Ligurian by birth, cosmopolitan by nature, Francesca Villa left her beautiful hometown by the sea to move first to Milan and later to Rome; she now lives in Piedmont.
Previously Francesca was the Creative Director of one of Italy’s most famous goldsmiths for over ten years, where she designed jewellery and developed collections for international brands and fashion houses. In 2007, a deep desire to experiment and innovate led Francesca to quit the company and launch her own brand: FrancescaVilla.
Her inspiration comes from mixing and melting passions passed on to her by people she lived close to in her early years. Above all, her memories are filled with stories of voyages, the ones her great grandfather Nino, a captain of commercial vessels, made around the world bringing back tales and souvenirs of new places. “Many people work in their own atelier considering it to be a place to hide”, says Francesca. “I prefer to free myself and get in touch with the world by travelling, a unique chance for discovery and enrichment, inseparable from my work”.
The unmistakable trademark of her creations comes from a balance between excellent craftsmanship in the metalwork and settings, top quality hand-cut stones and a profoundly innovative style: a complex symbiosis in which the handicraft of the modern ‘bricoleur’ meets the soul of the artist. Each piece is realised in her own atelier in Italy so as to guarantee high quality manufacturing through the strict control of every step involved, constantly relying on the ability of her team of craftsmen to bring her ideas to life
A closer look shows a leitmotif running through her work: a mix of different subjects, timelines, cultures and memories. A love letter, an antique toy soldier, Chinese boules from the 1800s, vintage chips from American casinos: objets trouvés, things found in a drawer, discovered in antique shops and flea markets or visiting collectors around the world, in all these fragments Francesca sees the heartbeat of hers and others’ lives in their full evocative force.
This is her challenge: conceive – and create – pieces, each of which containing a world in miniature, lit by the subtle poetry of emotion; each a theatre of the unexpected, ironic encounters, catching you unawares – where the relics of our personal experiences, through the power of the jeweller’s craft, find new life and beauty.