Luncheon & Presentation
Thursday, May 18, 2023 | 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
*Note: All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. Members are limited to two tickets. Due to very limited parking downtown, we request that all lunch guests make every effort to carpool or rideshare. Valet parking will be available, but they have limited spaces open.
Elizabeth Locke draws on a lifelong fascination with the antique jewelry of the Etruscans, Greeks and Romans as she creates her own neo-classical hand-made 19k gold jewelry. She selects every stone and designs every piece herself. While many covet the luminescent stones or the Venetian glass intaglios in her designs, Elizabeth’s deepest passion is for one-of-a-kind antiquities: 19th-century micromosaics and pietra duras, 18th-century Chinese gambling counters, Essex crystals, miniature paintings or antique Japanese porcelain buttons.
The search for the perfect bit of history to incorporate into her designs takes Elizabeth flying around the globe to European markets, antique shows and auctions in what she terms the “continual treasure hunt.” The antique porcelain button turns into a pendant or brooch, and the 2,000-year-old coin transforms into a ring or cufflinks, continuing Elizabeth’s artistic vision and the craftsmanship of 35 Thai goldsmiths dedicated to bringing her designs to life using centuries old goldsmithing techniques.
After moving back to the United States, Elizabeth worked as a contributing editor for Town & Country magazine. A story on shopping in Bangkok turned out to be a life-altering event and eventually led her to a degree in gemology and her life’s vocation. She began Elizabeth Locke Jewels in 1988, relying on her experiences abroad and fueled by her visual sensibility. The business took off, thanks to her blend of entrepreneurial spirit and artistry.
Elizabeth Locke and Micromosaics:
Elizabeth Locke began acquiring micromosaics over thirty years ago. It’s a familiar tale. Like countless travelers before her, Locke had an artistic encounter in Italy that remained with her long after she returned to New York to pursue a publishing career. In the early 1970s, while enrolled in a graduate program in Italian literature, she discovered, in a distant corner of Il Museo degli Argenti in Florence, a collection of small artworks — most not more than two inches wide — composed of enameled-glass tesserae.
This art form, micromosaics, is the miniaturized offspring of a type of decoration used to embellish buildings as far back as 2500 BC. The pieces Locke saw rendered ancient Roman architecture and classical scenes with hundreds (or thousands) of individually placed fragments. She was fascinated by the painterly detail of imagery executed on a scale so small the makers employed microscopes. They are time capsules from the era of the Grand Tour, a rite of passage, mostly for English men, in vogue from the late 18th through much of the 19th century. During that period, travel to continental Europe, especially Italy, was the capstone of one’s cultural education and conferred social status. Locke will share her experiences collecting her exquisite collection of over 95 precious micromosaics and how this ancient artform has inspired her jewelry creations today. You will not want to miss this informative and stimulating event.
Thank you, Sponsors!
President’s Circle Sponsors:
Hollis and Chris Volk
Artist’s Circle Sponsors:
Betsy and Peter Lowe
2022-2023 Series Sponsors:
Voices of Our Times Event Committee:
Chair: Leslie Crosby
Beverly Alm, Carole Jones, Sarah Gessler, Patsy Haws, Betsy Lowe, Jean Penney, Cathy Scholl