Everything started with her Trilogy ring. Maybe you know that I have an IG page: @journaldesbijoux. While I was surfing the jewelry page I came across that particular ring by Cristina Zilli which immediately caught my attention – not only for the exquisite craftsmanship but above all because it had something that distinguished it as unique within the vast panorama of jewelry design.
I asked Cristina to tell me something about the genesis of this jewel.
She told me that the Trilogy ring represents the birth of her baby. Three ideal towers stand out from the finger rising towards the sky. The largest bright tawny orange diamond represents her son, the center of attention between the two parents.The admirable symbolism of this ring is combined with a skillful technique and with a careful choice of the stones.
I must emphasize that Cristina is an expert Irigem gemologist capable of looking for and buying stones that interest her from all over the world. She is also a brilliant stone cutter who sometimes deliberately cuts the stones in asymmetrical shapes. Christina’s CV is remarkable. She graduated in Natural Sciences at the prestigious University of Bologna, Italy (the most ancient University in the world, founded in the eleventh century). Her thesis was on Sicilian amber. She holds several diplomas in Gemology. Christina is also a brilliant lecturer on amber and coral with her studies having been published in prestigious scientific magazines. She recently published a report on “Successful extraction of insect DNA from recent copal inclusions” in Scientific Reports review. Christina is a fully trained jeweler who loves nature. In her works she wants to highlight the perfection of nature and its beauty.
The passion for amber, Cristina’s first love, is well expressed in this yellow gold ring with green Mexican amber with chlorophyll. Amber is a translucent resin originating from extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in color. It has been used in jewelry since antiquity and is a constant wonder to our eyes, with its various shades of yellow, orange, and brown colors. When Cristina took part in Artistar Jewels Fall Edition 2019 in Milan one of the pieces exhibited was “Piramide Egizia” (Egyptian Pyramid) an ebony ring finished with a silver leaf surrounded by a Spessartite garnet. The central stone was natural hand-cut and untreated Baltic amber.
I particularly appreciate the irregularity of forms: the amber is positioned orthogonally to the direction of the hand in order to extend the wearability to the other fingers.
In this ring the theme of love for nature and its intrinsic beauty is dominant – nature with its glories and imperfections envelops us with its vastness. Sea and mountains are symbolized by a perfect pearl in contrast with multiple demantoid crystals and the liquid transparency of the opal. All the elements of this ring are untreated and perfectly natural.
Nature may be helpful and thaumaturgical: traditionally, black coral absorbs and transforms negativity when is worn. It is the stone of regeneration and purification. Nature is also expressed here as the depth of the ocean.
Cristina represents the ocean with a 30kt black Australian opal that releases plays of color. In the center of the stone is set a natural purple tourmaline. This ring is an ode to Cristina’s lifelong love of the ocean – a source of inspiration but also something we must preserve as much as possible by not altering its nature. This is why this jewel maintains irregular shapes that express the love and appreciation of nature, the great teacher of our life. The art of Cristina Zilli is quite varied, not limited to the representation of nature.
She lives and works in the historical center of Padua, a picturesque city of art in the Veneto region of Italy. She is surrounded by the beauty of the Duomo, of St. Anthony Church, of the universally famous Scrovegni Chapel which is a masterpiece in the history of painting in Italy and Europe in the 14th century. The chapel is the home of the most complete series of frescoes executed by Giotto in his mature age. A perfect artistic sensibility – the play of color and light, poetry and pathos – admirably expressed in Christina Zilli’s high jewelry pieces.
I asked Cristina how she reconciles her passion for science with her emotional side: “Today I feel like a complete person capable of reconciling heart and mind. The passion that I put into scientific research is the same that I put into the creation of my works. The two parallel lines of scientific method and artistic creation meet with the fulcrum represented by the precious stones.
When I have in my hands a precious stone, I immediately get in tune with it and science suggests to me how it should be cut, giving it the best life it deserves.”
I wish to conclude my article about Cristina Zilli with the words of Albert Einstein that represent well her art: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
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Article edit by Laura Astrologo Porché