THE CRAFTSMANSHIP OF FERNANDO JORGE: HOW THE GLEAM EARRINGS CAME TO LIFE
Ever since my first visit to the showroom of Fernando Jorge in São Paulo, I’ve been intrigued by his Gleam earrings. (So glad you can find Fernando Jorge jewellery online). So I’m super excited to show you the step-by-step process these extraordinary Fernando Jorge earrings go through from the original idea to the finished piece.
Just like fashion, jewellery has to be the perfect cut as well as the perfect fit for the body and the Gleam earrings achieve this and more. You might have seen Fernando Jorge disco earrings on GEMOLOGUE jewellery Instagram, but these new earrings are stunning! With perfectly contoured lines of rose quartz and amethyst, pear-shaped citrine and dynamic 18k gold symmetry, the Gleam earrings are curvaceous and exude strength and confidence, just like us women!
With more than a decade of experience, Fernando Jorge has an unique ability to reinterpret modern jewellery from traditional elements, digging deep into the past for inspiration. He believes jewellery should follow the lines of a woman’s body and be comfortable to wear. The Gleam earrings achieve this by attaching via the piercing at the base and at another point up the side of the ear lobe. Both are adjustable to fit the curve of your ear perfectly.
INSPIRATION BEHIND THE JEWEL
Being very visual and with a natural gift for drawing, Fernando Jorge uses his drawing skills to capture his jewellery design ideas on paper. Inspiration can strike at any time. Once he has a shape in mind, Fernando can start imagining the crystals and which colours to mix in each piece. For the Gleam earrings, the colours in Fernando’s mind were yellow, pink and purple. How would that work and how would you blend them?
“At first I didn’t really know if the three colors would work together, sitting right next to each other. Then it becomes a challenge and that’s when I become intrigued. That’s when I know a piece is going to be special and something I haven’t seen before. When there’s that element of risk, the design is there and it’s beautiful, but you don’t know how it’s going to work…but if it does, it will be magical!” Fernando Jorge, Jewellery Designer
Even though Fernando Jorge makes sure his jewellery drawings are detailed and precise, there is a lot of input from the craftsmen, the goldsmith and the lapidary. It becomes a collaborative project and an exchange of ideas. He is open to accidents along the way, because sometimes that’s when the best ideas happen.
Fernando Jorge was in London when he drew the design for the Gleam earrings and immediately showed it to his lapidary, Leandro in Sao Paulo over a video call. Testing began at a distance, but to technically make the piece, Fernando handed over the sketch to his 3D modelist, who is in-house. From there, the structure and shape of the earrings came to life, before being passed onto the gold workshop for rendering. The prototype was then sent to Fernando’s lapidary workshop in São Paulo. I had the rare pleasure of visiting this workshop to see how the three crystals would come together.
With the silver prototype, Fernando’s craftsmen were able to determine if the movement of the piece would work with the shape of the stones. Once it is perfect, the earrings are crafted in gold at a goldsmith workshop in Sao Paulo, before being sent to the lapidary workshop for the stone fitting. Any variations will affect the cut of the stones, so the lapidary workshop has to cut each stone to fit every individual pair of earrings each time. This makes them truly unique.
Because of its rich source of gemstones, there is a tradition of gem carving in Brazil, as well as in India and Thailand. Fernando describes this Brazilian craftsmanship as fluid in style, a skill that takes more than just years of technical training.
“You need a natural talent and a natural sensibility and a lot of experience with handling stones. They’re precious, you don’t want them to break.” Fernando Jorge, Jewellery Designer
The lapidary process starts with selecting the crystals of citrine, rose quartz, and amethyst. The rough is selected based on the design and whether it is a good fit. Then he will use his experience to consider which inclusions are going to get in the way of the design and which inclusions will add to the beauty of the piece. To find the perfect piece of the stone to cut, very large chunks of rough are used. Though there is a lot of waste, there is much beauty as a result.
In order for the three layers to flow together and look smooth and seamless, it’s a very complex and time-consuming process. The lapidary works on the three crystal layers simultaneously, being careful only to remove a little bit of material at a time. He’ll remove a little bit from one and a little bit from the other and then adjust all the heights. Such precision takes the lapidary a whole week (of 12-hour workdays) for each pair of earrings.
“In the end, you see that shape and it looks effortless, the three layers seem perfectly matched together. But to achieve that is a lot of work.” Fernando Jorge
Watch the video on GEMOLOGUE Instagram step-by-step process of lapidary behind the Gleam earrings!
After the lapidary work is complete, the piece goes back to the workshop. A UV bond is applied to create a hard and resistant seal that merges with the gold and gemstones. Then the whole piece is cleaned and polished before the mechanism is tested. Once complete, the finished piece is shipped to Fernando in London or kept for the Brazil showroom. Everything goes through rigorous quality control and hallmarked, ready for the world.
“There are about 10 very specialised, very skilled, very experienced people involved in the process of creating the Gleam earrings, including the setter, gem cutter, gem mounter, polisher, goldsmith and mechanism, plus the CAD developer and the design.” Fernando Jorge, Jewellery Designer
GEMSTONES & GOLD
And that’s why this technique is so attractive to Fernando Jorge because Brazil is abundant in minerals, gold and coloured stones. So the roughs, which are used in souvenirs and home decor, are available to experiment with and achieve the best results.
“I think when you work in a very fine way, it becomes elevated to a fine jewellery level.” Fernando Jorge, Jewellery Designer.
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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