As you might expect, constructing an image using a micromosaic technique is inherently a lengthy and complex process. SICIS jewellers create patterns with precious minerals and tiny gold particles in much the same manner as the great pointillist painters. Only an experienced master is capable of doing this kind of work, and even if the drawing is fully planned in advance, there is no machine on earth that could do this kind of work artificially. It is for this reason that even the smallest pieces of jewellery made by SICIS – such as the new bracelets that are part of the ‘Alphabet’ collection – can safely be called miniature masterpieces.
The essential design of the new pieces in this collection is simple: A letter of the alphabet is placed on a black cord, before being decorated with a mosaic design and diamonds or precious stones – the latter of which serves to add an element of luxury to these everyday pieces of jewellery. Each bracelet has its own colour or monochrome pattern, which usually takes in the region of ten hours of work to create using SICIS’ famed micromosaic technique. Some letters are adorned with bright prints, as if taking their inspiration from Italian national dress. Others appear to reference architecture, and are decorated with geometric designs. If desired, one can order a custom design for their bracelet - a true miniature luxury accessible to all.
For those who prefer larger pieces of jewellery, Gioia has created several sets of rings and earrings – with most of the set appearing in single editions. My favourite pieces in the collection are those entitled ‘Iris Mauve’ – a set of work that embodies iris flowers, which fall stunningly along the neck and which open delicately on the fingers. Echoing the natural shades from which their inspiration is drawn, the colours of the micromosaic element shifts seamlessly from green to yellow, while the amethysts that decorate these pieces work to convey the purple colour of their eponymous flower.
‘Aura’ is another jewellery set, this time comprising a cocktail ring and large puset earrings which are adorned with tourmaline cabochons. The design takes the form of an open, colourful fan, in which one can see the form of a rainbow. No less striking are the long ear pendants from the ‘Arabesque Caleido’ set, which are real fireworks in the collection, defined as they are by stunningly rich shades that burst with colour. For lovers of the colour of passion, SICIS has a gorgeous set in red: a cocktail ring and long earrings decorated by ‘Nebulosa’ red diamonds. If, on the other hand, you are more inclined to oceanic colours, you may prefer the set with snow-white pearls in 'Anemone' pieces.
I should note at this point that a set of spectacular pearls are also a new integral element of the collection, appearing in the ‘Calypso’ necklace and earring set. The name is derived from that of a nymph who appears in ancient Greek mythology. Calypso was said to inhabit the island of Ogygia, where Odysseus found himself shipwrecked. The beautiful sea nymph kept the adventurer in her home for seven years, promising him wealth and immortality, but in the end was compelled by the gods to let him return to his family. The piece also depicts the waves washing against the coast of the island, and in the design one can quite clearly discern sea ripples upon the blue micromosaic. The design is decorated by three strands of light marine blue akoya pearls – which lie across the base of the neck and bend around it in smooth lines, like an elegant collar.
“Special light blue Akoya pearls are embroidered in a golden weave, which has the effect of releasing a truly bewitching light. This is in turn emboldened by the shimmering diamonds that intertwine and encircle the elements of the piece decorated by the micro-mosaic design. Tiny tesserae align, creating seductive designs composed of sapphire blue and white shades, a sinuous game of tones with subtle reflections ”- Gioia tells me of the necklace.
As you can see, readers, the art of micro-mosaics allows SICIS to push the boundaries of what constitutes jewellery and create truly unique designs that have the potential to be a truly original addition to any family collection.