Italian jeweller teams with Japanese artist to create a collection that celebrates an ancient craft while promoting sustainabilityMarch 5, 2021 By Rachael Taylor
The past year will have left few of unscarred – emotionally, psychologically, physically. In celebration of the strength that comes from strife, Pomellato’s new Kintsugi jewellery collection uses an ancient Japanese technique to knit together broken gemstones with gold.
“The idea of celebrating your scars as a sign of strength through healing is a very contemporary philosophy,” says Pomellato creative director Vincenzo Castaldo.
Vincenzo spent time in Japan in 2019 and used the trip to deepen his knowledge of the art of kintsugi. A combination of the Japanese words for gold (kin) and ‘to mend’ (tsugi), kintsugi dates back to the 15th century when it was used to repair broken porcelain. Rather than trying to hide the cracks, they accentuated them by tracing the lines with gold.
Pomellato 18ct rose gold, kogolong and brown diamond Kintsugi earrings, enquire at Pomellato
“I was drawn to the elegance of Japanese thinking and the idea of something broken becoming more precious through this ritual of repairing,” says Vincenzo. Inspired, he decided to incorporate this artistry in a new collection of Pomellato jewels launched at Paris Couture Week in January.
Pomellato Kintsugi sees broken hardstones – jet and kogolong, a smooth volcanic gemstone found in Afghanistan – knitted back together with gold and set in earrings, necklaces and bold cocktail rings. As well as being a beautiful tribute to traditional Japanese artistry, the collection also has a sustainable angle, as were it not for kintsugi the gems would be discarded.
To bring the collection to life, Pomellato partnered with a master kintsugi artist in Tokyo. She carefully reassembles the shattered gemstones by using a special glue paste that is applied quickly and precisely to the cracks. The gems are then left alone for weeks, allowing the glue to dry. After this, the glue is sanded down until it is flush with the gemstone and then painted over with real gold. The repaired kintsugi gems are then sent to Pomellato’s artisans in Italy to be set into jewels made with responsibly sourced gold.
Pomellato 18ct gold, jet and black diamond Kintsugi pendant, enquire at Pomellato
“We were very respectful of the centuries-old wisdom of the craft, and the aim is not to create perfection but a very individual and spontaneous result,” says Vincenzo. “Each jewel is truly one of a kind, and this, to me, is the real essence of preciousness.”