Ichia Tiyi has been designing jewelry since 1993. Her primary introduction to this art-form was through her own self-exploration of indigenous materials on island. Subsequently, she went on to apprentice for three months at the private jewelry studio of Kenneth Forde in Trinidad in 1996, which led to an intense period of creative incubation, where she explored and experimented with the fusion of metallic and organic materials. This experience proved fruitful when she entered the Commonwealth Arts and Craft competition (2001) sponsored by the Commonwealth Foundation in England, and won an award for the entire Caribbean region. This is one of the most prestigious awards an artist can aspire to and it would become a pivotal turning point in her career as an artist. The award granted her the opportunity to travel to Ghana, West Africa, where she studied Metal Product Design at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, for one year. There she experimented with traditional as well as alternative techniques in the art of metalsmithing; an experience which increased her technical possibilities and extended her visual range.
In October of 2004 she was invited to attend and participate in an international convention and workshop on the jeweler’s art in Chennai, India. This granted her another rare opportunity to continue her exploration and interest in non-conventional approaches to jewelry making. During her stay, she had the privilege of sharing creative space and ideas with some of India’s most revered master craftsmen. She has taught basic jewelry design for the Division of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Education, Barbados, and the Industry Services Unit of the Barbados Community College, and has also taught privately in Bermuda. Ms.Tiyi
has also participated in a number of shows and exhibitions both regionally and internationally (e.g. Design Caribbean 2011, Dominican Republic, Caribbean Fashion Week, Jamaica; Carifesta VIII Suriname; Solo Exhibition – “Rituals of the Self 1”, Ghana, West Africa and Caribbean Gift and Craft Shows.). In 2011, she won the Design Caribbean award for Best Innovation and Creativity. Her work continues to portray unique imagination and fine craftsmanship, while remaining deeply rooted in its own tradition, emphasising a sophisticated primal energy, uncommon to the transient trends in most popular everyday jewelry.