P A T I N A
Sugar + water. Fresh mint. Bourbon.
And LOTS of crushed ice.
The traditional technique is to muddle the mint.
Muddle... an old-timey word that means crush the leaves which releases the mint oil. Subtle and delish.
Alternatively, you can add 1/4 cup chopped mint with 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes and then strain the mint.
Load that julep with lots of crushed ice. Pour 4 ounces of bourbon over the ice (the occasion calls for a Kentucky bourbon) and add 1/4 cup simple syrup. More if you have a sweet tooth. Be sure to garnish with mint leaves for a splash of beautiful green. Sip before, during, and after the race!
We're pretty sure it tastes even better when the julep is hand engraved.
Stop by to pick yours and see some of your style options by clicking here.
Do let us know in the comment section your Derby traditions and festive variations on this classic drink.
Enjoy the race and may the best horse win!
One of our faves and sure to be one of yours too! The Petite Rimmed Vase.
And after watching this video you may never look at it quite the same way!
It fills us with a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into every MATCH piece.
Add a hand engraved monogram (or verse) to make it an heirloom that will grace a private space with rich floral memories of a special time.
We always strive to delight our discerning customers with unique products, and straps and belts are no exception. We use only the finest skins, tanned and dyed to your specifications and then finely constructed with layers of leather.
Our preference is the strap, unstitched for a clean line and beveled edges that exemplify the extraordinary craftsmanship. The strap is held in place by a tension buckle which easily adjusts to how you want to wear your strap: low, high or somewhere in between.
You can choose from the highest quality Calf, Shark or American Bison (popular with the college crowd). Or select from the largest selection of exotic skins that include Lizard, Ostrich, Cayman, Hornback Alligator, Stingray or the coveted American Alligator. All durable, true classics.
John can guide you though the subtleties of 1”, 1 1/8” or 1 1/4” widths.
Truly bespoke, a custom strap paired with an engraved buckle is the epitome of refinement and understated elegance. It is a touchstone to anyone’s wardrobe as a small, yet significant detail of life beautifully lived... the accessory of a lifetime.
The typical turnaround time for a strap or belt is 2-3 weeks and range from $147 to $620
In October. at the 35 Year Celebration of our very own Dutch Master, one very special guest who has been a customer for almost as long was in attendance. So special in fact, an engraving style has been named after her!
If you're reading this far, you probably have more than a passing interest in beauty, art, and the finer things in life, and hand engraving is definitely one of those things that makes the objects we live with better, more personal and more imbued with family history.
Once an item is purchased from Franciscus Silver & Pewter Gifts for hand engraving, the selection of an engraving style from John Franciscus' style book is the next step. One particularly beautiful script is named "Sabrina" after his long time customer.
Sabrina finds the ambiguity of a monogram intriguing and this was accomplished by adding ribbons and flourishes and with the very Southern directive to "fancy it up." John Franciscus did not disappoint. And the JF 6 was born. Or what is better known to a growing and appreciative audience as the “Sabrina” engraving style.
Her wide silver cuffs take her from the office to after five events. Some are flat, contemporary and simply tailored, others are more voluminous. All of them are worn regularly. She's grown accustomed to even their distinctive sound as they hit her desk. Each piece has the patina to show that they are loved and lived in and have the "character marks" to prove it.
Hand engraving is the opposite of ephemera—the opposite of instant gratification and fast fashion—which is part of the appeal. At it’s core, it’s an unchanged art form in a fast changing world, and because of this,
Sabrina was quick to tell me it requires patience and that every piece has been worth the wait.
“The engraving represents a long wonderful journey.”
Choosing a favorite piece would be akin to choosing a favorite child. . . impossible! But the piece that is probably the biggest conversation starter is an Elsa Peretti "Saddle Clutch" by Tiffany & Co. that her husband, a fabulously talented gift giver, gave her to celebrate a special occasion. At this point, Sabrina has trained her eye to see expanses of silver as blank palettes and this one was worthy of a very special monogram. To make it even more special, she and her husband met with John to discuss the creative process and at one point, her husband secretly whispered a private message that he wanted engraved on it. John happily obliged making an extraordinary and iconic design deeply personal.
Two familiar faces are in this month's issue of Simply Buckhead magazine: John and Joey.
A cat not only makes a house feel like a home, it makes a store feel cozy too.
He's not here every day, but he loves John as much as we do so we hope your path crosses with his soon!
And of course, he has hand engraved silver tags on his collar! Your pet doesn't???!!?
We can help you out with that.
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You can also leave a comment here in the comment section or contact us directly.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Tin + Copper + Antimony
A question that comes up again and again: What exactly is pewter?
