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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nanis: Jewels Engineered With Italian Style

Laura Bicego, founder of Nanis Italian Jewels with one of her creations 

By Gretchen Friedrich, Jewelry News Network’s social media manager

Laura Bicego, founder and “creative soul” of Nanis Italian Jewels in Verona, Italy, approaches her creations with a fused vision of structure and aesthetics. The progression flows from concept, to fabrication, to finishing touches like hand-engraved etchings and custom clasps for each themed collection. 

The artisan, whose accessory assemblage rivals Sir Elton John’s, prioritizes functionality along with style. An example is my introductory piece from her Lagoon line. 

Necklaces linked together from the Lagoon collection

What I thought was a well-crafted gold long chain necklace, turned out to be two 36-inch linked necklaces and a bracelet all held together by invisible clasps for an infinite effect. Bicego demonstrated how each section could disconnect and reconnect in a vast number of combinations to compliment any ensemble. 

The Transformista bracelet

The second demonstration of alluring illusion was the 2016 Centurion Award-winning Transformista bracelet. Individual links of diamonds and hand-etched gold connect in two ways: One configuration allows the bracelet to lie flush against the wrist, but when released, the connectors spin like an Olympic ice skater and the bracelet transforms into a double-helix of gold and diamonds. 

During our conversation in her exhibition space at JCK Las Vegas, she emphasized the importance of versatility and interaction with her jewelry. 

“It’s as much about style as it about being playful with the jewelry,” she says, as trays of hand-formed components make their way onto the desk. 

Earrings that covert to a pendant from the Cachemire collection

Further selections from the trays included earrings that could reverse for a day-to-evening transition. Also a paisley-shaped earring dangle, from the Cachemire collection, converts into a pendant with a delicate gold chain. Bicego advocates interchanging the components, as well as layering, and adding to existing jewelry box items for a renewed approach to accessorizing. 

Etching The Niche
Details are magnified in the Nanis workshop, where skilled craftspeople create components by hand, and Bicego is involved with every undertaking. When she couldn't embrace a link pattern for a necklace, she manufactured a tool that would stretch the gold into the shape she wanted. Bicego also created an earring back that is shaped to counterbalance the weight of a substantial gold and diamond teardrop earring component. 

The colorful Ipanema ring

New Colors In the Ipanema Family
New to the Nanis portfolio is the expanded Ipanema color wheel. The signature hand-formed gold foundations cradle rutilated quartz, aquamarine, several shades of topaz, along with moonstone, labradorite, and amethyst. Inspiration for this distinctive newcomer was the atmosphere of the sea, displayed in hues of blue and contrasting yellows. 

Clouds, summer storms and beached treasures found their way into the Ipanema collection of necklaces, earrings bracelets and rings. Bicego is fond of stacking, and with the tailoring of the Ipanema line, multiple pieces fit nicely together without an overwhelming appearance. 

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