ILGIZ FAZULZYANOV INTRICATE ENAMEL JEWELLERY
Russian jeweller Ilgiz Fazulzyanov first caught my eye when I discovered his work at Christie’s. There I was in a room surrounded by sparkling diamonds ranging in excess of 10 carats and my curiosity was set on finding some exquisite enamel earrings and bracelets! Don’t get me wrong, diamonds still fascinate me after all these years, but my mission is always to be on the lookout for something of unparalleled craftsmanship that makes my pulse race. When I spied the display case housing the jewellery of Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, I was ecstatic.
This summer, I was lucky enough to encounter Ilgiz work again at a solo exhibition in Moscow. Much to my delight, the jewellery snob in me was quite taken aback by what I found! The depth of creativity, the unique quality and Russian touch of perfectionism in Ilgiz Fazulzyanov’s creations won my heart over and over again. It’s no wonder he’s the first living designer to have a solo exhibit at the Kremlin since Fabergé.
The Kremlin exhibit showcased 250 jewellery designs, together with the artist’s sketches to show you the whole creative process. My only regret was not picking up a copy of his book.
The word “enamel” comes from the old german word “smelzan” meaning “to melt.” Jewellers have been engaged with the art of enamelling since the 13 century or even earlier. When painted and fired onto gold, the result is a vibrant medley of colours that give life to the jewellery. I leaned that the melting temperature of gold is 900 degrees, but for enamel it’s 950; the enamel and gold merge at this temperature. If it’s over-baked by a fraction of a second, the enamel will crack.
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But who needs books when you get to meet the man himself in person. I was lucky enough to sit down with Ilgiz Fazulzyanov to talk about his craft, thanks to Annoushka who hosted the event at her luxurious Cadogan Gardens boutique next to Sloane Square. The very same Sloane Square that I gemified last year when I sprinkled a little kindness and gold dust!
Ilgiz Fazulzyanov brought 30 of his extraordinary masterworks direct from the Assumption Cathedral (one of the Moscow Kremlin museums part of the Kremlin Palace complex) and has made them available in London, exclusively to Annoushka. Many of these same beautiful jewellery pieces were the ones I had seen at the exhibit at the Kremlin. Now I was going to see them up close and get to know the artist behind these amazing designs a little better.
As a graduate of interior design, Ilgiz Fazulzyanov’s early beginnings started with a stained glass and silk painting studio in Kazan. In 1992 he opened his first jewellery workshop and channeled his passion for nature and travelling into his designs.
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Just look at the incredible detail of this hand-painted grisaille enamel ring. It’s a work of staggering detail, an extraordinarily delicate and exacting technique only performed by true master craftsmen. Made with 151 hand set stones, a stunning 14.75ct Tanzanite is the focal point of this impeccably detailed piece on a bed of sparkling sapphires.
Bold, ruby-breasted bullfinches take centre stage of this next creation, perched among interlaced branches of glistening 4.6ct white diamonds. An inspiring and intricately designed pendant set with 4.6 ct sapphires and 18ct white gold.
“I want to express the entire diversity of the world of nature, always watching to discover its multifarious beauty…” Ilgiz.
Ilgiz creates a stunning collection of jewellery that showcases innovative techniques with exceptional craftsmanship, and honour the Russian masters of enamelwork. His jewellery pieces are incredibly realistic and pair seamlessly with these contemporary and exquisite faceted pearls.
Four soaring swallows hand painted in vibrant blue and beige vitreous enamel are caught in a diamond embellished downpour of 3.45 carat and 0.34 carat sapphire. Hand set with 527 stones, this exclusive pendant will be exhibited for the first time since its debut in the Moscow Kremlin. Available to view and buy at Annoushka’s Cadogan Gardens boutique between 4-15 October 2016.
As an artist, Fazulzyanov’s prefered medium is enamel. His enamel work has been the centre of his creations since 1997, with jewels and gemstones just icing on the cake! He sees gems as a decoration in his creative dance. It is enamel that allows him to bring his ideas to life.
Ilgiz is not afraid to experiment with different styles and trends and fuse them together with various materials to embody his ideas. The artist does have a favourite style, though, and it’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
I was interested in the bespoke pieces I had seen at the Ilgiz Fazulzyanov exhibit at the Kremlin, so I asked him where he gets his inspiration. He told me when he meets with his clients there’s a connection that transpires into his jewellery. He imagines capturing a piece of their soul in his designs, the materials, the choice of colours and their favourite flowers.
I learned that every piece within his collection uniquely expresses a particular philosophy or history.
His great attention to detail is reflected through his realistic interpretations and through the use of highly skilled practices, from filigree, engraving, embossing, to coining and enamel techniques.
Exquisitely crafted, every piece is beautiful and is truly a work of art. Which one’s your favourite? Let me know in the comments below.
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*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla.
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