Preziosa Young is an international contest organized and managed by Le Arti Orafe since 2008. “The aim is to contribute to the circulation of what is new in research jewellery, as well as showcase what the new generations of goldsmiths/silversmiths/designers/artists are ‘brewing’ “, explains Giò Carbone, creator of the project and founder of the school.
PY offers to emerging jewellery makers from the worldwide under 35 years old more than one occasion to promote their work.
The LAO jury, composed by curators, artists and critics, selects a small number of young talents who are given the opportunity to see their creations exhibited during the prestigious Preziosa event, now Florence Jewellery Week 2020 (28 May – 2 June 2020).
For that occasion LAO awards the winners with the publication of a high quality catalog, to introduce them with a brief biography, full color images and a description of the work (PREZIOSA PRIZE).
Furthermore, thanks to a collaboration agreement between LAO and the Inhorgenta fair, one of the selected artists gets a free exhibition space during the following edition of the fair (INHORGENTA PRIZE).
Above all, LAO invites one of the selected partecipants to spend three months as “artist in residence” in the school’s laboratories (LAO SPECIAL PRIZE).
Qiana Wang and Koen Jacobs were the artists chosen for that special award in PY 2017 and 2019, respectively.
I asked them to tell us about their time spent in the beautiful city of Florence, guests of Le Arti Orafe.
– As winner of the LAO SPECIAL PRIZE, do you want to tell us about your personal experience at the school ‘s laboratories?
QIANA WANG: It was really memorable experience as the first Chinese winner of LAO special prize. I was very impressed with the management of the studio, it was clear and quite meanwhile the division of the school lab are clearly divided into enamel class room, engraving classroom, goldsmith, library and kitchen. Also a bijou garden. Every tool has its exclusive zone.
KOEN JACOBS: My 3 months artist in residence at LAO in Florence was a fantastic experience. After being graduated in 2017 and working by myself in a studio, it was great to be in school again and to be able to exchange ideas and knowledge with teachers and students.
– What did you learn or improve as a goldsmith during your three-months stay?
QIANA: The craft they do it best. It did improve my goldsmithing by learning some special tips from Giò and other teachers.
KOEN: With the great help of the teachers I learned the ancient technique chasing and repoussé. They showed me how to use the hammer and chisels and helped me to make a good start. Besides I was very happy to learn how to make my own chisels so I can adjust them to my designs and continue back at home.
– How did the city of Florence and in general the Italian culture inspire your work?
QIANA: I fell in love with Italy and Florence, one of the most historical city in the world. Particularly, I was fascinated by the culture of Italian pasta. Though it is similar to Chinese noodles in making and cooking, the higher hardness features of pasta make it to be the unique and best choice to create my art jewellery.
KOEN: Florence is a magical city with an enormous amount of art. I was very much fascinated by the dream like fresco’s I noticed at the ceilings of Uffizi gallery, called Grotesques. I used the residency to dive into this wondrous and mysterious world of the grotesque and I spent hours looking up at the ceilings to study and draw after them.
– Do you want to briefly speak about the series you made during the residency?
QIANA: The topic I choose is about female，but I try to exalt the qualities of the female world as a whole. I chooses the pasta and I cooks it, despite this is a traditionally female activity，but to transform it into bright jewels, that denies their edibility and present them as colourful and elegant jewels.
KOEN: I discovered that the grotesque is often inspired by Ovid’s Methamorphesis, mythological poems from Roman times. Ovid describes beautify how the world keeps on changing and transforming. I used the poems as an inspiration for the jewellery pieces I made during the residency.
– Are you working on something new or are you developing the collection you started while you were in Florence?
QIANA: In 2020, developing my collection “I do not cook pasta, I create jewellery” is needed, also, I hope to use other materials to create, because I love to choose some traditional, historical but incredible materials.
KOEN: The residency was a great opportunity to make a start with a new body of work and I still continue to develop pieces back at home. I used some time to reflect the results and my research, to understand in what direction I want to go. Since I cannot find grotesques in the Netherlands, I ordered some literature to continue my research about the grotesque.
– Would you recommend this experience to your colleagues? Do you think it has influenced your personal career and your growth as an artist?
QIANA: Sure. It will be benefit your art career. For me, it is a good beginning to be an emerging artist.
KOEN: I highly recommend everybody to apply for Preziosa Young 2020. With my busy life at home it was a great experience to be able to focus on a new body of work for a period of time. Preziosa Young organised a series of exciting exhibitions to show my work to new audiences. For the winner of the residency a very warm welcome is waiting and you can make use of the advanced technical knowledge and assistance at school. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!
The application deadline for Preziosa Young 2020 is on 30.11!
Info and registration on https://www.preziosa.org/preziosa-young-call-for-application/