Made in Italy, Made by Hand

“Welcome to my lab. I’m glad to have you here so I can share a little of my creative process. To tell the truth, the story starts out in antiques stores all around Europe, where I find antique cameos often belonging to the Grand Tours’ traditions. In fact, many of them were originally made in Italy before being purchased by travellers during the 1800s as a souvenir of sorts, and taken abroad.

After I bring them back to their homeland, my iconographic research begins. Art history and antique iconography volumes are essential allies in my studies, but I admit I am already quite familiar with most of the cameo characters and their special stories.

Then the creative process really begins. I classify cameos according to their dimensions, shapes and hardness to evaluate if they will become a bracelet, a necklace or a pair of earrings. In the latter case, the matching of two cameos can be very challenging, because I have to find stones with complimenting forms and colors.

After this, I sit at my table, pen and paper at hand, and enter my creative flow, designing their shapes, selecting precious stones to be added, valorizing them with the perfect frames. Sometimes I maintain cameos in their original, beautiful frame, otherwise I’ll match stones and antique frames from other old pieces.

Then I share my drawings with my trusted master craftsmen, and very often we come up with new ideas much different from my initial ones. Each artisan is specialized in a particular area of expertise; stone setters, goldsmiths and jewelers work synergistically handsetting stones, processing gold and silver, enamelling and frame work. Many of these masters are the same ones who worked with my mother and father and saw me growing up. Their experienced hands expertly transform every antique piece into modern jewelry.

It’s not only stones that require meticulous craftsmanship. We take our leatherwork just as seriously. It is at my trusted tannery where I choose leather according to dimensions, softness and application. After this process, I leave it with specialized artisans who deal with cutting and finishing.

This is my inner process. While working on jewels, I often think about the person who will wear them. Their stories, shapes and colors recall certain characteristics of someone I already know, or a certain archetype of personality. To me, that’s the most fascinating aspect: the matching of a piece with its future soul-mate”.