Gypsy jewelry is handcrafted using traditional craftsmanship and techniques from the Ottoman Era. At least five artisans will work on every piece, and often more, as each step of this intricate process requires a unique skill set. Here, we follow the Story Art Necklace at the end of it’s production process and view the last few steps: oxidization and adding stones to finalize the piece.
After the piece of jewelry has come out of a mold, been hand hammered and carved into the perfect design, and gold-plated, it is time to oxidize the piece to achieve a unique vintage look. In the first part of this process, parts of the piece are hand painted using black car paint. This is done to cover up the parts of the jewelry that will remain gold, so that they are not touched during the oxidization process.
Once the black paint has had time to dry, the piece moves to the hands of the next artisan, who will oxidize the gold that has not been painted. Here, we see the pendent being dipped repeatedly in hot liver of sulfur, a chemical mixture that will give the gold its darkened antique look.
Once the gold has been perfectly oxidized, another artisan will take it and wash off the black car paint. After it has been scrubbed and soaked, the car paint will disappear and you will be able to see the shiny gold beneath it. After this is complete, the piece will have a distinct old-world look.
The final step of this process, before the piece is done and ready to be worn, is adding turquoise or other stones. This pendent will go to the hands of one more artisan, who will take bits of turquoise and lay each one into the piece.
Finally, the pendent is done. It will be strung on a strand of freshwater pearls, and is then ready to be worn.