One of the best things about having a retail store, that specialises in Italian products, is I get to travel to Italy several times a year… I know, it’s tough, but someone has to do it!On a recent trip, I decided to make the most of a glorious summer Sunday afternoon and went to explore the magnificent gardens at Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani, in the small town of Valsanzibio, about 40 minutes west of Venice.
The garden was designed in 1665 by Luigi Bernini for the wealthy Venetian Barbarigo family. Consisting of more than sixty sculptures, fountains and centuries old plants and trees, the garden is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy… and I have to agree! After a stroll around the garden, I headed for the gift shop to purchase a momento of my wonderful time at the Villa, and it was there that I first spotted some of the work of local jewellery designer, Chiara Cesaro.
As luck would have it, I was able to meet up with Chiara a few days later and our collaboration was soon cemented; I am now stocking some of Chiara’s unique hand-made jewellery in my Bowral store. After several more meetings, and many cappuccinos, we have had lots of discussions about her fascinating creative process.
Question: You come from an “environmental” career background; when did you become interested in jewellery design?
For me, nature has always been a source of inspiration; the perfection of its forms, and the possibility of freely using interesting materials for my creative projects including wood, pebbles, polished ceramics from the sea, and metals of various origins.
From a child, I breathed in my family’s “creative environment”! I shared with my father many handicraft projects, mainly using wood… it was a kind of creative imprinting!
As I became older, I chose to focus on jewellery design, initially more for personal gratification. But over time, I found other people appreciated my creations, and that gave me the encouragement to continue to evolve and experiment.
Question: You use a lot of sustainable materials, such as recycled aluminium; why is this important to you?
I consider it essential to use natural and recycled materials in my creations. I think every “creative idea” is worth more for the emotion that it arouses, rather than for the intrinsic value of the raw material used.
Question: Where do you get your ideas from, and what inspires you?
I live a very busy life, and often I don’t have time to stop … to be calm … to reflect!
Fortunately, however, and this is what I believe characterises me, almost all my creations come from inspirations related to everyday life… from being able to “see” an object, or a “material”, not only from the point of view of its primary function, but thinking of it as raw material, alive, transformable and usable. I like to create pieces of jewellery from completely unconventional objects!
Question: As well as making unique jewellery, do you have any other creative pursuits?
Yes! Another artistic passion that I have is working in mosaics. The art of the “fragment”, and its unique reconstruction, has inspired me and many of my works such as decorative panels for schools, mirrors, tables, and the decoration of objects.
With mosaics, as in jewellery design, I prefer not only the timeless “Venetian glazes”, but rather other materials that are unusual and simple, such as terracotta and shards smoothed by the sea, pebbles, shells … often of unexpected beauty.
The artist, and whose technique inspires me, is the unrivaled master Antoni Gaudí. His trencadís work often uses brightly coloured glazed ceramic shards.
For more information you can contact Chiara at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can view and purchase pieces of Chiara’s work at the Creative & Co Store in Bowral, Australia