It all begins as a family story. A father, a sculptor for life, passes on to his daughter both curiosity and the desire to mold material, to create, to give birth in her own hands to something thought and wanted. In the father’s workshop, specialized in jewelry, is a wonderful sparkling yellow metal, from which the smallest details for sculptures in stone and ivory are created with expert workmanship. Just one glance and it’s love at first sight: those unique gestures, those precise movements of the hands of a goldsmith, a kind of meditation where the protagonist is the piece on the bench peg. And one day, after a long time spent in capturing these images with her eyes, comes permission to experiment and the first casting with the crucible. A living memory, impossible to forget.
In short, his curious and fascinated daughter finds herself sitting at the bench like the goldsmith and craftsman before her. And there, after years and years, she remained, alternating hours of work with specialized courses in design. This job requires very much dedication, patience and training: the only way to grow in the world of an artisan. Then the turning point, one day at a trade fair: from a stand full of shapes and colors the world of minerals was displayed in all its glory, unique and valuable creations carved from the earth, especially a cluster of hyaline quartz (crystal rock). And there was the idea: to bring the natural world to the goldworking, to create jewelry with any stone, from plaster to diamond, raw or processed, pure or contaminated from its matrix! The stones themselves guide the artisan towards the finished shape of a jewel.
“Calicut” was born in 1998 and is the brainchild of this vision. Its name takes inspiration from the vast and ancient Indian market, symbol of the trade of gems, stones, spices, silks and other treasures, large and small.
And from the name, while chatting with a lifelong friend, comes the opportunity for a gift, a good luck charm, an effigy drawn from his own capable hands. And so, from the sketch of a big name in the art world, the Calicut image was born and – with great pride – has since then remained the same.
The journey begins, supported and shared by the people who have helped make that childlike dream come true. A dream that grew with the arrival of a Florentine goldsmith, from the Ponte Vecchio. He is an artist trained in the ancient art of the great Italian goldsmiths, fine jewelry, wax modeling and Etruscan processing, in particular the granulation of fine gold. And the synergy between artists is immediate and fundamental, shaking the aesthetic foundations of conservative Genoa, giving rise to a new and complex path, where rougher forms are placed side by side with the finest jewelry, and the most common stones join the rarest. And this idea, innovative and revolutionary, is accepted and understood, and after years Calicut continues to live in the city as a reference point for jewelry made with gemstones and minerals.
And today the future comes knocking at the door, and with fervent decision: Calicut jewels are noticed in New York on several occasions, both official and private.
Amazement shown for originality and style in jewelry is confirmed, browsing through the streets of Soho, Williamsburg, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, Nolita, Chelsea, the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, by the effective absence of a jewel with the same characteristics, able to arise and grow from raw matter.
And so today, from Genoa’s old city, the dream of that girl has flown to New York. And in conclusion the story will finally give a name to each of its characters: Italo, the hard-working and passionate father; Paolo Conte, the lifelong friend and great Italian artist; Antonio, the talented and enthusiastic Florentine goldsmith; Michela, the passionate and valuable collaborator who flew far away carrying the world of jewelry in her heart and Rossana, the soul of Calicut, the passionate and curious daughter who let light of gold and the strength of stone enter her soul and who has able to introduce her own form of art into the world of jewelry making.
Calicut’s world is the heart of the old city of Genoa. One of a kind in all of Europe, the historical center has its roots in antiquity and hides them in structures that have lasted for centuries.
A span of houses, buildings, churches, palaces, streets and alleys huddled around the port, the pulsing heart of the city through time and history.
It’s labyrinth of marvels, visible and hidden. Around every corner are secrets waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Different architectural styles have overlapped throughout the centuries: the Romanesque, the Gothic, the Baroque and all that is Art and Culture that has crossed Europe (and beyond) over the last thousands of years lives here.