Micro mosaic jewels by Sicis revive an ancient technique

Micro mosaic jewels by Sicis revive an ancient technique

Sicis Jewels’ stunning creations stand out from just about anything else you may well discover in the windows of luxurious jewellers about the world. Unlike far more regular jewels, the star of every single design and style is not a gemstone but micro mosaic. This historic method dates back to Roman instances and permits rich designs and intriguing miniature works of art to be developed by painstakingly placing with each other countless numbers of distinctive coloured miniature enamel glass pieces or tesserae. Just about every jewel is as significantly a do the job of artwork as it is a triumph of design and style, know-how and meticulous craftsmanship.

The intrepid Leo Placuzzi and his daughter Gioia, the founders of Sicis Jewels, have brought up to day the historical art of micro mosaic with their new solution. Sicis Jewels was started in 2013, a division in the guardian company. Right after jogging the British isles enterprise, Gioia followed her heart and done the Gemological Institute of The us program in London and in 2018 took about as Imaginative Director for jewellery.

Imaginative Director Gioia Placuzzi works with her father in the jewelry division of Sicis. The dad or mum corporation provides massive scale mosaics like the 1 witnessed driving as effectively as the smaller ones used in jewelry.

‘We have obtained the ideal marriage of the previous and existing as very well matching the intrinsic worth of the elements with the inventive enter of the craftsmen and females. This helps make each individual piece unique,’ points out Gioia from the firm’s London boutique.

The jewels ripple with life in a one of a kind combination of daring, modern day patterns in vibrant colors wealthy in textures, opacities and tonal nuances. The delicately uneven surfaces and the generous but harmonious volumes convey an exciting new dimension to jewellery.

Nevertheless grand in thought, each individual jewel requires dozens of several hours of meticulous perform. Utilizing the smallest specks of mosaic like paint on a brush, the infinite colors and characteristics of glass enamel unleash a increased artistic freedom. Creative Director Gioia Placuzzi describes: ‘Micro mosaic is our gemstone as it is created from crushed minerals and stones. This in alone is a artistic approach that lets the artists obtain a universe of colour and subtlety that is just not doable with gemstones on your own.’

Every thing about the firm is strange tale commencing with the tale of the mother or father enterprise. In 1987 Leo Placuzzi, who supplied luxury wall and flooring coverings was doing the job on a sheik’s mansion in Saudi Arabia. When taking into consideration the most opulent materials for this dwelling, Leo recommended mosaics, as favoured by the most extravagant Roman Emperors. Again residence in Ravenna, Italy, a city regarded of its vibrant Byzantine mosaics, Leo was unable to source just about anything of the high quality and in the portions wanted from smaller-scale artisans still manufacturing mosaics. His resolution was to established up his own manufacturing facility, and so Sicis was born.

Pink Ribbon ring by Sicis

Sicis first generates the ribbon type and fills it with hundreds of micro mosaics or tesserae right before cautiously choosing the gemstones that will complement the star of the present as observed in the harmony of tones in the Purple Ribbon jewel.

Sicis, the acronym for the Latin: Sic Immensos Clarosque Inceptus Somniavi that interprets as ‘this is how I dreamed of well known and fantastic undertakings’, is now a world wide company with 22 shops and 400 personnel. Its Art Mosaic Factory head quarters provides not just massive-scale mosaics or ‘eternal paintings’ as they are also identified due to their enduring colours but also important jewellery.

Even though the jewels came just after the mosaics, Leo’s passion for jewellery was certain to direct him to it. So deep is his like of this artwork type that it stretches to his selection of title for his daughter Gioia, that usually means jewel in Italian.  ‘It is a happy coincidence that my father selected this identify and it reflects our shared passion of jewellery,’ points out Gioia.

No matter if producing mosaics that go over overall structures or the smaller types that are used in jewelry, the foundation components and the first stage of manufacturing are very similar for both equally. All Sicis mosaics start off everyday living as silica blasted at 1,400 levels in their furnaces. But as opposed to traditional mosaics, Sicis has patented the process of including in ground minerals these types of as diamonds, gold and sapphires to improve the colours making the house’s hallmark vivid hues and effects. Ground rubellite brings a vivacity to crimson mosaics, and jade or peridot provides a lushness to environmentally friendly tones whilst sapphire roots – the lessen high-quality component of the stone – brings a vibrancy to the blues. As reduce good quality and usually incorporated stones are used, the process tends to make use of material that would have been discarded, cutting down on squander.  A near infinite array of colours, textures, effects and translucency can be achieved in this key section of the course of action.


At the time the tiles or tesserae are made, they are then molten again to develop slender hand-pulled glass rods from which smaller fragments are submitted off to develop the micro mosaic items. A appear at the jewelry workshop reveals partitions lined with containers containing just about every hue of glass rods that are the artist’s raw product in this abnormal jewelry-producing strategy. And this is just the start off, as every single Sicis jewel will take three or 4 situations as prolonged to create as a regular one. Gioia suggests: ‘Our jewels just take considerably longer to make than common kinds as we have the supplemental two techniques of making the micro mosaics right before we even start out perform on the jewel.’

The 15×15 mm sized pieces of mosaic are filed off the glass rods to produce the dots, that like a pointillism painting, are picked up with tweezers and used to a patented paste foundation. Dot by dot the designer’s vision is introduced to everyday living. There is a continual dialogue among the artists and mosaic makers, requesting particular tones and textures to exactly match the pattern.

Destino Incantato necklace by Sicis

Little chips of mosaic and valuable gemstones arrive alongside one another in this vibrant and pretty up to date Destino Incantato choker by Sicis around which move diamonds set into an organic and natural-shaped lattice.

Even as soon as the micro mosaic is complete, often on undulating surfaces, these elaborate, 3-dimensional jewels are also adorned with gemstones. In a business the place colour is an obsession, locating the suitable gemstone can just take dozens of makes an attempt to uncover the ideal match for the mosaic.

When working with hearth and glass enamel in these a conventional way, uniformity is not the purpose. ‘It is a quite complex system that demands a whole lot of tolerance and capacity. Our purchasers like the notion that they seriously have a one-off, as each and every jewel is diverse as there are so lots of handcrafted elements. Things this kind of as the temperature on the working day the jewel was created and the hand cutting procedure usually means that very little is at any time precisely the very same,’ points out Gioia.

The procedure is so labour intensive that  amount of jewels produced is minimal by its really nature .  Sicis has labored with some of the greatest names in luxury who find out its scarce abilities. The agency has made marble and micro-mosaic jewels for Fendi and intricate check out dials for the American jewelry property Harry Winston.

The learn craftsmen and ladies, of which there are some 30 working in the Sicis jewelry atelier, have all studied Fine Arts and then experienced at minimum a even more 3 several years schooling in residence. From the 1-off high jewelry pieces to the far more every day layouts, just about every Sicis jewel is a up to date get the job done of art with a really historic soul. ‘The authentic benefit is not the gold and the stones but in the prosperity of traditional craft and art in each and every jewel,’ says Gioia.