Egyptian Faience

October 18, 2016

Egypt captured my imagination, when, as a teen-aged History of Art student, I painted the words Carpe Diem" in hieroglyphics on a piece of papyrus.  

The journey began in earnest several years later while working with Mimi Leveque "The Mummy Doctor"

who was the art conservator for the Rhode Island School of Design Museum's exhibition "Gifts of the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Faience." The show brought together hundreds of the finest examples of Egyptian faience exploring the technology of this ancient and mysterious material.

Faience is a self-glazing material starting off as a slumpy dark paste but after firing in a kiln, transforms into colorful radiant objects.

With this opportunity I began a new level of exploration. By studying ancient artifacts, we formulated a method to make faience, which we fashioned into amulets. It was at this time that my first Isis pectoral was born. I presented it to my parents, framed to hang on their wall. Soon after, a prominent university museum director mistook the modern Isis for ancient faience. I new I had a gem of a piece!

 

One of my colleagues, conservator Carolyn Riccardelli, went on to write her thesis on this topic, and our shared fascination with the process led us to join forces in 2011 when we began making faience together. Being the jeweler that I am, I wanted to see these pieces become wearable art, and so "The Gods Collection" was born.

 

I have brought together Egyptian faience, hand-made metal casting and enamel to create one-of-a-kind works of art. We've been delighted to learn that some of our clients are not only wearing their jewelry but also framing their pieces to display in their homes. This journey is truly just beginning.