Gioielli dalla Terra, the jewelry art of Maria Elisabetta Donadio, has an evocative name that refers to Mother Earth, whose cult was widespread in the Upper Paleolithic period. The Earth and its round shapes, a sign of fertility and prosperity, are the natural references that inspire Maria Elisabetta’s research to which she has dedicated years of devoted study. Passionate about paleoanthropology and prehistoric art, she wished to make this fascinating world known to the general public. Indeed her jewelry is rich in symbolic meaning that is deeply rooted within us. Not surprisingly, the symbol of her brand is the famous mammoth ivory horse found by Gustav Riek in a cave in Vogelherd where ivory figurines estimated to be about 35,000 years old were found.
Elisabetta belongs to an artistic family – her father was the Piedmontese painter and poet Piero Donadio (1934-1996), known for his shy poetics and as a lover of small and humble things. This family context formed the artistic personality of Elisabetta, bringing to life the prehistoric stylistic features in her jewelry. The lines are extremely simple, dictated by nature itself, full of ideas and inspiration such as the small perforated discs in mammoth ivory of about 26,000 years ago discovered with other rich funerary objects in the Paleolithic site of Süngir (Vladimir region) in Russia by the archaeologist Otto Bader during his excavation campaigns.
This 24k gold-plated silver breastplate duplicates precisely the motif of the perforated disc by Süngir which recalls the sun and its regenerative power. The effect of this necklace is as impressive as the symbolism to which it refers. The same theme is echoed in a maxi-pendant in Raku ceramic and baroque pearls.
Raku is an ancient Japanese style of pottery first made during the XVIth century. It was originally created to enhance the tea ceremony. This special technique matches well with the love for small things and the purity of forms that is innate with the creativity of Gioielli Dalla Terra, the only Maison in Italy to produce this type of jewelry.
Gioielli dalla Terra are made of silver with the same lost wax technique that is used for 24K gold plating, which is a long and complex procedure. For this reason, the jewels are valuable and very refined.
A commitment to innovation and to a versatility of shapes and techniques has given rise to this polylobed silver rhodium-plated collar made by hand with the Batù method, a special silver working process created by Gioielli Dalla Terra.
The collars are declined in original shapes, like this sculptural necklace, 24K gold plated with a lapis lazuli pendant with its matching ring.
Sculpture is a dominant theme in the narration of these jewels, each of which tells us its own story and allows the wearer to wear ornaments that transmit energy that speaks to the style of a person. Labradorite, lapis lazuli and rock crystal are among Elisabetta’s favorite stones, all of these pieces are unique, full of meaning and ancient correspondences.
There is something mystical underlying the making of these works of art – a result of passion, study and technique – an alchemy of beauty that arouses the wonder of those who wear these jewels for the first time. It comes not only from the pleasure of wearing the jewels, but also in conveying something deeper about her personality.
I wish to quote some verses by Samuel Taylor Coleridge that are so appropriate for Elisabetta Donadio’s art:
“Now Art…is the mediatress between, and reconciler of, Nature and man. It is, therefore, the power of humanizing nature, of infusing the thoughts and passions of man into everything which is the object of his contemplation… “
Article edit by Laura Astrologo Porché
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