Filigree jewelry is often delicate,
intricate, and beautiful, and, it is the subject of this
month's lead article. After a mention in last month's newsletter a reader sent
question and a couple of photos regarding this method of making art objects and
jewelry. The question is...
"Filigree jewelry looks so complicated,
how were they able to make it in ancient times?"
I don't mind telling you that I had to do
some research on this one!
Filigree jewelry (sometimes spelled filagree
by mistake) is defined in a popular
online dictionary as... delicate ornamental
work of fine silver, gold, or other metal wires, esp. lacy jewelers' work of
scrolls and arabesques.
jewelry is made of fine metal wire (also called thread or filament) that is
often twisted to give it body and texture. The photo at the top is a blowup of
the photo below. The purpose is to give you an idea of the intricacy of the
research tells me that the ancient jewelry artisans needed a number of things to
produce their pieces:
pieces demonstrate that the ancient artisans possessed plenty of artistic
The artisan's need for patience, proper
lighting and good eyesight are self evident.
Tools for filigree work include:
Mallets for beating metal into fine
Fine picks and cutters
Tools for twisting the wires and forming
Specialized heat source and blow tubes
The key item in filigree assembly is the
solder used. Sources that were consulted tell us that powdered solder is the secret.
Apparently powdered solder flows at a lower temperature than solder that has
been melted and solidified. This means that soldering heat can be skillfully
applied adjacent to another solder point without the first one detaching.
Today, open work jewelry is sometimes referred
to as filigree. However open work jewelry is most often produced by piercing or
casting methods, rather than assembled from individual wires.
Filigree jewelry continues to be designed, produced
and sold by modern day artisans. Their work certainly meets the definition of
"lacy jewelers' work of
scrolls and arabesques."
A Google search using keywords such as filigree jewelry can return some very interesting
information and artisan websites.
Gem Industry News...
Las Vegas Jewelry and Gem Shows
The Las Vegas jewelry and gem shows are here!
Swiss Watch by JCK The sixth annual Swiss Watch by JCK
trade show is being held May 30 through June 3 at the suites of the
Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, thirty floors above the JCK Las Vegas show floor.
12th Annual G.L.D.A. Las Vegas Gem & Jewelry trade show is again being
held in the fabulous 90,000 square foot, $120 million dollar "Mirage Events
Center" (May 31 - June 3, 2010) The Mirage Casino-Hotel is located
on the strip in Las Vegas across from the Sands Convention & Expo Center.
The 15th Annual Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch
Show will showcase some magnificent antique jewelry and
gems. The four day show opens June 3 - 6, 2010, at the
MGM Grand, one day before the JCK Show.
This elite, by invitation only LUXURY by JCK jewelry trade show brings
together the finest retailers and manufacturers each year for an unparalleled
business and networking experience and is truly - Jewelry’s Finest
Occasion (June 1 - 3, 2010) at the Venetian & The Palazzo
Resort Hotel Casino.
JCK Las Vegas! This is the jewelry industry's premiere trade show in
the USA. This show is where the jewelry industry comes together each year
to, as they say... "Shop. Preview Collections. See The Trends. Find
Solutions. Be Inspired. Celebrate the Industry".. This show is huge.
Show dates are June 4 - 7, 2010 at the Sands Expo & Convention
The 2011 JCK Las Vegas Show moves to the Mandalay Bay.
From a supply perspective, now is the time to replenish your depleted inventory.
If you have some money to invest in inventory - there are deals to be had.
And you should have some cash. After all, that depleted inventory was sales.
Most of you do not attend the Las Vegas shows, but you know what your
customers like and you see the fashion trends. These two factors will guide you
as you replenish your inventory.
From a sales perspective, gift giving occasions have not disappeared. Birthdays,
anniversaries, and many other reasons to give nice jewelry at a great price just
keep on coming. Your customers (and their friends) need what you offer!
A market where people perceive they should spend less fits right into your