THE YEAR OF THE SAPPHIRE

© Written by Rachael Taylor for BaselWorld Brand Book

For Sara Di Giorgio Pizzo, who runs jewellery house Leo Pizzo with her husband Leo Pizzo, using colour is not just about offering customers a kaleidoscope of jewels to choose from, but about transporting them to another place and time, a dream world.

“In jewellery design colour is very important as it enhances the imagination,” she says. “The same jewel with different coloured stones has a different look and meaning.”

Working with colour also offers a source of inspiration and escapism for the Italian jeweller’s designers and craftspeople, who all work in Valenza, a town in northern Italy with a colourful history that is known as ‘the city of gold’.

“Colour is something that is always a great means of expression, that allows us to have the chance to expand our creativity,” says Di Giorgio Pizzo.

Leo Pizzo was founded in 1971 and since that time has carved a reputation as a master of colour, creating exquisite jewels for a demanding clientele. Its signature creations are hearts and intricate floral designs with multiple layers, usually awash with pave jewels.

“The Leo Pizzo company has been working with coloured stones for many years and know them perfectly,” asserts Di Giorgio Pizzo. “We always look for quality, clarity and beauty of cut. We cooperate with the most well-known stone suppliers in the world, asking for the best. This is our skill, together with, of course, our deep passion for the stones and for the jewels.”

Sometimes Leo Pizzo jewels are crafted simply with white diamonds, but this does not mean that colour is not present. Di Giorgio Pizzo explains that the choice of metal used lends a deliberate chromaticity to the design. “We use different metal colours together with diamonds and coloured stones. The combination is really important because they enrich the jewel, giving it a variety of tones.”

To create the jewels at its workshops in Valenza, Leo Pizzo uses both new and traditional techniques to achieve precision. “Stones have different characteristics, and consequently the techniques have to consider that,” says Di Giorgio Pizzo. “In our company high technology and handmade skill proceed at the same rate.”

While Di Giorgio Pizzo says that she does not have a personal favourite gemstone, she does know what her clientele will be buying this year. “2014 will be the year of the sapphire,” she states. “The colour of the sky, of the boundless ocean, the colour that gives us a sense of calm and turmoil at the same time.”

It would seem that this year’s adventures in colour at Leo Pizzo will continue to offer escapement and excitement, and, of course, discerning jewels.

Read the original interview in the BaselWorld Brand Book 2014 here (pages 74-75).

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