Meet Paolo, Italian CraftsmanApr 21, 2017
Paolo Marchi is one of the Italian craftsmen whose work comprises the Toscano Gold collection. Marchi started working on jewelry as a teenager and brings a quintessentially Italian passion to his craft, learning traditional handcrafting techniques from older generations of Italian artisans. In the village of Arcugnano, in Northern Italy, Paolo rises before the sun does […]
Paolo Marchi is one of the Italian craftsmen whose work comprises the Toscano Gold collection. Marchi started working on jewelry as a teenager and brings a quintessentially Italian passion to his craft, learning traditional handcrafting techniques from older generations of Italian artisans.
In the village of Arcugnano, in Northern Italy, Paolo rises before the sun does and it’s often still dark when he arrives at his shop to begin melting the gold he and others will work with for the day, crafting the latest Toscano piece for Ben Bridge.
He has more than 30 years of experience making jewelry, interning under master craftsmen. It’s a passion he brings with him every day.
“To me, jewelry is something special, like a dress. A beautiful woman with a beautiful dress or nice jewelry is perfect. It is something that is part of life, something that lasts all life long,” Marchi said. “When I work…I know that every single jewel I work on, every detail I care will be then … a part of someone’s life.”
The work he does for Ben Bridge and the Toscano Gold collection creates more than just jewelry; it creates art that Italy is known for worldwide.
“We can design and create collections and objects with a soul inside,” he said waving his hands around his workshop. “You can see this in all the jewelry we create. Every single piece has a part of our heart in it, both in planning and in making these objects.”
One of his specialties is bracelets.
“I love bracelets because they stay close to the hand,” he said. “When you meet people the very first thing you do is shake hands and your eyes move immediately to the hand. And you can see the bracelet, and the bracelet identifies that person at first sight, her life, her past, her style. Hands can tell a lot about people. You can see their life.”
And because he’s Italian, life is much more than just work, it includes his family, and friends and connections. The Toscano Gold collection, and Ben Bridge has worked its way into that circle.
“Ben Bridge looks for something in the Italian Jewelry you cannot find in other productions. Because it’s just soul. It is that soul that we bring inside our production, the design we create, the finishing touch, the details.”
“When I produce a jewel, I hope, I imagine that it will last all life long.”
He thinks about the pieces that are heading overseas to America and he thinks about the men and women that will wear them. He hopes his artwork will be part of their life.
“This is not just creating jewels: it’s creating emotions.”
With all of that in mind, Paolo just finished some of the most important jewelry he has created, a wedding set made entirely with his own hands that put the full weight of his lifetime of expertise to use. And, this winter, when he and his husband exchanged vows, they used those bands handcrafted by Paolo, adding two more pieces of jewelry that he and his husband will fill with meaning and emotions over a lifetime.