Video: Precious Lace: How Buccellati Preserves Renaissance Technologies in the 21st Century
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
The world of jewelry design is in constant flux. Synthetic materials, new alloys, hundreds of patents and discoveries, science working in tandem with art … However, for the Buccellati jewelry house, time seems to have stopped: they continue to create jewelry using the technologies of the Renaissance jewelers and remain in demand.
In 1919, a young Italian and father of many children, Mario Buccellati, a descendant of a whole dynasty of jewelers, opened his own workshop in Milan. He quickly ceased to be just one of the many Italian jewelers, and the reason for this was not a successful innovation, but an appeal to the traditions of the past. Mario thoroughly studied and refined the Renaissance technique of surface treatment of jewelry. He covered gold rings and bracelets with tiny notches that created texture, and painted subtle ornaments on them. The revived old technology looked new and fresh, even to an audience spoiled by sophisticated Art Nouveau. Like his creative "ancestors", he soon won a lot of fans in his native country and abroad - and even in Africa and America. The singers and musicians of La Scala, for whom the jeweler created jewelry imbued with the spirit of the past, imbued with a special love for the zealot of traditions.
Today, Buccellati jewelers continue to use this technique and produce jewelry with three types of textures - imitation of linen fabric, lace surface and minimalistic straight notches, and every fan of the brand can feel like a beauty of the Renaissance.
The number of orders grew exponentially, and Mario attracted all of his sons to the family business. All five have contributed to the development of the jewelry house, but nature has endowed only one of them with a special talent. His name was Gianmaria Buccellati, and it was he who threw all his efforts into promoting the brand. So in the 70s, Buccellati took a leading position in the jewelry markets of Paris, Tokyo, Venice, New York … Buccellati's jewelers offered the public graceful brooches and earrings made of several types of gold - white, yellow, pink, blackened, with unusual combinations of skillfully cut color stones. The audience was always delighted. Entering international markets did not change Buccellati's approach to business, the brand's designers never adapted their jewelry to the requirements of the clientele, the mentality of buyers, national traditions, following only their own ideals.
Gianmaria Buccellati is one of the people who have made an invaluable contribution to the development of Italian culture and design. The opera Viaggio in Italia by Giovanni Solia is dedicated to him. Jewelry by Buccellati's jewelers is often called “precious lace”. This is not a figure of speech. They say that one of the family members, a great connoisseur of women and art, once passed by the window of a lingerie store and saw a luxurious set. He burst into the store shouting - urgently sell it to me! The frightened saleswoman was trying to find out what size of underwear the companion of the strange client was wearing, and the jeweler exclaimed: "But what's the difference!" No matter how much he admired female beauty, his main passion was jewelry - he was attracted by skillful lace. One of Buccellati's famous "lace" bracelets soon appeared.
But not alien to jewelers and natural motives - flowers, fruits, butterflies.
In ancient times, handicraft workshops belonged to families, children inherited the work of their parents - and their skills. And Buccellati, like an old craft workshop, has always been a family business. Today, the brand is headed by the son of Gianmaria Buccellati - Andrea, who spent all his childhood in his father's workshop, watching the work. Andrea's daughters, Maria Cristina and Lucrezia, are involved in managing the company and developing the jewelry design, and one of the latest collections is named after her granddaughter, who also has a role in the development of the family business. The fourth generation of the family has already entered the management of the company, and the young Buccellati do not at all strive to introduce high technologies into production. All family members claim that they could not imagine life without jewelry almost from birth. Who to be if not a jeweler? They create their first jewelry already in adolescence, usually for loved ones (and they gratefully wear them, despite the imperfection). This is how initiation into the profession takes place.
Airplanes roamed the skies, scientists penetrated the secrets of the earth's interior and the human genome, spaceships went to the stars … And the Buccellati jewelers continued to honor the traditions of the Renaissance, working by hand in their home workshops and using drills and cutters from the 18th century. Buccellati does not have large mass workshops, factories, factories, craftsmen only come to the office once a week to present the results of their work. Buccellati has recently become part of a holding with headquarters in China, but has managed to defend its creative principles. The first pieces of jewelry from the Buccellati brand are passed down from generation to generation and are carefully preserved in the family collection. The creations of other jewelers can also be found in the archives of Buccellati - the experience of the masters of the past is studied and used, however, copying other people's motives is strictly prohibited, as well as thoroughly repeating your own. Each Buccellati piece is unique.
However, Buccellati's innovations are not abandoned, inventing more and more refined and durable fasteners, methods of connecting elements, fasteners. The brand's jewelers have never liked shiny materials, jewelry, even new ones, must look aged; for this purpose, blackening of gold and innovative dusting of diamond powder are used. And although Buccellati does not distinguish between clients from different countries, they say that the "powdered" jewelry, as if descended from the paintings of artists of the past, especially liked the taste of Russian fashionistas.
And Asian girls are crazy about Buccellati wedding tiaras - by the way, it was this brand that introduced the fashion for tiaras in Thailand, and then in China.
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