MAGAZINE February 22nd, 2021

ELL MILANO Interview

 

Suppose there is one thing that profoundly defines ELL jewelry. In that case, it is the desire to experiment. "One day, we tried to melt some heads of Apollo and Zeus in bronze instead of the usual silver – says co-founder Lorenzo Cavolini. Something must have gone wrong during the casting process of molten bronze inside the plaster cylinder (to fill the wax models' spaces and create the rings). Some of the heads came up with cracks and missing parts: initially, we "named a few too many saints" (Italian way of saying we were swearing) and put them aside angry, but after some time we observed them, we noticed a potential. They had the ancient charm of a find, of something that for its classic aesthetic canons should be perfect, but that works perfectly even if broken or with missing parts. It was a "metaphorical love" with error, which is part of our daily life and which should not necessarily be seen as evil, but should be seen as something from which to learn and draw strength.» 

How, when, and why did you decide to dedicate yourself to jewelry?

I was born in Genoa in 1987. My father has always been an artisan goldsmith. He opened his workshop in the historic center of Genoa in the early 80s, so all his life both my brother and I have always been in contact with the craft in its most artisanal part.  After my artistic maturity, I learned from him the techniques, but I decided to explore new ways, going to Milan to study sound design at IED. My brother, meanwhile, had immediately decided to carry on the family tradition, in turn completing the artistic high school and starting his apprenticeship as our father. When Luca gave me that skull-shaped ring in 2011, I almost immediately felt the need to get back on my feet and resume the "family job" but try to apply a more creative perspective and different from tradition, maintaining the same traditional processing techniques.

What do you present to White?

"At White we present one-of-a-kind variations of emotion myth, mythological heads with cracks, erosions, galvanic or nanoceramic tackles made in one piece. These pieces are already part of ELL, but we never had the opportunity to present them outside our workshop. We then have the new colors of the Zero collections, earrings, and chains that combine closure in silver and pendant or chain in Plexiglas. For this collection, we have studied and created closures. We have collaborated with a historic Italian company that makes this type of accessories for chains since the 1950s. Wherever possible, they use recycled Plexiglas up to 70%. The absolute novelty, however, is the maxi chains "faded." For these designs, we wanted to continue to explore the fashion accessory in materials alternative to silver. The fact chains are made of aluminum, a historically extremely easy material to recycle and very light in proportion to other metals such as brass to be used fully and not tubular. The chains, oversized with oval mesh, square oval and groumette, are finished with gold and chrome galvanic. They are combined with green and metallic blue paints shaded, inspired by sports cars and motorcycles of the 80s/90s, and have a contrasting oval closure in glossy silver as a reference to "our" favorite material." 

Future projects:  make a wish for the coming months

"The past year has been a particular year for everyone, the time spent in lockdown has left us a lot of time to reflect. At the end of this reflection we realized that we had to change something in ELL, it was time to find new inputs and new stimuli. For this reason, we started a rebranding work to update the brand in all its aspects towards the path we were taking in a more inclusive reality towards new materials and technologies. We wanted a fresher, more colorful brand that maintains its roots in the goldsmith tradition with an eye to the future. We will soon launch this project online and in-store, and at the same time, we will start a path of research and collaboration to bring ELL outside of jewelry and accessories only, researching artists and brands with which to create capsules of clothing, design, collectibles, and art».

 

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