In the Press

Samuels European Museum Exhibition

Samuels is presented with her award by Assessore Antonio Francese.


Celebrating with author Anna Pavignano

Gemello on Display

Dining with actor, author and philosopher Enzo Decaro

Italian brother and graphic novel illustrator Mario Stilla with Enzo Decaro


Salerno, Italy - Spring of 2011, while visiting friend and cameo maestro Tonino Stilla in Naples, Samuels met Antonio Francese, Director of Culture and Tourism outside of Salerno. He was in the process of curating a museum exhibition and invited Samuels to show in "The Contemporary Etruscan Jewel", held at the National Archeological Museum in Pontecagnano. Celebrating the town's Etruscan heritage, the jewelry on display would express Etruscan style through modern interpretation.

Samuels was the only American invited to participate in this extraordinary event.

"The opening night turned out to be a much, much bigger deal than I could have imagined. Hundreds turned out for the celebration, and after initial ceremonies, we were all ushered into the museum's auditorium, standing room only."

What was truly unexpected occurred at the beginning of the conference; Samuels was presented with an award and asked to speak to the Italian audience. "This was my first European museum exhibition and first Italian lecture. They made it extra special for me; truly a highlight of my career."

She attended a small private dinner after the gala event, along with a handful of Italian celebrities and politicos. Here she met and became friends with television and film star Enzo Decaro, along with Anna Pavignano, author and companion of the great Massimo Troisi of "Il Postino" fame.

For the exhibition Samuels created a pair of rings entitled "Gemelli", meaning "twins" in Italian. Nearly identical, the white gold ring shanks cradle 22k yellow gold bezels constructed with Etruscan style granulation. Granulation is the art of fusing nearly microscopic spheres of gold onto metal sheet without the aid of solder. Set at the center is a diamond crystal slice with a natural geometric pattern, each cut and polished from the same gem rough. The rings' shape echoes the pottery vase forms in the archeological museum.

Samuels commissioned Palo Alto native Chayo Wilson to create a black ware box to hold the rings. Inspired by the pottery at the museum, its form and wood fired blackened finish is burnished smooth as the Etruscans often did. Its 18k gold flame finial created by Samuels symbolizes the artistic torch of inspiration passed on from the Etruscans to her.

Feature Articles