Most jewelry is just jewelry—pretty, wearable ornaments for the body—but some pieces rise above the ordinary to the level of wearable art. Art critics, historians, and conservators often consider jewelry to be a minor art at best, with their highest accolades reserved for larger works such as painting and sculpture. Ironically, many artists, recognized for their larger works, are also accomplished goldsmiths and jewelers.
Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini was renowned for his heroic bronze sculpture of Perseus, but he considered himself a goldsmith. Salvador Dali, whose surrealist paintings grace many museums and galleries, designed a lot of jewelry and small religious objects. Rene’ Lalique, known for his beautiful works in glass, really found his niche as a jewelry designer.
We call ourselves MONTANARI Fine Art Jewelers, because I firmly believe that jewelry making is an art form. Though we often find ourselves engaged in mundane pursuits, such as changing watch batteries or sizing rings, our real joy comes from the creative process of combining excellent materials with fine craftsmanship and innovative design. When mixing these ingredients, something beautiful usually results. Whether deliberately or by accident, now and then we cross the line and create art. And just exactly what is art? Don’t ask me. But I’m pretty sure we hit the target now and then.