Those who know Silvio will recognize his generous spirit at once.
Monday, 4 PM. A woman sits at the workbench. She is wearing a magnificent pendant and bracelet. Silvio stands at her side while another woman quietly stands nearby, listening. I dare not interrupt. It is as though I walked into an alchemist’s laboratory in the midst of a conference of great masters.
“This is perfect,” says Silvio to the woman with the magnificent jewelry, “Your table is flush with the top. The girdle of your stone will make its own seat.” Clearly, they are speaking a common language and there is good reason, for this conversation is in fact taking place between masters.
Jennifer Kalled owns The Kalled Gallery, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Kalled has been designing jewelry since 1970. Aubri Keating has been working with Kalled since 1998. Together, they design jewelry that is, in their own words, “Gracefully defiant, unapologetically bold, and relentlessly exploratory.” I could not have said it better myself.
“I am more an artist than a jeweler,” humbly announces Kalled. “We bezel-set a lot,” adds Keating, “Silvio is showing us his technique for flush setting.”
As we have seen in a previous article (thanks to which I did not have to ask “What is bezel-set?”), a bezel is a band of metal that is wrapped around a stone and “hugs” it into place on a piece of jewelry. Jewelers talk about a flush setting when they carve out a depression in a solid piece of metal (or other material) into which a stone can be inserted so that only the top of it protrudes on the surface.
At the bench, Kalled experiments with a pneumatic tool. She jokes, “The part of me who wants to be a carpenter is totally satisfied!”
“A while back,” says Silvio, “Jennifer sent me a diamond to set and then had me work on another piece.”
“When I got the piece back,” she explains, “I was totally smitten with his work.”
I could hear a bit of stumping on the floor above and knew Teresa and the kids might be upstairs, so I left the masters to their conference. I found Teresa sitting at her bench.
“I am designing new earrings,” she exclaimed. “I just can’t wait until they are done. I have not been able to be here as much as I would like, but these are coming along and will be in the shop before too long.”
Meanwhile, the little ones are in their own artistic element, painting large pictures on long strips of paper spread on the floor.
Until next time…