Born in Tunisia of fourth generation Italian jewelers, Silvio Mazzarese continued the tradition of artisanship begun by his great-great grandfather quite naturally. He recalls that, at one time, a piece of jewelry fabricated by his grandfather was given to England has a gift from the Tunisian government. The jewelry was otherwise fashioned for buyers in Rome and throughout Europe. His father and uncles had first set up shop in Rome in 1964, and later settled in France.
Silvio attended jewelry school at the age of 16 for three years, in Nice, where he studied the minute details of materials and techniques. He subsequently developed his own style, a style that is widely different from that of the more conservative previous generations. He designs from the heart. As a goldsmith by training, he finds gold to be a great source of inspiration since it lends itself beautifully to the more delicate pieces.
His clients commission Silvio for unique designs and to redesign or refurbish favorite pieces and heirlooms. Transforming jewelry and creating custom pieces are Silvio’s specialty and great delight. At the time of this writing, he was commissioned to create a dragonfly brooch entirely with pearls and gold.
Ancient motifs and coins greatly inspire Silvio’s personal style also. He fashions unique pendants, rings and earrings using original ancient coins of Etruscan, Greek and various other origins. His heritage as a horse wrangler for the film industry, and as the owner of several horses, has influenced and broadened the range of his work to include embellishments on harnesses, bridles and saddles. The logo for the Ornament Studio shop was inspired by a gold brooch he designed many years ago.
Drawn to the southwestern landscape, Silvio was a very well-established artisan jeweler in New Mexico, where he lived for twenty-five years prior to moving to Vermont, in 2008. He taught stone setting at the Highland University. He did not speak a single word of English when he arrived and learned while working alongside other jewelers. He met his wife, Teresa, in a jewelry shop in Santa Fe. She is also an accomplished artisan jeweler who is currently busy being a mom to two beautiful girls.