The second day of the Gold/Italy exhibition held in Arezzo, Italy, was brisk with strong foot traffic on Sunday. The show, which ran through Monday, Oct. 23, is dedicated to made-in-Italy designs from Italy’s major gold districts, including Arezzo, Venice, Torre del Greco, Milan, and Florence.
Italian gold artisans specialize in gold handcrafting techniques handed down from their ancestors. Although there were solid chunky rings and necklaces in rose, white, and yellow gold, it was the extremely delicate styles—rendered by woven gold threads, electroform sculpting, and laser-cut plates—that stood out at the exhibition. The weaving literally turns the metal into a kind of soft and stretchy fabric that can become cuffs, collars, and necklaces. Electroform, or the process of depositing gold onto a mold which can be removed chemically, also allows for extremely delicate gold designs. Some of the prettiest were rings, pendants, and necklaces designs created out of tiny, gossamer-like threads, as well as beads or three-dimensional squares that appear slashed for texture and shine. Superlight hollow necklaces, bracelets, and rings were also prevalent. Popular themes included butterflies and flowers, with a smattering of salamanders and ladybugs.
Since Italy is also known for its centuries-old cameo artistry, several companies who still specialize in the trade were on hand: Salvatore Collaro, D&O Creazioni, and Golden Corals. Gino Di Luca, owner of Cameo Italiano, who sells shell-carved cameos for thousands of dollars, said reaching a young customer was a problem until he unveiled a lower-priced line of smaller cameo jewelry in modern designs. “Often, when young people think of cameos, they think of their grandmothers,” he said. Cameo Italy is hoping to attract young customers in Italy, Japan, and, soon, the U.S., with prices ranging from $80 to $400.
“Craftsmanship represents the history of our country and as such not only must it be known but also experienced internationally,” says Dorina Bianchi, counselor for credit, trade, tourism, and trade for the Tuscany region. “In this way tourism is enriched by the work of artisans and vice versa. This synergistic collaboration is an important asset of the Italian economy and as such should be supported.”
Ultra-soft and stretchy 18k gold woven gold necklace by Torresan Gioielli
Rose gold woven necklace by Italian Fashion
Top: showgoers at Gold/Italy 2017 surrounded by gold spheres representing the show’s theme, “The Circle”
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