling, etc.) and the involvement of all members of the group in the project is the key to success. But the real reason behind ARIOR’s excellent position in the sector is its ability to absorb, assimilate and redefine all artisan traditions thanks to its pioneering spirit and passion for constant innovation.
With more than 50 years of experience, ARIOR can be found in both the local and international markets. Our quality is the reason why our jewellery is a cut above the rest. We create sophisticated pieces with their own personality, where you’ll find the perfect blend of nature and that certain spark of artistic creativity, which we enhance with large doses of technical know-how and long-standing artisan traditions. They speak for themselves far beyond our borders. We take great pride in our history and look forward to the future with great anticipation. We are a cohesive team that evolve together and view the future and new projects to come without fear and with great enthusiasm.