There are million handcrafting techniques of modern jewelry around the world but hardly one is so experimental that reticulation itself.
WHAT IS RETICULATION
A reticulation is a very young handcrafting technique and it has a completely experimental nature. What that means? That means that not even two jewelry pieces created with it are the same.
Reticulation is actually a decorative surface finishing technique with which we achieve random folding of the material at the certain temperature of the fire. It is a process of achieving a textured surface on the metal, consisting of ripples and ridges which are created through controlled heat.
In the late 19th century it was used as a decorative technique by Russian goldsmiths such as Faberge, where the process was named samorodok, which means 'born by itself'. All shapes made on principle of reticulation are unique and unrepeatable. It can be used on the rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets and so on. Even the sky is not the limit while exploring it.
HOW I DISCOVER IT
I was finishing a pair of wedding rings which should have a smooth surface. I was a bit in a hurry so I used a stronger fire.
While soldering them, the surface became wrinkled in a second. I was absolutely thrilled with my new discovery and fell in love with the organic look instantly. Unfortunately, I could not repeat the effect itself for more than a half of the year. I researched what it could be, looking for answers from goldsmiths, who were not familiar with this technique and saw it mainly as destroyed material. I later discovered that this wrinkling of the material is a technique called reticulation.
BEAUTIFUL ORGANIC SHAPES OF HANDCRAFTED MODERN JEWELRY
To me, the most beautiful thing about this technique is the natural look the metal has after being treated with it. Modern jewelry designed in this way has an organic look, in which the most diverse forms flow together in a completely unique way. It is true that reticulation requires a lot of time, precision and preparation but it is definitely worth it as it is full of surprises from the very start to the end. At the same time, it is a versatile technique that is suitable for both unique wedding rings, engagement rings and all other jewelry.
Most of the jewelry I design is inspired by this technique. In some designs, it represents the central processing of the material, while in others it is merely the basis for further handcrafting.
Here you can also watch a video presentation of the technique.