It’s quite common nowadays to find jewellery made of unusual materials like synthetics, steel or paper – but they often take some getting used to. Not in this case! Parchment used in this way looks marvellous at first glance.
Hilde Janich, a goldsmith and jewellery designer based in Essen, Western Germany, has hand-crafted these necklaces specially for us out of a material that was prized for writing purposes above all others in Antiquity and in the Middle Ages, yet today has been largely forgotten. In Germany, for example, there are only three firms left that manufacture parchment for use in the book-binding and music trades.
Animal hide is the basic material for these necklaces, as it is for leather. Individually cut pieces are dyed in a variety of shades to produce a vivid brightness and at the same time to show off the delicate texture and translucent surface of the material – which is different with every piece. Small freshwater pearls form the connecting links between the parchment pieces. A short word on care. The necklaces look extremely delicate. However, parchment is in fact a pretty tough material and can take a certain amount of gentle bending without being damaged – the same goes for the catch. It behaves like any other organic material – and remember to keep it away from the damp!
And finally: they are light, and extraordinarily pleasant to wear, particularly if (as with most people) your skin is sensitive to certain metals.
Pforzheim, in south-west Germany, has always been the leader in the art of machine-made decorative chains like bracelets and necklaces – considered in the trade to be the ‘highest art’ of jewellery production due to the complicated techniques needed for fitting together the tiny components of the chain. Just how complicated you can see by looking at the Milanese illustrations here.
The plaiting of gold and
silver jewellery was well-
known to the ancient Etruscans. The ‘milanese’ technique,
as it is called, was originally used for making chain-mail in the Middle Ages, and produces a kind of flat, flexible ‘carpet’. In our necklaces and bracelets this flat ‘chain-mail’ is rolled up to form a round tubular shape.
Milanese Neck Chain 110,00 Euro
Milanese Bracelet 66,00 Euro
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