Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Not Your Mother's Pearls

Are you looking for a unique piece of jewelry to dazzle them at a special summer event?

To view a sample of Sylvia Gottwald’s jewelry collection for the first time is similarto stumbling upon a rare museum exhibit.

Gottwald, who holds a Master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University anddirected the design and planning for the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center,has traveled extensively, collecting rare shells and precious objects made from pearl andmother-of-pearl. She has also promoted the protection of endangered marine environmentsthreatened by pollution or exploitation. Man and pollution are the pearl’s onlyenemies. In her work, she uses shell species that are renewable and plentiful only.

Mollusk shells produce nacre, a substance formed from plates that catches and reflectslight. It is nacre that gives pearls their iridescence.

Gottwald chooses to cut the pearls in her designs large, thereby allowing their iridescenceto be displayed to full advantage. Using whole shells, she polishes, mounts andhangs them on cords of black rubber, leather, silver, or chain mail, or she takes a blisterpearl from nacre, and lasers it from its shell to create a ring. Some of her shells are alsodipped in baths of silver or gold metal to make belt clasps.

It was during a stay in Paris in 1999 that Gottwald first began designing objets d’artand wearable art as a kind of therapeutic activity during a difficult divorce. Now, it’sthe sheer love of creating works of art from objects she is so fond of that drives her.Sylvia Gottwald has a penchant for designing jewelry that borders on obsession,describing the difficult task of trying to keep up with a head full of designs.

In her dazzling collection, you will find an extensive assortment of necklaces, pendants,bracelets, earrings, rings, belts, and evening bags.

Sylvia Gottwald’s jewelry is available at the boutique of the Museum of Decorative Artsat The Louvre in Paris, La Reine Margot Gallery for Archeology and Bijoux in Paris,Atelier G8 in Paris, Talisman Gallery in Harvey Nicols in London, and atHarriet Kassman in Mazza Gallerie.


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