Backstage secrets about porcelain jewelry
I’ve written about ZEMA earlier, if you missed the article, you may read it here.
Let us peek behind the scenes!
Jewelry made of china still counts as a novelty in the Hungarian fashion world, so the know-how of the making of these wonderful jewels is kept top secret by the painters and the sculptors of the trade. Despite all this, a young Hungarian jewelry brand has agreed to let us into their mysterious world.
There’s a great hustle and bustle going on inside ZEMA’s workshop; the painters and sculptors are working on gorgeous pendants, rings and earrings. Of all the handmade china collections, the open work pieces are made with the most complicated technique, so we asked the owner about these. “Open work is done by the sculptor on raw fine china, because only in that form can the material be shaped”, says János Papp, ZEMA’s executive manager. “Since the jewelry is very fragile at this stage, only one out of five pieces survives on average. This is what makes these accessories so special.
The porcelain jewelry, complete with a graven or pierced pattern, then goes in a porcelain furnace where it is fired at 1,400 degrees. The pattern hardens with the firing of the china. “This is followed by the decoration”, we learnt from János.
“The painter paints the envisioned motifs in 18-21 carat gold or, depending on the colour scheme, in 23-carat platinum by hand.”
The painting of the open work pieces is very complicated and requires delicate handiwork; the making of one pendant takes over an hour.
In the last stage of the work, the jewellery goes back into the furnace where it is fired at a much lower temperature than earlier and reaches its final form after many hours of firing.
“Hungarian women want individuality”, continues János. “They aren’t satisfied with mass produced things anymore, they want to wear unique handmade accessories that are also affordable. Hungarian jewellery making is very colourful, something we should be proud of in our small country. Jewellery made of china makes the choice even more exciting.”
ZEMA has been present on the Hungarian jewelry market for four years. At the beginning, jewellery with folk patterns was the manufactory’s main profile. Over the years, the portfolio has expanded, and besides folk patterns, they (even collaborating with contemporary artists) also work with features and styles that are simpler and easier to “comprehend” for modern people. This is enhanced by the unity of the form and the pattern.
Their latest collection, Baroque Hearts, also works along these lines. Since ZEMA jewellery is manufactured in sets, there are also bracelets with heart motifs to go with the pieces.
The brand ZEMA is ever-present in the Hungarian fashion industry. They even showed their unique porcelain jewellery at the London Fashion Week in 2014. ZEMA believes that their special jewellery with its traditional patterns and other styles of artistic motifs can become popular accessories for modern women who find not only fashion, but also the art that creates these pieces important.
ZEMA has prepared a little surprise for you. There is a game starting on my Facebook page today. You may play for two handmade Art Nouveau porcelain pendants. Both are decorated with platinum. The diameter of the decorated upper part is 48 mm. Detailed rules for the game can be found on my Facebook page.
You may check and follow ZEMA’s Facebook page here.