Wire and Metal Bending Department
The unique detail of Napier’s jewelry was often the result of designs created in Napier’s Wire and Metal Bending Department. These designs were either hand-formed, or created with the assistance of a jig to bend into the desired shape. No two pieces of jewelry were exactly alike.
Napier’s unique designs required that many of the pieces be hand-manipulated. This process of wire bending, gave Napier a unique style. Many of the findings or filigree (pierced metal) components were hand-shaped into form. Hence, no two pieces of jewelry were alike.
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One way to appreciate art is through the hand-carved designs by Napier. The Napier designers were first and foremost sculptures. Every cast piece was hand-carved in-house with meticulous detail before a mold was made. The hand-carved designs by Napier were numerous, especially with the conversation pieces. In this example you can see the lines that create the texture of the kangaroo’s fur.
This is one of several figural pins that had moveable parts. In this case, the piece has a movable “Joey” in his mother’s pouch. Until the late 1970s, Napier rarely cast its own jewelry. According to the late Warren Dontigney, the hand-carved molds were sent to National Cast in Providence, Rhode Island. The raw or unplated castings would be returned to the plant for plating and finishing. This service would later be provided by Imperial Pearl, also located in Providence, Rhode Island.
Or The Art of Napier Jewelry
The article describes one way to appreciate the art of jewelry.
By Melinda Lewis -July 30, 2014
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