Designers are channelling a bold aesthetic and techniques that predate the Roman Empire. Charlene Co discovers lavishly textured pieces that will add character to your collection
pulently textured jewellery crafted in precious metal and echoing the raw yet extravagant aesthetic of the ancient Etruscans is becoming increasingly popular in a sophisticated market that’s clamouring for something different. To meet such demand, today’s jewellers are returning to the old-school crafts of carving, granulation and hammering.
Cartier, for example, this year unveiled a playful high jewellery collection inspired by the cactus, giving the prickly plant a gilded edge. The pieces are sculptural and textured, as seen in this pair of 18K yellowgold earrings set with brilliant-cut diamonds. Giampiero Bodino has created a richly textured rose-gold cuff called the Mosaico featuring hand-engraved circular patterns inspired by Italian mosaics.
French designer Aurélie Bidermann’s Athina cuff, which features daisies engraved from 18-karat yellow gold, is both playful and luxurious. London-based designer and jewellery sculptor Sabine Roemer has crafted a stunning Falcon ring in 18-karat pink gold set with hand-carved tourmaline feathers and white diamonds.
Hong Kong jeweller Heting, meanwhile, has beautifully enriched its nature-inspired Enchanted Forest collection with pieces that combine supple lines and opulent textures. Heting founder and artistic director Carina Wong drew on her expertise in wood-carving and goldsmithing to create this organicshaped Golden Berry ring from 18-karat rose gold and black rhodium gold, and set it with South Sea keshi pearls, pink sapphires and white diamonds.
Piaget has added dimension to its classic Altiplano watch by carving leaves from a sheet of solid pink gold and hand-engraving their tracery of veins before setting them on the mother-of-pearl dial.
If you’re looking for a change from the sleek and polished look, these ruggedly handsome pieces are tempting propositions. From left: Mosaico cuff by Giampiero Bodino; Cactus de Cartier earrings by Cartier; Altiplano watch from the Sunny Side of Life collection by Piaget; Falcon ring by Sabine Roemer; Athina cuff by Aurélie Bidermann; Golden Berry ring by Heting