Any jewelry collector headed to PAD London, the prestigious art and design fair taking place Oct. 10-15, should plan to visit Elisabetta Cipriani, a gallery owner specializing in jewelry at the intersection of adornment and wearable sculpture.
Cipriani regularly develops exclusive jewelry lines with an international coterie of names, and her latest collaboration highlights the work Maria Sole Ferragamo. Titled Trame (Weaves, Plots), it encompasses a small but mighty group of pieces distinguished by their impressive scale, intricate texture, and unconventional primary material: discarded brass shavings, a by-product of brass manufacturing.
Slated to make its debut at PAD London, Trame embraces “the idea that true preciousness can be found in scarcity, drought,” says Ferragamo, granddaughter of fashion legend Salvatore Ferragamo. She founded her jewelry and accessories label So-Le Studio in 2019 with the mission of transforming leather and brass “leftovers” into dramatic, wildly modern statements that are as edgy as they are glamorous. “Discarded brass shavings can be reborn into exquisite wearable works of art, reminding us that the essence of preciousness lies not in the starting material but in the artistry that breathes life into it.”
The Trame collection includes a brooch, a necklace, a bracelet, and earrings, available in gold plating alone or with sleek black, white, or black-and-white enamel detailing. The jewels’ size—see the photo at top for scale—amplifies their handwoven texture.
“These are a little bit different in terms of what I normally create for So-Le Studio, where accessible luxury is the driving motto of the collection,” says Ferragamo, who weaves each Trame piece by hand, with some taking more than 50 hours to complete. “The workmanship was incredibly challenging.”
The principles of the arte povera movement that emerged in the 1960s are perennially explored in Ferragamo’s work “Arte povera literally means ‘poor art,’ but the word poor refers to the movement’s signature exploration of a wide range of ‘poor’ materials such as soil, rags, and twigs,” explains Ferragamo. “The aim was to challenge and disrupt the values of the commercialized contemporary gallery systems. This approach is very much one that drives my work at So-Le Studio, where I upcycle discarded remnants of leather and brass that I encounter in luxury manufactures, to give them a new life and challenge the perception of what precious jewelry is.”
And what will Cipriani highlight about Trame when PAD London attendees take a look?
“The most important principle of Sole’s work is continuity,” Cipriani says. “Since I have known Sole, she has always looked for new ways to elevate materials abandoned by society, transforming them into small objects of architecture that go beyond mere ornaments. In this work you have structure, pattern, and geometry…architecture, design, and visual art. Carrying a dialogue between past and present, Sole’s work stands out as a testament to creativity, resourcefulness, and the transformative power and aesthetic possibilities of upcycling.”
Top: “I feel these pieces deserve to be seen more as artworks than jewelry,” Maria Sole Ferragamo says of her Trame collection for Elisabetta Cipriani. “I suspect this will attract art collectors as well as jewelry lovers.”
Follow me on Instagram: @aelliott718Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine