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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Intricate and Inspired High-Karat Gold Jewelry from Alchemic Synthesis

Greek Tsavorite Necklace. 22K gold, tsavorites, 1st century Roman loop-in-loop chain.

One of the bright spots of the recent Buyers Market of American Craft show was meeting Cynthia Alderdice and Lois Mansfield, who co-own and operate Alchemic Synthesis Studio in Annapolis, Md. The BMAC show (held February 17-21) was their first time attempting to appeal to a wholesale audience. Hopefully, it won’t be their last.

The collaborating artists design one of a kind and limited edition pieces in 22K and 24K gold and fine silver. Often the pieces are embellished with gemstones, pearls and enamels. Their work embraces many cultures and employs several techniques. These veteran goldsmiths and jewelry designers are especially skilled in the ancient Etruscan technique of creating granulated 22k gold. They have years of experience in varied art media such as painting, printmaking, sculpture, enameling and, of course, metalsmithing. It is evident that they love their work and love working together.

Their commitment to technique, use of high quality materials, their intellect and passion, and their inspiration from cultures around the world is evident in their designs. They combine materials and techniques that result in layered pieces of varying textures and intricate details.

For example, their Greek tsavorite necklace (top picture) employs no fewer than four separate techniques, from the pin-cushion-like center piece to the rope-like outer edge on the larger centerpiece; to the more circular pin design on below. The clasp for the chain unlike the rest of the jewelry has a smooth finish. The finishing golden touch is the loop-in-loop chain (yes they make own multiple-loop chains), that are as intricate in technique and design as the rest of the piece. Of course, the finale is the two tsavorite gemstones. 

Awakening, tooled 22K gold, cloisonné enamel, patterned fine silver, faceted tourmaline stone, 2nd century AD Roman hand-woven 22K gold and fine silver hammered pinched loop chain.

Another example is, Awakening (above), a pendant that combines cloisonné enamel technique with a design inspired by Japanese art, gold granulation technique, patterned fine silver and a and 22K gold and silver chain hand-woven using a 1st Century Roman technique. There are additional details on the back of the pendant that I'm unable to show.

And they do it all with a smile.

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