Just a girl rambling around the globe and writing about it.

Musings from around the block and farther.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Jewels in Cortona

This is my friend Christine and the Cortonese jewelry artisan Antonio Massarutto.  Christine showed me a few rings she'd bought from him and, after seeing him strolling his baby through the Piazza Repubblica, insisted that we check out his shop.

I expected a few old-fashioned-looking, hand-hammered rings with tiny stones, but that's not at all what I discovered.

Antonio, who is also a sculptor, uses unusual metals -- white and rose golds, for example -- and gems and stones like fire opals to create clean, modern pieces.  I tried on several, including the gorgeous, hard-angled gold ring at the bottom of this post, with onyx pave-cut gems encrusted on the sides like stars scattered in a constellation.  He put a bronze ring on my finger, which I quickly took off again and pointed to a gold ring.  

"Gold," he said.  "Why always gold?"

"Oh, I'm sort of into the 1970s Carly Simon, big hat, flowy dress, barefoot thing lately," I said.  "I love silver, but I'm more into the gold vibe lately." Christine nodded in agreement, but Antonio, who didn't grow up with American pop culture, obviously, was at a loss.  

"Cah-rrrr-leee Simon?" he asked.  Christine and I shrugged, shared the moment, continued gaping at the jewelry.

Finally, I chose these two delicate simple rings that can be worn together or separately.  "These are for everyday," Antonio said.

What he means is everyday fabulous.

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