Precision and artistry are not mutually exclusive, as the Ring Series with a hand-applied gold-leaf finish proves. Fusing ultra-modern minimalism with a time-honored technique, these light fixtures are both cleanly architectonic and stylistically luxurious. Italy’s master painters first used gold leaf, their desire for the material initiating small goldbeater workshops that carried the art of gilding through the early nineteenth century when machinery began turning gold into pliable sheets.
Gilding is a painstaking process of applying sheets of gold that have been hammered into a thin foil. The tools used include brushes, knives, pads, gilding primer and gilding sizer. Once the gold leaf is applied in layers, it can be burnished with a brush or the fingers for added luster. Texture is achieved when the gold leaf is applied in smaller pieces.
The farthest back gold leaf is found is in Egypt when the pharaohs favored glimmering metallic tones for their tombs. Gilding was first referenced in Italy during the fourteenth century, near the end of the Proto-Renaissance, when painting on wood panels became popular. Masters, who were assisted by pupils and workshop members, oversaw the luminous treatment, which, during that era, was most often reserved for the saints and deities gracing altars and fine art.
Designed by Enzo Panzeri and made in Italy, the circular aluminum structure of the fixtures in the Ring Series is sharply defined, making the use of gold leaf a brilliant textural move. Other finishes include aluminum, white, silver, stainless steel, red, black and graphite. There are down-light and up/down light versions, and variations in thickness. Mixing and matching the assorted sizes in the Ring Series makes lighting a room an artful experience.