The Stories Behind the Art – Part Three

Explore. Discover. Connect.

Part Three in our series continues to explore, discover and connect you to …

The Stories Behind the Art

Loren Nicole

Loren Nicole is a Los Angeles-based jewelry company started by goldsmith Loren Teetelli who creates extraordinary 22-karat gold handmade jewelry inspired by the techniques and motifs of ancient cultures. She found her talent for jewelry after working as an archaeologist and a conservator at the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York. To better understand the objects she was conserving, Teetelli turned to metalsmithing classes and found a passion for creating. 

While never undergoing formal training, Teetelli has sought out masters of specialized techniques not widely practiced today and has explored ancient metalsmithing on her own guided, by an extensive library and appreciation for objects. Teetelli employs her knowledge of ancient civilizations, attention to minute details, and talent for creating rare and beautiful jewelry pieces that will be treasured for centuries to come.

As with all of my work, I create everything, start to finish, in my California studio. I source recycled and Fairmined gold (on request) from a refiner in Virginia and create the 22k alloy at my studio. The alloy I use is one that was commonly used in antiquity. There is a bit of copper in it, which gives it this beautiful warm glow. I’m working in a way that is very similar to how jewelry has been made for thousands of years. The biggest difference is that I get to use steel tools. Otherwise, most of my pieces are almost entirely made using hand tools, occasionally using an electric tool to drill or engrave something.” 

LOREN shares the story behind
three of her singular pieces …

— Bronze Age Bracelet —

4 diamonds .16 total carat, ancient Bronze Age bracelet (c. 800 BCE), 22k yellow gold

“I enjoy collecting art and antiquities. I thought it would be a beautiful passion to carry into the collection, as well as connect my time as an archaeologist, with the jewelry I’m creating. The bronze pieces in particular are my favorite to design. The rich verdigris patina that occurs naturally to bronze over time is a striking complement to high karat gold. In past pieces, I have only worked with the two metals. For this bracelet, I added small diamonds to soften the contrast of the metals.”

This one-of-a-kind bracelet is created from an ancient Bronze Age bracelet (c. 800 BCE). The bronze bracelet has flared terminals accented with a 22-karat gold set with raised gold lines and bezel-set diamonds.

— Mini Mochica Earrings —

22k gold with Akoya pearl and yellow sapphire

“The design comes from a popular style of jewelry seen throughout pre-Colombia, worn as a nose ring. Prior to becoming a goldsmith, I was an archeologist, predominately working on the North Coast of Peru. As a result, I feel a strong connection to pre-Colombian cultures and their design. When I designed these earrings I was specifically thinking of the Moche culture. They wore this style on a much larger scale as a nose ring that would cover their mouths. I add the pearls around the edge to reference another Moche jewelry style, an ear plug, which has oversized gold granules that adorn the edge.”  

The Moche created incredible turquoise and gold earplugs adorned with oversize gold spheres around the outer edge. The addition of pearls, in a soft golden color, is a reference to this ancient culture.

— Through the Looking Glass —

22k gold with rock crystal

“This ring was sparked during a visit to the Museum of Fine Art in Boston many years ago. It was the first ancient ring I had encountered in this style and was carved completely of rock crystal (which I’ve come to learn is unusual). I’ve since discovered that this shape was popular in the ancient Mediterranean. Sometimes you fall in love with something instantly and know that you have to create something from that experience. Much like the original, I designed it in rock crystal, which is one of my favorite materials to work with. I decided to add an inner gold band because I love the effect of rock crystal over gold. The cut of this ring as a cabochon onto a cabochon even more dramatically shows the optical effect of gold displayed through the layers of rock crystal.” 

A velvet gold band sits inside a hand-cut polish rock crystal ring. Inspired by ancient Roman design, this solid quartz ring has volume and layers.

— Explore Other Pieces by Loren Nicole —