Korte Jewelry Designs - Etruscan Collection

Etruscan Circular Pendant on a Chain.
Walters Art Museum 
Humans have always felt the need to adorn themselves, with the first known shell beads dating back over 100,000 years ago. The first gold jewelry, made from electrum, which is a natural alloy of gold and silver, dates back to the Egyptians around 5000 B.C., and the first gold chains were produced in Ur, the most powerful city-state in Mesopotamia, around 2500 B.C. The ancient chains were made in high karat
gold, using a technique called Loop-in-Loop. In this technique, wire is formed into a coil, cut into rings, the rings are fused closed using heat (no solder is necessary with high karat gold or fine silver), the rings are shaped and then woven into a pattern. This technique, while time-consuming, creates a stunning, fluid chain.

Another technique used is called granulation, where tiny spheres of metal, again usually a high karat gold, are fused onto a surface using only heat. Beautiful pieces of granulation jewelry were found in the tombs at Ur, dating back to around 2500 B.C. The Etruscan artists truly perfected these techniques, creating very intricate granulated pieces. One Etruscan piece which dates to around 630 B.C. contains approximately 25,000 gold granules!

My Etruscan Collection highlights both the ancient Loop-in-Loop chain making and granulation. I am very intrigued by these ancient methods and love to incorporate them into my work, turning ancient methods into modern jewelry.

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