Craft / October 2017

Marco Dal Maso: Fit for Battle

Inspired by warrior cultures, jeweller Marco Dal Maso creates pieces that are lightweight yet robust.

Marco Dal Maso's bracelets are inspired by those worn by warriors.

Says second generation Italian jeweller Marco Dal Maso, “I wanted to create something totemic, simultaneously ancient yet modern, simultaneously elegant yet brutal, and something that evoked a very primal masculine power.” Studying warrior cultures ranging back from Viking to Spartan to Maori to Native American, Dal Maso kept coming back to the concept of the warrior bracelet. “It is a universal symbol, something often associated with a rite of passage – for example, your first battle. It’s interesting that what came from an essentially functional device, a wrist guard used in combat, eventually took on decorative or personal meaning when worn in civilian life. Bracelets were exchanged as tokens of friendship and camaraderie or awarded for acts of fealty or valour. Bracelets have always been a part of warrior culture.”

As such, Dal Maso decided to conceptualise his ultimate warrior bracelet, one without any overt reference to any culture, but one forged purely through the inner workings of his own imagination. “I visualised strong links in a chain, with each looking like it was rough cast or even handmade, with a texture that was reminiscent of metal that had endured and been reshaped by age, like they had been dug up in an archaeological find. Then I thought of the idea of creating something that was incredibly strong and substantial-looking, but that could be incredibly light to wear. Because I realised that men today are wearing their jewellery all the time, even to the swimming pool or when they exercise.” And so Dal Maso searched for ways to optimise the bracelets to be surprisingly light to wear. Inspired by the technique used by vintage motorcycle and bicycle racers that used to drill holes into the frames and components of their race machines to create a weight advantage, Dal Maso experimented with piercing the links of the chain to minimise their weight.” He laughs, “At one point I went too far and pierced every link but the effect made the bracelets look too insubstantial. So eventually I decided to pierce each alternate link which creates a bracelet that is surprisingly light to wear.”

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Wei Koh

The Rake's Founder & Editorial Director.