Precious Titanium: technology and ornament

Exhibition  /  18 Jun 2010  -  01 Aug 2010
Published: 09.07.2010

© By the author. Read Copyright.

The exhibition investigates the expressive potential of titanium, a metal generally employed in industry but here utilised for the first time as an ornament. The result? 33 jewels, the pictures of Pietro Pedeferri and everyday objects such as medical prostheses, golf clubs, kitchen hoods, and architectural facades that highlight the versatility of titanium and its technological and ornamental applications.
The exhibition “Precious Titanium: technology and ornament” forms part of the “Gioie e colori” project financed by Regione Lombardia (Bando Metadistretti 2008 – Design). The aim of the initiative is to create a supply chain for the production of titanium jewellery. This project has been promoted by Politecnico di Milano ("Giulio Natta" Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering and Department of Industrial Design, Arts, Communication and Fashion - INDACO) with the consultancy of Fondazione Politecnico di Milano and the following companies: Titalia Srl (project leader), Bama Srl, Eurometal Srl, Labodesign Srl, Nanosurfaces, Taigher Sas and Vacuum Surtec Srl.

“Titanium has never enjoyed much success in the world of jewellery since being discovered accidentally on a Cornwall beach by Reverend William Gregor in 1791” remarks curator Alba Cappellieri, professor of jewellery design at Politecnico di Milano. “The first titanium jewellery in Italy dates back to the 1970’s when a meeting between Pietro Pedeferri, who experimented with the electrochemical colouring of titanium, and goldsmith James Riviere in 1972 marked a new departure for titanium jewellery. But despite a few bold pioneers, titanium jewellery subsequently stirred up little interest among gold designers. This resulted in the decision to get thirty-one Italian jewellery designers to design a titanium gem and explore this material and its technologies: maestros and young designers, who were also joined by two students from the Politecnico advanced jewellery design course”.

We managed to provide the jewellery designers with a material, titanium, and moulding and finishing technologies from other areas – such as Direct Manufacturing, Metal Injection Moulding, “soft” electropolishing, anodising and Anodic Spark Deposition – rarely employed in the gold sector until now” comments Barbara Del Curto, researcher from the Faculty of Design at Politecnico di Milano, who focused on the technological aspects.


Curator: Alba Cappellieri
Scientific Coordinator: Barbara Del Curto
Scientific Committee: Alberto Cigada, Barbara Del Curto, MariaPia Pedeferri

Exhibition project: Labodesign
Catalogue: Electa in Italian and English
Texts by: Silvana Annicchiarico, Alba Cappellieri, Alberto Cigada, Barbara Del CurtoMariaPia Pedeferri, Labodesign

Triennale di Milano, Viale Alemagna 6 (open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday 10.30 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
from 17 June to 1 August 2010.


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GianCarlo Montebello. Bracelet: CANNOCCHIALE, 2009-2010. Titanium, laser process, palladium 950. Modules in titanium, laser process, conjunction elements in palladium 950.. GianCarlo Montebello
Bracelet: CANNOCCHIALE, 2009-2010
Titanium, laser process, palladium 950
Modules in titanium, laser process, conjunction elements in palladium 950.

© By the author. Read Copyright.