Maker Stories

Pre-Columbian Craft Shines in Dipped Lace Jewelry Designs

August 7, 2014

We’re always on the hunt for stunning, handmade jewelry pieces to add to our assortment. We look for quality designs with uncommon looks, pieces made from unexpected materials, and collections that fill us with awe. Tulianna Garcés and Alejandra Noguera-Garcés’s Dipped Lace Jewelry more than meets those criteria, and we’re thrilled to welcome this line of carefully crafted necklaces, earrings, and bracelets into our assortment.

Dipped Lace Jewelry

While gold-plated textiles certainly aren’t the norm in modern jewelry, Tulianna and Alejandra’s designs are actually based on a traditional technique thousands of years old.

The mother-daughter team is inspired by pre-Columbian jewelry pieces, such as those that are now on permanent exhibit at the Gold Museum, in Bogotá, Colombia. They work closely with skilled artisans to create new designs that celebrate an age-old tradition, but incorporate a contemporary twist.

Lace Jewelry Designs |UncommonGoods

Tulianna and Alejandra emigrated from Colombia to the United States in 1985, but the Vermont-based design duo travel several times a year to train and collaborate with Colombian artisans who have been affected by the civil war that has plagued the region for more than fifty years.

“A large part of [our] mission is to encourage these artisans to maintain their cultural traditions while also being able to support their families,” says Tulianna. More than 85% of these artisans are women heading households in low-income and displaced communities. Tulianna explains, “We not only share a language, our cooperation is [also] fueled by the mutual desire for a better, more peaceful Colombia.”

lace1

Crafting the luminous, detailed pieces is very time consuming. Each piece takes several days from start to finish, and every single piece is made entirely by hand. First, the heart of the jewelry—vintage-inspired lace—is sewn into shape. Next, the lace creation is coated in wax to harden the fabric and seal the shape. This beautiful bit of sculptural art is then ready for the next stage, where it’s dipped in recycled metals.

Creating Lace Bracelets | UncommonGoods

Copper provides a firm base-coat before each piece is covered in either 24 karat gold or sterling silver. The pieces are dipped over and over, until they’re completely finished with radiant, recycled precious metals. In an update to the traditional pre-Columbian process for creating gilded wares, the metal is secured through electroplating.

Electroplating

During electroplating the pieces are submerged in salt water, and then given a blast of electricity, which helps prevent the metal from losing its golden (or silvery) glow over time. Once dry, the jewelry is brushed by hand to make sure every hole is free of excess metal buildup and that every delicate detail is perfect. Finally, a protective lacquer is hand-painted onto every piece.

Dipped Lace Jewelry Collection | UncommonGoods

This precision and attention to detail comes through in each design, from the welcoming shape of the Dipped Lace Heart Necklace, to the Precious Lace Bangle’s classic eyelets, to the show-stopping beauty of the Ruffled Gold Dipped Lace Statement Necklace. Visit this exciting new collection to see all of Tulianna and Alejandra’s handcrafted dipped lace jewelry designs!

Buy Lace Jewelry Now | UncommonGoods

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11 Comments

  • Reply sophia November 22, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Hi,
    I love the gold mini heart lace earrings, but I was wondering if they could be made larger if I paid extra. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Jewelry From Uncommon GoodsFashion Column Twins December 8, 2014 at 2:01 am

    […] necklace and earrings were designed by Tulianna and Alejandra Garces, a mother-daughter team that carefully creates jewelry from “age-old traditions with a […]

  • Reply Stephanie November 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I LOVE the Hand Forged Slate and Bronze Necklace, Item #26067. If I pay extra, is it possible to have it sent with a longer chain? I think it would look beautiful on a 26″ chain. Please let me know! Thank you!

  • Reply Cathie Shelinbarger December 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    is it possible to send you a piece of lace from my and my daughters wedding gowns and have them dipped ?

  • Reply Cassie December 8, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Cathie,

    We don’t have a custom version of this jewelry available at this time, but it is a lovely idea! I’ll pass your suggestion along to our merchandising team.

    Best,
    Cassie

  • Reply Patricia December 13, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Mini Gold Dipped Lace Heart Earrings-Thank you

    Is the earring and the earring wire nickel free? I would like to purchase a pair as a gift for someone with the nickel allergy.

    • Reply Cassie December 14, 2015 at 5:22 pm

      Thanks for asking, Patricia. All of the Dipped Lace jewelry designs are nickel free. We hope they love the gift!

  • Reply Anu December 24, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Do you make the mini heart earrings in silver anymore? Or do you just have the gold ones now? I got the silver dipped lace heart necklace and want the silver earrings to match 🙂

  • Reply Marisa December 28, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Anu, thanks for your question. We never carried mini heart earrings in silver by Tulianna and Alejandra Garces. We do have some pretty Poppy Silver Dipped Lace Earrings by them, though, and they happen to be on sale! http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/poppy-silver-dipped-lace-earrings

  • Reply Judith Bachman May 4, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Just received “Heart within a Heart” necklace. The chain is very thin & too short. The closing is also very tiny and I have to ask someone else to put it on me. Can the closing loop & circle lock be made larger to accommodate those of us who have difficulty opening & closing a necklace. Can it be made with a longer chain?
    I love the idea behind the necklace, it means a lot to me, as I carry Cumming’s poem “I carry your heart in my heart” with me all the time.

    • Reply Marisa May 12, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Hello, Judith!
      We’re so happy to hear how much this necklace means to you. We asked our jewelry buyer about the chain. Here’s what she told us:
      “I’m sorry, but unfortunately the artist doesn’t offer a longer chain. This is the standard chain she uses across of the designs in her collection. The chain is delicate, but strong – you should not worry about breakage. Perhaps your jeweler can add an extender to the end of the chain to make it longer for you.”
      We’re sorry that we’re not able to help, other than to offer this info.
      Thanks for reading our blog, and for shopping with UncommonGoods.

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