the art of stones: a tale of traditional craftsmanship
13 JUne ‘22
Wearing art and history not only as a possibility, but as a choice: discovering two great Italian brands that resignify the value of stones and respect traditional craftsmanship!
Words by Lucia Peirone Torti
The art of creation is itself a rite surrounded by traditional skills invested with the magical touch of an artist. The art of jewellery making is considered sacrosanct as it deals with pure metals and precious stones. In this way, ornaments made with devotion and spiritual consciousness automatically become valuable on their own as a result of dedicated and highly skilled craftsmanship.
With the vibrant color of a stone, the elegant sparkle of a diamond and the curiosity of an objet d’art, an item considered “Handmade Jewellery” must be fabricated from raw stones by a jewellery artisan, using only tools that are controlled by hand. This ancient art of creating fine and handmade crafts requires highly skilled labor to manually control tools and to transform precious metals and gemstones into artistic pieces. It is for this reason that jewellery connoisseurs everywhere know handmade jewellery is the benchmark for craftsmanship in fine jewellery, and introducing two great brands –such as Port’Arte and Vintouch– seems more than appropriate for celebrating the heritage of craftsmanship and design in the 21st century, as they hope to redefine the tradition of Made In Italy worldwide.
Author of the picture
Literally, Port'Arte means to use art ("Portare'' means "to wear" and "Arte" means "art" in Italian), and knowing this we can have a small hint of what to expect when looking at these beautiful pieces. In this pearl jewellery brand, each item is designed and handcrafted in Milan by Anastasia Agurbash.
Allpieces are inspired by women who are not afraid to be themselves: strong, independent, intelligent and beautiful in all their unique and perfect shapes, sizes and colors. Inspiration for the brand's custom pieces comes from female figures seen throughout history and art. The current collection, for example, is inspired by the XVI-XVII century but has a modern touch and delicate details.
As for Vintouch, its founder Alessandro Ricevuto got the passion for jewelry running in his blood. Growing up in his father's jewellery workshops where he has got in touch with the magical charm of traditional goldsmith techniques since a kid, keeping alive his family jewellery business that dates back to 1951. A lifelong traveler, Alessandro's deep passion for Art in all of its expressions - historical art, visual design and music above all - forms the inspiration of each of the brand's pieces, including the iconic hand-carved from porcelain cameos. Maniacally curated in even their smallest details, Alessandro designs to create small mementos for people whose style and identity is inevitably their own.
It's easy to admit that Italian jewellery tradition is unique, thanks to its ancient artisanship in fine gold and colorful stones. Florence, Milan and Vicenza are all famed for their gold, while styles in Rome can be more flamboyant and colorful, as at Bulgari. Naples and the Amalfi Coast are the jewelry centers of southern Italy, with the sunny, radiant color and exuberance of Chantecler on Capri. With their practiced hands, craftsmen and craft women can create filigree works of art from precious metals. As they sew, file and solder away, they do so in unison with the qualities of the metal on which they are working, bringing form to gold and platinum with their steady hands. Consummate perfection is achieved when the piece optimally fits both the wearer and the embellishments.
We can assure that within both brands, sustainability informs every aspect of the designs, both in terms of how their creation affects the environment, and the wellbeing of the people involved in sourcing the precious materials and crafting the jewellery.
Shimmering rainbow - Vintouch
Also, while we observe some pieces' photographs we can discover that they are all different, as both brands look for unique pieces rather than follow fashion trends. They’ve developed a base of collectors who share a common desire for excellence in quality stones, ancient craftsmanship and creativity in their jewellery, allowing us to wear elegant and gorgeous pieces. The Breeze Hoop Earring and the Matcha Hoop Earring are great examples, presented as minimal jewels that embody the essence of history and arts. Wearing them on a hot Italian night while drinking aperols in front of any monument just seems like the perfect plan!
In these days of mass production, master jewelers and model makers are a rare commodity. We are happy to report that the lost art of creating handmade jewelry is alive and well in the workshop at Port´Arte and Vintouch. Creating jewellery by hand from platinum, gold, diamonds and precious gems is the life ambition of these talented artisans who have been making precious handmade pieces in their studios in Italy. For them, jewellery-making is a calling taken up by individuals with a desire to create consummate beauty. The final critical glance reserved for a piece of jewellery is therefore the one that guarantees true satisfaction for the craftsmen: not until a piece meets the highest quality standards imposed by their creators can it be said that the work of art is complete. Enormous amounts of time, care and passion go into each creation from Anastasia and Alessandro. This, among every other part of the process, makes every piece of jewellery so precious and imbues it with a timeless beauty!