Irene Gittarelli photographer

I was born on August 19, 1973, in the summer sun and by the sea in Rapallo, Genoa.

I create jewels that are entirely handmade and worked exclusively by me. Each one is a unique piece; in fact, each edition of the same piece differs in several details and is a creation in itself. I have chosen to work by myself; I autonomously create and produce each jewel because I wish to personally touch the objects that will subsequently be worn.

I have always worked metals through cold welding, the only fire forging my materials being creative passion. I love using the ancient tools that come from the nineteenth-century workshop: hammers, hacksaws, screwdrivers, files, awls, pliers, wire cutters, scissors, sandpaper and cushions full of desert sand are all the technology I am equipped with. I put ideas at the centre of my creations and dexterity is my main tool to try and transform the pure shapes in sculptures to be worn.

Jewels are ideas that come to life between one’s hands: I don’t draw and I realize each prototype directly. The material itself, through its colour, shape or thickness, suggests how to be approached; combining this with the inspiration that crowds my imagery triggers a dance of trials and variations. Creativity flows spontaneously and blossoms into a new, original object.

I am self-taught and have a taste for experimentation and research. I have spent many hours in developing my very own and unique method, through slow and passionate work, trying to find the most appropriate way to turn a jewel into something I may have imagined one night or that a cloud or a field may have suggested.

I love working at night: I find my space and time amongst the silence of resting life.

I prefer the so-called poor metals, brass, bronze, copper and silver, as I am convinced that a jewel is more precious for its style and flair than for its economical value. An antioxidant treatment protects these materials in their splendour, like the more precious ones. Upon request, I also realize untreated objects for those who – like me – love how theese change over time and according to the climate, as if they were living together with the person wearing them. And – always upon request – I also realize jewels in gold and platinum.

I am the daughter of an antiquarian and have lived among furniture, ancient objects and cloth since I was a child and thanks to my grandmother who was a seamstress I learnt to sew, knit and cut cloth with real passion at a very young age. I create bags with unusual shapes in unique and preferably hand-woven fabric that I collect when I travel.

For some years I have slowed my work down to dedicate myself fully to the happy choice of motherhood, and now that my most shiny jewels, my two children, are older and more autonomous, I am ready to go back to the full-time and joyful creation for all women.

During my maternity years I stored away new projects of jewels enriched by the infinite nuances that can be obtained by fired enamels, for which I am experimenting new techniques, confident and eager to see them out as soon as possible.

Over time, my jewelling activity has been appreciated my many clients, some of whom – Lalla Hasna, Princess of Maroc, pianist Katia Labèque, Mariagrazia Cucinotta, Paola Saluzzi, Silvia Mezzanotte, singer in the band Matia Bazar – show off my creations to the public attention, to my great joy and pride.

Amongst the many compliments I have received with the most profound gratitude, I remember with emotion those from Mrs. Bulgari, who appreciated my creativity and competence at an exhibit in Rome.

Some recent acknowledgements and events:
– in December 2011, I took part, along with other 32 Italian and European artists, in the exhibit Forma vs Materia, at the Galleria Cristiani in Turin, presenting to the public a path of innovation and curiosity featuring the new trends in Italian and European goldsmiths art;
– in January 2007, I was given an acknowledgement by the exhibit The New Italian Design and was chosen together with other 11 contemporary jewel artists, among 100 in Italy, to nationally and internationally represent the new Italian jewel design.