The story behind the Venice Ring
I ended 2022 with a feeling of gratefulness for all the good things life has been giving me, thus I wish to start the new year with a post on one of my most appreciated and beloved creations: my Venice Ring, in Italian Anello Venezia.
As you know, Piazza San Marco is my second home, the place where I spend most of my days, in and out from my workshop, alternating steaming hot cappuccinos to lost-wax carving. The Piazza is a small big world in itself, animated by its international visitors but also by all the people that -like me- work here and contribute to making this place still true and an important part of the Venetian community.
I have witnessed good and bad times, sunny and stormy days, and have dealt with way too many episodes of acqua alta (high tide), a cruel phenomenon that spares no one here in the lagoon. Of course, among all the marvelous buildings and monuments I have my favorite references and the Doges Palace is definitely one of them.
I won't deny that I have always been strongly attracted by Palazzo Ducale, not only for its beauty, but also for the strength and sense of protection it conveys. The Doges Palace is probably the highest example of Venetian Gothic architecture, with the typical gothic proportions turned upside-down: the lightness in fact is in the lower part, given by the gorgeous marble pillars, all loots from past wars and each topped with unique bas-reliefs from different centuries, whereas the heaviness is in the upper part, the oldest, in pink and white lozenge.
Whenever I have some spare time, I head to the Doges Palace for a quick visit. I hardly ever stay long, due to all my commitments, but I always find the time to walk on the covered patios and admire the outside view. It may sound silly, but I never get tired of what I see, everyday the light is magically different and the views unrepeatable. At the corner that faces the Marciana Library, above the statues of Adam and Eve you will notice the sculpture of the archangel Michael with a sword, a figure that seems to be constantly protecting my city. On the other side, the one along the canal, the representation of the drunkenness of Noah. In the middle of that facade, Venice as Justice, guarding -like Michael- over Venice.
Along the portico on the ground floor and the loggia on the first floor, the columns are interwoven by arches and by my beloved quatrefoils, which have inspired my Venezia Ring. The columns are all in white marble, excluding the most famous two that are in pink and used to be the place from where the Doge would stand during official ceremonies but also from where death sentences were pronounced. Anyhow, the top part of these columns is always a quatrefoil, and I have fallen in love with this shape.
I could go on with historical and artistic information, but the truth is that for me there is an emotional tie with this magical Palazzo, a strong tie made up of years and years of visits but mostly... because I see it every single day and every single day I just can't help thinking how beautiful it is and how protected it makes me feel. It's more than a symbol, it's a physical emotion and this is why one day, when I started working lost-wax, I instinctively created a ring recreating its shapes.
The Venezia Ring was one of my earliest creations and it was also the first of my rings that I showcased in my shop windows. I will never forget that day. The sign BONCOMPAGNI had been in Piazza San Marco for over one hundred years and that day I was about to add the sign with my name, VALERIA. Of course I was extremely nervous and kept asking myself if I deserved that and I was asking for some sort of sign to my grandparents, who may have left me physically but are always with me in my heart. So that day, while the workmen were putting up the sign...a Venetian gentleman passed in front of my atelier and as soon as he saw it, he stepped in and bought it for his wife.
I have no words to describe the happiness I felt. Not only because I received appreciation for my work (and it was the first time I had showcased it, the first time it was in my shop window!), but also because the first customer was from here, a local! We started talking and still today we exchange some chats when he happens to pass by. I took the whole episode as a sign, telling me to keep going and never to be afraid. From that moment on, I have been creating a variety of pieces, all linked to emotions and personal -yet universal- feelings, and I have recreated the Venice Ring with the same design both in white and yellow gold and with and without precious stones, which can be in different colors.
The last thing I wish to say about the Venezia Ring, is that the inspiration arrived on a late summer afternoon while I was on a vaporetto going home. As usual, I was looking outside the window and the light was just beautiful. At one point an orange ray of light shone on the columns illuminating the quatrefoil, making it almost shimmer. When I saw that, I decided to make this ring, so to me it will always be linked to two lovely personal memories.
Now that I have shared with you the story behind this ring, I hope you will feel the same feeling as me and that those of you who are wearing it will think of Venice and its motherly protection whenever you look at it.
Thank you for reading me. Looking forward to meeting you in my atelier in Piazza San Marco.
Piazza San Marco 130, 30124 Venezia (VE) - Google map
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