The Fall term at Studio Arts College International where I teach Jewelry Design is in the final week before the holidays. My class continues learning techniques of jewelry fabrication with metals, but also had time to get out of the studio and visit some jewelry exhibitions and artist studios around Florence. There are so many potential places here to visit related to jewelry because the city has a historic tradition of jewelry artisans going way back to the Renaissance. Plus, the city has fine examples of contemporary jewelry artists and designers, and frequently holds temporary exhibitions related to such.
Some of the recent places the Jewelry Design class visited included the historic and contemporary jewelry collections in the Galleria degli Argenti of the Palazzo Pitti, the temporary exhibition Gioielli d’Artista: La Tradizione nella Modernità, the contemporary jewelry gallery Antonella Villanova where they saw the work of Jacquline Ryan, and Officine NORA studio/workshop of international jewelry artists including owner, Margherita de Martino Norante, and Martina Lončar. Here, the students learned how Martina ventured to Italy from Slovenia to study under Italian jewelry masters and create and market their own unique lines, experimenting between concept and form, and most recently with LED technology, using a combination of casting and hand fabrication.
During the month of December, Officine NORA is opening their laboratory, showing and selling their work every Thursday to Sunday, from 11am – 2pm and 3-8pm in the Santo Spirito neighborhood.
The studio also rents benches to international jewelry artists needing a space to work, short- or long-term periods.