From the early 1960s Andrew Grima began to experiment with textured gold wire, soldered together, layer upon layer, in waves to give depth and movement. Random gaps between the wires and scatterings of diamonds to catch the light would give the finished pieces a delicate, ethereal quality.
Many of these jewels were quite large, but the light, open designs and broken outlines dispelled any feeling of heaviness. Due to its adaptability, textured gold wire featured as the building-block for many of Grima’s more sculptural designs.
- The textured gold wire jewels featured here are a combination of new and vintage pieces. They represent the quintessence of Grima jewellery and the very highest level of the goldsmith’s craft.
- Several of the images illustrate the jewels in the process of being made highlighting the technique which involves laying out individual wires on plasticine, covering the area with plaster of Paris and then removing the plasticine before soldering them from the back. Diamonds are then set on top of the wires in platinum batons or else spaces are left in the design for platinum collets. Finally texture is applied by hand with a burr.
Illustration of a Grima yellow gold textured wire, diamond, turquoise and lapis brooch. The brooch is part of the permanent Metalwork collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.