Nouveau 1910: This venerable workshop opened in Barcelona, Spain in 1906 under the direction of Master Jeweler Joseph Arquer. The workshop is still operated by the the Arquer family. The style is Art Nouveau, but these are not reproductions they are original designs made in the same workshop using the same traditional techniques that were developed by Josep Arguer over 100 years ago.
Few craftsmen today attempt enameling. The technique is very time consuming, requires patience and painstakiing attention to detail. As with painting, affects are achieved by subtle applications of color. Each shade, each nuance requires an additional firing in a kiln at precisely controlled temperatures. Plique a jour or windowpane enamel (pictured) is the most difficult technique of all. The affect, similar to the colorful translucent glow of a stained glass window is achieved by firing the enamels in tiny cells with no backing.
The origins of Modernism can be found in England where influences of the Arts and Crafts movement and the Gothic revival had already laid the foundations of the Aesthetic Movement between 1870 and 1880. This was the prelude to Art Nouveau.
Come see the work of Joseph Arguer and many other fine artist/craftsmen at R. W. Wise. Our gallery/workshop has been located in Lenox for 30 years. We pride ourselves on being the Berkshires premier jewelers, gemologists and designer goldsmiths. We are open daily in summer and Tuesday Through Saturday the rest of the year round.