Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Stainless Steel and Lava
Ortigia Ring
Once covered in mud and sand the Italian city of Ostia Antica is now a thriving metropolis.

Plays can be viewed at the ancient Roman Theatre and a visit to bathhouses Cesaii or Neptune is not only a haven for relaxation but a remarkable showcase of mosaic floors.  Italy is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Rosario Merola.

Imagine if you will a future where 18-karat gold and sterling silver in jewelry making is nonexistent and gemstones are a memory from an extravagant past.

In this pristine and clinical future jewelry is done entirely in hypoallergenic stainless steel formed into spiny, geometric patterns. 

Although straightforward and modern in style, the jewelry holds a playful undertone with color bursts provided by phenolic resin, plexiglass or lava spheres.

Open pod earrings, strand necklaces of phenolic resin and link bracelets are unique in their molecular and structured plainness. Well . . . imagine no more.  The pared down aesthetic I just described is a reality originating from the mind of Merola.

A Sicilian currently living in San Francisco, California twenty-eight years ago Merola studied at the Istituto Tecnico per Geometri, and later apprenticed for four years with goldsmith Maestro Teresi. 

18K Gold Concetta Earrings with Mabe Pearl
He produced original precious metal works while employed at Atelier Debucquoy in Anterwerpen, Belgium twelve years before he opened the San Francisco-based Rosario Merola Jewelry Art Studio in 2012.  His approach while low-key is intensely experimental and inclusive as he draws liberally from his childhood home, and storied work history.

“Growing up I was constantly struck by the rich colors and forms surrounding me.  The triangular shape of the island of Sicily and the bright colors of the land and sea are integrated into many of my jewelry pieces.

I like to integrate classical ideas into modern styles and create jewelry from unexpected combinations of precious and non-precious materials in form well beyond traditional jewelry concepts.

Although I work with high carat gold and silver, I have begun to integrate stainless steel, because of its strength and resemblance to white gold.

My work is contemporary, geometric and simple.  With shapes that are linear but soft enough to wrap around the body I like to think that every time a wearer puts on a piece it is like the first time.”

Stainless Steel Wire Nicoletta Necklace
with Sponge Coral Beads
2013 Jewelry Trend Alert:  - This year color pops are in and Merola obliges with colored phenolic resin and lava stones.

Merola's futuristic designs are also available for purchase at his Etsy store.
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