Jewellery has been an important part of cultures across the globe since the early century. With the development of new-age machinery and technology, there has been a global appreciation and revival of ancient art forms in jewellery making; that has lasted as a testimony to complex and time-consuming craftsmanship and today; modern contemporary designers are seeking inspiration from these ancient techniques!
During September 2022 Vicenzaro; I curated an article on Italian Jewellery making techniques, In this article let witness Ancient jewellery-making Techniques which, even today are an inspiration to modern contemporary designers and are passed down through generations and popularised by Italian artists.
In Cameo; the design projects out of the background and is considered a relief image where the sculpted elements raise above the background plane. Cameos are referred to as a “positive” carving and Intaglios, in contrast, are considered a “negative” carving.
Intaglio is a technique which dates back to antiquity and is still in use at present. Images are carved or engraved in gemstones leaving a hollow impression in the untouched background. This style of carving is the opposite of the cameo technique.
This is one of the most delicate types of jewellery metalwork, popular in Italian. Filigree uses precious metals, like gold and silver, in art pieces created with small detailed beads and twisted thin wires rolled into spirals and placed according to the design. This ancient technique creates artworks with the finest beauty, often giving us the impression of being made with lace.
The roots of micro-mosaic jewellery trace back to the mosaics of ancient Rome; and the 18-19th century marked a golden age for micro-mosaic jewellery. Micro-mosaics are created from tiny pieces of glass or enamel, called tesserae, which artistically fit together to create motifs and designs. Each micro mosaic is composed entirely by hand and the results are rare, minute and unique works of art.
Micro mosaic tradition remains very much alive, thanks to a handful of devoted artisans based in Italy.
Enamelling, is the art of fusing glass onto metal under high heat conditions to create colourful designs. This is one of the oldest techniques for decorating the surface of jewellery and over the years many cultures have contributed to the technique of enamelling, providing their styles.
These ancient and traditional methods of jewellery making are a reminder of the proverb, ‘Old is gold’!
Visit my article on January 2023, Vicenzaoro Show and Discover More jewels Made in Italy!