More About Angie Olami
ANGIE OLAMI is an award winning jewelry designer. Her background
is diverse -- studying English at Yale University, studying Russian literature
at the University of St. Petersburg, working on an archaeological dig in Israel,
trekking in Nepal, and living in southern Spain.
A Chicago-born, globe-roaming,
quatro-lingual traveler, Angie Olami has long sifted through the rubble and myths
of lost civilizations to find the subterranean history of amulets. From her travels
and research, she has designed sterling silver jewelry and 14k gold collections
based on the ancient languages, symbols, and cultures of Israel, Mesopotamia,
Greece, and Dante's medieval Florence. On a recent vacation she spent time researching
Byzantine and Roman mosaics for her many collections.
Angie Olami jewelry is made from the handblown fragments of ancient perfume pots, juglets, lamps, flasks, vases, cups, and bowls. Each fragment varies in thickness, age, and composition. Each piece underwent its own unique transformation as it became weathered with layers of patina. If a shard doesn't sit exactly straight in its bezel, remember - it is someone's wine glass you are wearing!
Angie Olami and Her Roman Glass Jewelry Designs
Angie Olami's Israeli Jewelry is handcrafted with exquisite attention to detail. Her Ancient Roman Glass Jewelry is available through galleries, museums, and specialty boutiques in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Jewish Gift Place is proud to be included among the retailers that represent her work. Religious motifs run through many of Angie Olami's Collections. Jewish stars, hamsas, and charms with Biblical symbolism are available in sterling silver and 14 karat gold. Angie Olami offers a wide variety of beautifully handcrafted traditional religious icons with Ancient Roman Glass from Israel. Biblical passages and spiritual literature and motifs run through many of her collections - offering a wider and more whimsical representation of religious imagery. Materials include sterling silver, fourteen karat gold, semi-precious and precious stones, pearls, ancient glass from the Roman Period, Murano glass beads from Italy, and Czechoslovakian crystal.
About Roman Glass
The breathtaking shards of glass Angie Olami uses in her jewelry date from 100 BCE to 300 CE. They were unearthed in Israel by archaeologists sifting through the fallen pillars and once magnificent cities of the Roman Empire.
Although glassmakers in Egypt and Mesopotamia had been melting sand and various sodium-rich materials together for several hundred years before the word Caesar was ever once uttered, it was during the Roman Empire that glass making was revolutionized by the invention of glass blowing.
In Israel, as in most of the Mediterranean, local beach sand provided not only glass' primary ingredient -- silica - but also a fortuitously substantial amount of lime derived from crushed marine shells, which enhanced its durability. The recipe for glassmaking remains pretty much the same today. Mix in a hot furnace two parts of this sand with one part of a sodium rich material (in the old days they used Egyptian Natron, scraped from salt lake deposits at Wadi el Natrun and incidentally the embalming agent in Egyptian mummification), and, presto, GLASS! The glass made in Israel had traces of iron or potassium, which caused the slight tinge of aqua or green often characteristic of "Roman Glass."
Findings of glassworking debris from Jerusalem suggest that sometime during the decades before Pompey's conquest of that region (67 BC), there had been some experimentation with the sealing and inflation of one end of the kind of tubing that was normally used in beadmaking. Scholars speculate that at some point, an ingenious little fellow added a long clay tube to such a nozzle and invented the type of blowpipe that was to become the essential tool for glassblowers from that day forward. Within two hundred years this technical innovation affected nothing less than an industrial revolution. Where bulky glass bowls were once the rare provenance of royalty, glass vessels spread throughout the empire, filling palaces and common cupboards from Britannia to Alexandria.
And how do those colors form? The layers of iridescent colors have evolved gradually over the centuries as part of the glass' chemical reaction to the sun, the water, and the mineral rich earth in which it was buried. A series of geological and climatic phenomena coincided to enable the formation and preservation of these vibrant colors. Due to the extremes of temperature in the Middle East, the elements in the glass shards restructured themselves during the relentless cycles of dry heat and flash floods. Microscopically thin layers or films of silica rose to the top because heat caused the sand (silica and oxygen) to separate back out from the sodium; then water trickled through the soil and drew out sodium atoms. Each of these films, called "patina," wrapped around the vessel and their surfaces scattered the light in such a way as to produce these gorgeous blues, purples, and pinks. There has been glass found in England and Northern Europe dating back at least 1700 years, but mostly it lacks the opalescence associated with Roman Glass because the natural phenomenon could not occur in their cold, damp climates.
Angie Olami's suppliers of Roman Glass are all licensed by the Israeli Government Antiquities Authority. Whole vessels are delivered to the museums and archeologists keep whatever they need for research.