Francesca Urciuoli is an Italian jewellery designer and maker. Since starting her jewellery education, she has not stopped travelling, hungry for new adventures to draw her out of her comfort zone, and to learn new jewellery techniques and languages.
From Perugia, a small city in central Italy, she moved to Florence for her BFA at Alchimia, School of Contemporary Jewellery, and subsequently to the USA for her MFA at SUNY New Paltz. After her studies, she undertook several internships in the USA, in Delaware at Heidi Lowe Gallery and in San Diego, CA, where she was a studio assistant for metalsmith Anne Wolf. During that time, she learned to work with the mokume gane technique and since then, Francesca has not stopped experimenting with it. In 2016 she moved to Birmingham, where she completed a 2-year residency programme at the Birmingham School of Jewellery. She is currently based in Berlin, where she is growing roots and works as a freelance jewellery designer.
Francesca Urciuoli’s collection ‘Under the Surface: Mapping Mokume Gane" is an exploration of the mokume gane technique, and asks: What is under the surface? What can the metal reveal? These questions drive her to constantly find new ways of working with the technique, to discover hidden layers under the surface of the metal that are waiting to be revealed, and to make unexpected and intricate patterns.
The work illustrates Francesca’s own journey since she started her jewellery education, moving from one place to another, taking different paths and new opportunities, as well as detours, to find another place to call ‘home’. The lines on the surface of the jewellery create patterns, sometimes intersecting and making knots. These represent detours; the chances or possible mistakes that become the real value of the whole journey. The work’s aesthetic reflects the concept of decay, use and wear, so that the jewellery may become a talisman or an amulet. Each piece invites the viewer to get closer, to see the detail and the imperfections. These imperfections are a reminder of transiency, and time passing, drawing us in curiously and allowing us to create our own stories, lost in time.