Flex your Charm Muscle : SPOTLIGHT on Assael’s Award Winning “Flex” Bracelet

New Year, new news! And new versatile designs …  Assael is delighted to announce receipt of the Cultured Pearl Association of America’s inaugural “Spotlight” Award for the “Flex” bangle, designed by Sean Gilson. This award marks consecutive wins for Assael in the annual CPAA Design Awards.  This new Spotlight award specifically focuses on pieces where 75% of the design features one particular type of pearl, in this case the Akoya pearl. 

“We are delighted to be honored with this prestigious award,” says Peggy Grosz, Vice President of Assael.  “We are continually redefining the pearl category with fresh designs that are beautiful and wearable. Thanks to our collaboration with the innovative designer Sean Gilson, we are not only winning awards, we are also giving pearl lovers much to get excited about.”

This award-winning bracelet uses Gilson’s expertise in making gold actually flexible. The “anticlastic forming” technique of hand fabrication was used by the Celts and is now in use in modern times, but it was not used in between for many centuries. According to Gilson, “Anticlastic forming is the process of forming sheet metal so that it has two opposite curvatures that result in a desired form.”  This ultimately allows the metal to move or bend and yet be durable enough to wear as jewelry.  In the Flex bangle, no clasp or hinge is needed because the gold itself is flexible. It increases comfort when the bangle is worn and can start many a conversation!

Clockwise L to R from top -  Interior of Gaudi’s Casa Batillo in Barcelona, Gold Ribbon Torc found near Belfast dating to the 3rd Century BC, Sean Gilson at his jeweler’s work bench
Clockwise L to R from top – Interior of Gaudi’s Casa Batillo in Barcelona, Gold Ribbon Torc found near Belfast dating to the 3rd Century BC, Sean Gilson at his jeweler’s work bench

Gilson further elaborates on the anticlastic forming. “I was fortunate enough to be accepted as a graduate student in the mid 70’s to study with the artist who revived the technique, Heikki Seppa, at the time when anticlastic forming was in its most exciting and formative stages. I gained a profound knowledge of how to make metal move to my own will. It was stimulating. I am foremost a designer, but learning a technique that transformed my thinking from how I would make a piece, to knowing that I can make anything — it gave me tremendous creative freedom.”

“I do keep ‘technique’ in perspective,” says Gilson, “because any technique, even one as versatile as anticlastic forming, is a means to an end.  For me, the end is to make innovative, beautiful jewelry. And one of the great things about this method is the simplicity of the tools needed. Nylon, wood and steel are all used in both hammers and stakes.  The other thing needed is good technique using a hammer, because you can quickly tire with the amount of hammering involved. It’s one good way for me to stay in shape!”

Clockwise L to R – Katerina Perez featuring Assael gold and Akoya pearl bracelets, Pierre Cardin Beijing Fashion Week, Leanne Marshall F/W 18
Clockwise L to R – Katerina Perez featuring Assael gold and Akoya pearl bracelets, Pierre Cardin Beijing Fashion Week, Leanne Marshall F/W 18

The Flex bangle has a classic appeal with a row of Akoya pearls laid within a shimmering channel of 18K yellow gold.  It wears well with everything from a business suit to a simple T-shirt & designer jeans combo.  As a symbol of wisdom acquired through experience, pristine pearls just happen to be perfect for the new year.  They were once believed to attract wealth and luck, so there is no better time to wear your pearls or buy some new ones for your fine jewelry wardrobe.  New year, new you! Flex that charm muscle with the vibrant powerful luster of pearls.