Friday, October 16, 2009

NAMU JEWELRY COLLECTION

22-Karat Gold and Damascus Steel Ring
with one Diamond
We are awestruck by the incredible, ancient architecture of Seoul, Korea.

There is the spectacular grounds of Kyongbokgung Palace consisting of over 500 buildings, which includes the Chongmyo Shrine.

Korea is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer NaMu Cho.

Cho is a remarkably talented artist who works entirely with handheld tools to create his unique jewelry.

With a Masters of Fine Arts in Silversmithing and Jewelry Design (received from Ohio's Bowling Green State University), his creations alternate between streamlined and highly intricate.

What sets Cho's jewelry apart is his use of two, centuries-old techniques: Damascus Steel and Damascening.

Damascus Steel is a lamination technique used in ancient Persia whereby layers of "malleable" iron is welded with hardened steel; and Damascene is an intricate, inlay process that creates patterns through the use of thin, precious metal wires or sheets.

Cho also implements glowing 24-karat gold and platinum wrapped over sterling silver to stunning effect. He mainly incorporates these materials, along with Damascus Steel, in his sleeker designs, while his sculptural brooches and necklaces are highlighted with exquisite, three-dimensional Damascene patterns.

Cho cultivates these remarkable, picturesque patterns with the use of tiny stakes, punches, hammers, and chisels. It is simply fantastic artistry with a magnificent blend of classic sensibilities and avant-garde.

During his 23-year career, Cho's sublime artistic skill has not gone without recognition. In 2002, he won the Third Prize Award at Charlotte, North Carolina's American Craft Show.

24-Karat Gold and Damascus Steel Brooch
with Diamonds
In subsequent years, he has received the American Craft Show's Second Prize Award, in Baltimore, Maryland; the Philadelphia Museum of Art's The Touches Prize; and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.

Exhibitions of his work are plentiful in galleries across the United States, and Seoul, Korea.

Among these galleries are Gallery-Bing, and Total Gallery in Seoul; New York's Aaron Faber Gallery, and New Mexico's Patina Gallery.

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