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Laura Marsolek

Class of 2018-2019

About Laura

(updated 10/2019) A metalsmith and art historian, Laura Marsolek is currently studying gemology at the Gemological Institute of America’s world headquarters in Carlsbad, California. Laura was a 2018-19 Luce Scholar in residence at Mehrangarh Museum Trust in Jodhpur, India. She studied decorative arts and jewelry traditions at the Marwar court, while also apprenticing with two local jewelers in Jodhpur. Previous to her stay at Mehrangarh, Laura worked as a teaching assistant for Syracuse University and Stanford University in Florence, Italy. Laura taught Italian Renaissance art history and led site visits for American students studying abroad. When not teaching, she made jewelry at a Florentine studio where she learned the time-honored art of hand engraving from a former Buccellati goldsmith. Laura is interested in metal craft traditions and techniques, as well as educating others and promoting craft heritage. This interest began as an undergraduate at Syracuse University where her honors capstone project focused on Medici symbols in the jewelry worn by the Grand Duchess of Tuscany in 1545 and the techniques used to make the adornments. She read metalsmithing treatises written by the Medici’s court jeweler, traveled to Italy to shadow Florentine jewelers using Renaissance techniques, and recreated the Duchess’s jewelry. Laura spent a year in Kosovo after college on a Fulbright grant studying filigree jewelry traditions. There, she became interested in religion’s role in adornment traditions and conflicting cultural ownership of the filigree craft amongst Kosovo’s ethnic groups. She also apprenticed at a master’s filigree studio, Filigran Company, where her role evolved into cultural marketing and promoting the studio to international visitors. Laura received her M.A. in Italian Renaissance Art History from Syracuse University in Florence in 2015. Her thesis focused on a little studied, sixteenth-century rock crystal wine fountain. Laura’s research on Italian and Kosovar metal craft traditions has been featured on the American Craft Council blog and in  Adornment Magazine. She has also been a featured speaker at conferences by the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts. 

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