American Estate Jewelry: Heirlooms in the Making

American Estate Jewelry: Heirlooms in the MakingEvery once and a while I stumble upon an artist or company that produces work that is so beautiful, so original that I know I’ve just made a tremendous discovery. That’s exactly how I felt when I first saw American Estate Jewelry. This company offers absolutely exquisite sterling silver jewelry using Old World, artisan techniques. Every heirloom quality piece is clearly destined to be handed down from generation to generation.

American Estate Jewelry was founded by Carolyn O’Keefe and was created in honor of Carolyn’s mother Sally, who wore one special heirloom sterling cuff every day. After seeking something similar to leave to her own two daughters, Carolyn realized that many American traditions in silver making were being lost forever!

In her research Carolyn also discovered the American silver company Galmer Silversmiths and its founder, renowned silver master Michael Galmer. Michael is perhaps best known for his dedication to preserving the tradition of the repousse craft and is one of the only artisans who still employs those techniques today. In addition to his new designs for American Estate Jewelry, Michael’s well known work for Tiffany & Co. and private collectors is nothing short of spectacular.

Galmer’s trademark, repousse, is a detailed and difficult process which has endured over centuries because of its magnificent results. This is a metal working technique in which a malleable metal is first formed with a specially created three-dimensional mold and then ornamented by precise hammering from the reverse side, “pushed from the back.” Metal is worked on the front to refine and define repousse images, with groves, indentation and channeling.

In fact, according to Wikipedia, the technique is actually quite ancient, “The techniques of repoussé and chasing date from Antiquity and have been used widely with gold and silver for fine detailed work and with copper, tin, and bronze for larger sculptures.”

Today, the American Estate Jewelry has debuted a collection of sterling cuffs which utilizes the repousee technique and includes a series of seven distinctive sterling silver cuffs, each lined in gold. Hand-chased from the finest sterling silver in lavish sculptural detail, these are truly cuffs of distinction. Prices range from $550-$695.

The hardest part is choosing a favorite. The Magnolia? No, the Peony? Maybe the Sunflower? Oh dear, I love them all!

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Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. From must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products for parties, weddings, and events of all kinds. Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by Click to learn more about Susan Conforte McNeill.

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