Who knows, maybe Martin Gore and Dave Gahan should come to Florence, meet Federica Sala and have a chat about where they all take inspiration from. If you like Depeche Mode (we do) and like what's behind Federica's works (we do this too) it's impossibile not to make a connection. When Federica says that "a jewel is a relationship with the body, the body is fragile, I want fragile jewels. Jewels which endure time" somewhere in the back of your brain Dave Gahan starts singing that "precious and fragile things need special handling" and then that "things get damaged, things get broken".

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Fragility. Time. And mathematics. "I find a real satisfaction in jewels exploring the meaning of limit": it's not usual to meet a Maker who designs jewels starting with a concept which has nothing to do (or so it seems) with jewelry and its techniques. With Federica things went this way also because, as she explains, she "grew up among chemists, doctors, engineers and mathematicians". But her study course is perfectly consistent with what she decided to do: Industrial Design degree in Milano, goldsmith courses at Scuola Orafa Ambrosiana, Fashion Design degree with a thesis on glass ornaments (this led to her first jewels collection, made exactly in glass and silver) and then a Master in Fine Arts at Alchimia, a contemporary jewelry school in Florence.

But let's get back to the limit, from theory to the real world and its materials. "Limit is a fascinating concept - says Federica - both from a theoretical and a visual point of view, in its cartesian representation. A curve moving, on the infinity, parallel to the axes. Is it true? Is it possible to keep this balance also in real life? That's why in my works I'm always looking for the limit, or the balance point. I get excited by fragile materials, by the thrill you get when you handle them, the challenge of keeping them alive. A jewel is a relationship with the body: the body is alive, I want living jewels. The body is fragile, I want fragile jewels. Jewels which endure time, or look like to".

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Federica's inspiration come from reality. Better said, from observing reality. "A subjective observation, particularly of time and its marks. Not being a goldsmith, it's difficult for me to adapt to metal. I consider it rather as a support material for locks and mechanisms. I'm thrilled by potentially fragile and delicate materials: those which aren't, will surely become in my hands. I like to work materials until they become delicate, light, intangible, unrecognisable… fragile".

We often ask Makers which object they are really proud of and, usually, it's something you can see and even buy. But Federica is, again, a whole other story: "I'm proud of three pendants I don't show anyone. I keep them in a box, just for me. I don't wear them. Making them was an exercise which helped me to understand who I am and where I want to go. It was like visualizing emotions I can't talk about. Sometimes it's important to let your hands create freely, without thinking. Results are innocent and natural. True".

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For Federica, in the next future there is a twofold approach to jewels design. "I'd like to go on researching to foster my creative journey, making artistic jewels for exhibitions and galleries. At the same time I'd like to make simpler jewels, a line which could be sold to a wider audience and let me spread knowledge of contemporary jewels. A little dream it's to teach drawing, maybe in a studio of mine. Who knows!".

 

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