With a past steeped in tradition and savoir-faire, the Italian brand, Vendorafa Lombardi characterizes the best in creative Italian goldsmithing.
“Creating a jewellery piece is, above all else, interpreting the material,” explains Augusto Ungarelli, CEO of the company. And, interpreting the material is what the company does very well. Founded by Mario Lombardi in Valenza in 1951, Vendorafa draws on sixty years of traditional craftsmanship while enhancing it with today’s technology. Innovation, experimentation, and formal research come together in the working techniques of hammering and engraving, allowing the expression of dynamic shapes, spatial harmony, and a special interaction with the light. The brand’s organic forms, floral inspirations, and classic patterns in 18K gold and precious stones are characterized by rigorous patterns and well-balanced sizes.
“Creativity, craftsmanship, and technology have always represented the soul of our collections,” says Daniela Lombardi, Vendorafa’s creative director. “Planning how to work the gold—a result of the convergence of creative intuition, manual ability and technical reproducibility—is one of our strong points. Our designers work out the shape of the piece, conduct feasibility studies, define the details in terms of craftsmanship and industrial manufacturing techniques, and then decide which materials to use in order to guarantee the best quality-made product.” And quality is paramount for Vendorafa. All the development and production departments follow each phase of the process, from original idea to final manufacture, ensuring quality checks all along the way and final certification of each product.
This dedication to quality and efficient production combined with its high level of professionalism and years of experience allows Vendorafa to not only produce and distribute its own jewellery but also to plan and create exclusive lines for large international brands, with exports totalling about 80 percent of the company’s production. “This allows us to share our expertise and to diffuse the ‘Made-in-Italy’ label,” adds Ungarelli.
While Vendorafa’s craftsmen take advantage of high-tech equipment including cad-cam systems, rapid prototyping, and 3D modelling, they are still strongly tied to the traditions of hand finishing each piece using age-old techniques such as hammering, engraving, and embossing. “Working the surface of the metal entirely by hand enhances the material value of the gold, its play on light, and its aesthetic warmth,” continues Lombardi.
This aesthetic warmth embodies each of the brand’s fine jewellery pieces. Among the current collections is “Twist,” featuring the brand’s characteristic hammered matte gold with an intertwined double band—in contrasting brilliant and textured finishes—twisting on the concave surface, set with diamonds.
The “Etnica” line is composed of interlocking hammered gold circles and precious wood elements that create soft and unexpected volumes. In the “Pentagramma” Collection, Nature’s pulsing energy inspires wavy lines enhanced by hammered gold balls and brown diamond accents. The graceful lines of “Onda” jewellery recall the long rolling waves of a calm ocean. Nature again serves as inspiration for “Dune” where curved lines and contrasting polished edges are reminiscent of gently sloping sand dunes.
With intersecting surfaces and diamond-set irregular and rounded edges, the “Sirena” line creates innovative new shapes, while interwoven curves create energy with their sinuous and hammered knots in the “Nodo” collection. As infinite as the universe, the interplay of sensual lines offers movement and volume to the “Infinito” collection. While the brand’s collections all have their own personality and specific design elements, they are still identifiable as Vendorafa by their organic forms and textured surfaces.
But creativity and innovation in jewellery are not the only strong points of the company. Vendorafa Lombardi is also a pioneer from an architectural point of view. It was the first Italian company to put its management section at the heart of its production facility, placing the various manufacturing departments on the sides. And, with a concern for workers’ well being, the ateliers are illuminated by natural light. The square-shaped building, designed in 1968 by noted architect, Ignazio Gardella, is featured in the prestigious Enciclopedia Italiana delle Scienze de Agostini as the first example of an edifice designed specifically for working with gold.
The inventiveness and quality of Vendorafa’s products and ateliers are also reflected in its customer service. The company actively collaborates with its partners around the world, whether on the Via Montenapoleone in Milan, Bond Street in London, Place Vendôme in Paris, Ginza in Tokyo, Fifth Avenue in New York, or a number of Main Streets across the USA and around the world. In the United States, in particular, the exclusive collections of Vendorafa Lombardi are distributed by Opera Jewels’ Massimo Zerbini. “The jewellery of Vendorafa Lombardi is appreciated around the world, and the United States is no exception,” says Zerbini. “Its well-crafted and original designs in gold do indeed know how to ‘interpret the material.’”