Marco Dal Maso: Fit for Battle
Inspired by warrior cultures, jeweller Marco Dal Maso creates pieces that are lightweight yet robust.
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.”
Why so much thought into optimising the comfort of his bracelet? “There is a certain intimacy that men have with their jewellery,” says Dal Maso. “Many men will wear the same piece all the time. They don’t want to take it off because it becomes a part of them – a protective device or even a good luck charm or a symbol of some kind of victory.” The resulting Marco Dal Maso Warrior Bracelet creates a sensorial contradiction. When you look at it, it looks aggressive and substantive, but when you put it on, you are pleasantly surprised by how effortless it is to wear. Says, Dal Maso, “Men don’t compromise on comfort, and so I wanted to ensure that, in addition to being lightweight, every surface of these bracelets was as smooth as possible. And because they are so lightweight I’ve noticed that men will buy several of them to wear together.” Each Warrior Bracelet is handmade in Dal Maso’s Vicenza workshop. He explains, “My family has been making jewellery in the Vicenza region for many generations. We’ve nurtured this expertise and are proud to fabricate every piece here in Italy – the land of extraordinary craftsmanship.” Every bracelet is made to order, configured to the customer’s request in terms of material. Dal Maso explains, “We can create it in silver, oxidised silver, gold or in any combination. We also make each bracelet to a specific size to fit the client perfectly.” The vision of Dal Maso is to unite the incredible craft of the Vicenza region with iconic modern designs that perfectly express the desires and commemorate the victories of the modern warrior.