Friday, April 27, 2012


Gold Manray Earrings
A seemingly ordinary looking palace, located along Italy’s Arno River, is Palazzo Pitti.

The structure’s unassuming outward appearance belies extravagant interiors that include the Royal Apartment that consists of fourteen “lavishly decorated” rooms.  Italy is also home to Osanna Visconti di Modrone.

I think statement jewelry is a fun aesthetic because there is always something interesting to see; after all daring is at the very soul of this design style.  

And while Tom Binns (Ireland), Ranjana Khan (India) and American jewelry designers Justin Guinta (Subversive Jewelry) and Dana Lorenz (Fenton-Fallon) follow the theme of larger, chock full or chaotic each presentation is decidedly different.

Visconti di Modrone’s five-year-old jewelry brand of copper, sterling silver, and 24-karat matte gold highlights big, bold pieces that are definitely not for the faint of heart.  Like fellow Italian jewelry designer Ippolita Rostagno, Visconti di Modrone expresses cuff bracelets and chain necklaces through sculptural lines that are alternately linear and sweeping in their lithe, sizeable yet lightweight forms.

Having studied costume and jewelry history at the Accademia della Moda e del Gioiello in Rome, the jeweler  takes strips of oxidized sterling silver that gently coil around a wrist to form a commanding cuff bracelet; or interlocks chunky chain links of a necklace that drapes all the way down to the belly button.

At the same time, however, amidst the daring proportions of her jewelry collection are more subdued items like triple hoop earrings.  Visconti di Modrone essentially takes a classic, minimalist outline coaxing it into a show stopping work of art.

“When I was a little girl I used to play with some jewelry pieces created for my mother by Lucio Fontana, Mario Ceroli, and Arnaldo Pomodoro.  My design approach is informed by what I saw growing up,” explains the former Christie’s intern.
Gold Medievale Cort Chain Link Neclace
“I studied goldsmithing under Teresa Schwendt and I learned how to fuse metal with a wax mold—known as cutaway wax.  This is a technique I still use.”

Though she will implement rock crystals, pyrite, or hematite from time-to-time, Visconti enjoys playing with the fluidity and color of her metals.  Brown copper and blackened silver provide her pieces with a somewhat industrialized appearance yet they remain incredibly chic. 

“All you need is a slight change in the volume or thickness of a metal and the piece looks completely different.  I actually wear my jewelry day-in-and-day-out because they look just as good with a t-shirt and jeans as they do over a black cocktail dress.”

Venezia Gold Cuff Bracelet
A selection of Visconti di Modrone's sculptural jewelry collection is available to buy online at and
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