Step into the studio of Anna della Torre and one feels a bit like Alice in Wonderland! Or like a little girl exploring her mother’s costume jewellery collection. I first met Anna at a recent exhibition of artisans at the Corsini Gardens in Florence and I won’t lie, her first piece that grabbed my attention was the chunky ‘Carmen Miranda’ styled fruit and vegetable necklace. Being the daughter of a fruit wholesaler makes one notice certain things!
Born in Florence, Anna always had a creative side and what started out as a hobby has now become her full-time dedication. She lives and works between London and Florence.
I have come to talk to Anna about her jewellery but other artworks in her studio catch my attention and when I ask, I am surprised to learn that Anna has also created some beautiful large ceramic table ornaments as well as a collection of delicate watercolours. What is most surprising is that Anna says she only started getting serious about her artistic ‘hobby’ about 2 years ago! She worked as a copywriter and PR manager for most of her career and her creative interests led her to explore different materials and techniques in her spare time. She now exhibits her work in galleries and sells her unique pieces online.
The incredible time and detail that has gone into each intricate piece is admirable! Many of the unique ‘beads’ have been hand-made from clay by Anna before being sent off to her trusted friend who fires each piece at around 1000°C. The miniatures are then hand-painted, varnished and strung on a chain in what can take up to many hours of work – like anything hand-made from scratch.
Anna mixes her own handmade pieces with other baubles bought from limited collections, old materials that are out of production and pieces found at vintage markets so many of her pieces are very unique or limited editions. All of her pieces have a ‘green’ theme. She explains, “All my work is inspired by nature. I try to look for a bit of ‘green’ soul that exists in each of us and synthesize it in a jewel. My collections are visually different: the golden metal and enamels of Wild Flowers, the baroque necklaces of Vegetables, the minimalist sautoir in porcelain but all are joined by a ‘green thread’.”
“I like to think of my jewels as a small, infinite botanical book”
Anna’s first jewellery collections were gold metal creations featuring dragonflies, bees and frogs. She also has a floral collection called Wildflowers made from boldly coloured enamel petals. Poppies, Cornflowers, Daisies and Calla Lillies are a few of the gorgeous bloom made into necklaces, bracelets and rings. She likes to create her pieces using different techniques and materials, from ceramic to fabric, from casting metals to paper-machè.
Not to do anything ordinary, Anna will be teaming up with the well-known kitchen store, Bartolini in Via dei Servi, Florence towards the end of September to hold a very special exhibition of her work which will dress the windows in creative installations together with the kitchen products of the store.