The current showroom decoration wouldn’t be that nice without the white amaryllis flowers! The handmade silver vase highlights it evan more, its traditional design fits perfectly to the two images: on the right side there is the Rhinoceros by Conrad Gessner, a Swiss artist. The original was made for his Icones animalium quadrupedum viviparorum et oviparorum (what ever this exactly means;-) in 1560, Zrich… Who knows if the lady on the left portrait – Marchesa Luisa Casati -, would have had a crush on him, were she alive 400 years before!? In the Twenties of the last century she was known for her aristocratic but decadent lifestyle, including outstanding parties, extravagant outfits and high society friends.
…interesting how scenographic creations combine different epochs to create new and unique atmospheres… I love that.
The Beauty of Reconstruction
There are earrings that have to be worn as a pair if their unique design is to be seen. Let‘s take a look at Carla’s case: Her mum used to wear those graceful gold-plated earrings in her youth and early adulthood, linking them – over time – to memories of special moments and beloved people. At some point, she lost one of the earrings and never wore the other one again. Lucky her for having such a lovely daughter, who came to our studio and asked us to reconstruct the missing earring! We are proud of the small copy work we’ve done, because it means a lot to Carla’s mum. Look at those beauties now: they’re complete again, inviting her to wear them and to collect even more amazing memories.
By the way, the term “copy work” always reminds me of the Chinese culture of copying everything that can be copied. Copying a design, a piece of art or a creative concept is not something to be proud of in our Western culture. But there’s at least one explanation for the fact that Chinese culture is full of replicas and fakes: In Chinese tradition, the act of copying a master’s work is considered a sincere compliment. It’s more than just saying, “Hey, I like your work and want to have something like that too”. It’s a way of expressing a deep feeling of respect for and admiration of the talent, creativity and personality of the master; but this tradition seems to have been alienated from its original meaning and turned into some kind of a copy mania. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget that in Chinese culture, there’s nothing inherently wrong with copying things one admires. It’s just in the West that copying has such a bad name.
My experience with Chinese design students in Shanghai a few years ago showed me where the Chinese copy culture comes from; but I also learned that young Chinese designers want to create new things and are trying very hard to get rid of their copycat reputation.
It’s amazing to see how many ideas have been realized in the last 15 years. Most of them in Sterling Silver. If you are curious to see them too, don’t hesitate to contact us for a private viewing at the showroom in the heart of Zurich.
After many years of doing jewelry, exhibitions and events I have got a lot of decoration stuff and some beautiful jewelry pieces left. All that is on SALE on January 23/24 at the lovely Showroom in Zurich… Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm, Grüngasse 6, 8004 Zurich.
This cutting boards are made out of marble from CARRARA and wood. All handmade with an unique design that allows to cut bread, meat or others on the wood. To clean it you just take off the wood which is not fixed but fitted very well. If you only want to use it as presentation board for appetizers, then use the bottom side, all over with the beautiful texture or marble. Available only at the Showroom of MIRCA MAFFI.
During a visit in the private showroom in the heart of Zurich you will be surprised about all the small treasures you might find. Visits on appointment only. Please contact email@example.com
Workshop in The Lab, Shanghai
The workshop I did with jewelry students of Tongji University ended last week. We had a good time together, and I really enjoyed working with them. The last two weeks were very interesting. The students worked on their models in the jewelry lab. All designs were different, each was a unique piece. Seeing the students’ enthusiasm and their curiosity to learn new techniques was a great pleasure for me. Even though some tools were missing in the lab, we were able to work on basic jewelry-making techniques such as bending, sawing and soldering. Most of the students did this for the first time, and some of them even worked on their projects in their free time. They put a lot of effort into their work, they experimented with different ways of working and they got a good idea of what it means to produce jewelry by hand.
As everywhere else, time in Shanghai flies too fast, especially when life is exciting. I hope there will be more such workshops in the future! I hope it for myself, but I also hope it for design students, because getting to know materials and techniques by exploring them personally opens up great opportunities. I started my career with an apprenticeship as a silversmith, and the knowledge I gained back then is still the basis of my work today – even though I am currently more involved in designing than in handcrafting.