Ingots of tin, strips of copper and bars of antimony may be the physical components of pewter, but add some less tangible elements and then you have a MATCH masterpiece. So consider if you will. . .
Heritage + Craftsmanship + Love
There’s a quiet, understated beauty to MATCH pewter. The warmth of the cooper, the silvery whiteness of the antimony, and the soft gray of the tin are alloyed in such a way that this elegant metal resists tarnishing and provides the perfect buttery palette for hand engraving under the masterful hand of John Franciscus.
MATCH and Franciscus Silver & Pewter Gifts have much in common, so much so that MATCH's founder and chief designer, David Reiss spent an entire day in Atlanta with John learning about his hand engraving technique and enjoying good old fashioned Southern hospitality! David has commissioned John on several hand engraved projects through the years. To this day, when David needs for the engraving to be extra special he does not hesitate to pick up the phone and discuss the project with John.
Reiss was the first to bring Italian pewter to an appreciative American audience in 1995. Born with an unerring eye that was trained at Rhode Island School of Design, the production of beautiful vessels and frames, trays and cutlery, was a natural culmination of Reiss's design skills as he combined contemporary functionality with Italian heritage based upon designs of the 14th through the 19th centuries. Gone were any fusty associations with a “ye olde pewter” tradition. In its place were timeless pieces that evoked another place and time, a place and time that customers wanted to inhabit.
Hours of exacting labor go into each piece by multiple craftsmen, each with a specific skill set. Skills and tools that have changed very little over the centuries. Refined and honed, each piece of MATCH pewter undergoes a rigorous process of casting, soldering and polishing. It embodies an authenticity that feels quite at home in both formal and casual settings.
It is also lead free, FDA approved, and food safe.
Many process videos seek to de-mystify. This one only inspires.
John’s curatorial eye and love for MATCH pewter makes Franciscus Silver & Pewter Gifts the go to location for MATCHHe loves sharing MATCH with his customers and then guiding them through the hand engraving process to make each piece a personalized heirloom.
Shown is one of our most popular MATCH gifts. A porringer just waiting for the baby's initials and perhaps even a birthdate. This will certainly be the gift that will be treasured for years to come.
I fondly remember my first piece of MATCH (the first of I hope many more pieces to come!) was the footed compote. It was love at first sight and now graces our dining room table. The elegant curves of the traditional Italian design elevate fruit, sometimes a bouquet of salad, even a very lucky black cat at times!
Like Franciscus Silver & Pewter Gifts, MATCH prides itself on adhering to the highest levels of quality, attention to detail, and outstanding personal customer service. We’re proud to bring MATCH to our customers in Atlanta and throughout the United States. We’d love to see how you’ve woven MATCH pewter into your table settings and your lives.
Our parting shot. Isn't it lovely?
(Hint-hint Santa: Gravy boat. . . Must. Have.)
Man's best friend. In this case a woman's. . . Elfina was the dog of a lifetime.
Enormous in spirit and soul. One to be honored. And indeed she was.
Lainey captured the dingo as a remarkable gift for longtime collector Lucinda Bunnen.
Elfina's inquisitiveness, muscularity, sure footedness and intelligence are all felt. The anatomical correctness of the tail, ears and skull are communicated through the stones. One can even gets a sense of her fur. Lainey is a master of interpretation. This brooch can be worn on a chain as a necklace as well. And tells Elfina's story whereever it is worn.
Although a custom piece, Lainey's storytelling comes through in every piece she makes. And we wanted to tell just a few more of those stories.
A favorite term being currently bandied about in the jewelry industry is "alternative bridal." The concept has been part of Lainey's design lexicon from the beginning. These rings represent the start of long relationships: Between husband and wife and between the couple and Lainey. Unique and complimentary, the ribbons of gold wrap around the fingers and show how their lives are intertwined. In subsequent years Lainey has had the opportunity to work with Heidi and Bud Griffin on many different occasions. She creates unique pieces that are created, given and received with love. In total. . . they are a history of memories.
Lainey's sensitivity to the natural environment is clear in these poetic mokumé pendants rendered in silver and gold. Mokumé is a Japanese technique dating back to the 17th century. Layers of different colored metal are fused together, folded into metal "sandwiches" and the layering appears as part of the design.
These tiny colorful palettes presented the perfect opportunity to collaborate once again with John Franciscus. John not only saw mountains and rivers, the metals also presented a wild prancing horse and trees. And in the skies, the aurora flare that occurred at totality this past September hovers. These pendants are truly one of a kind.
Lainey will be in the store this Thursday through Saturday and we hope you'll take this opportunity to meet her and immerse yourself in her work. Perhaps you too will find some pieces that will become landmarks on your life journey. ~ lwM
As we celebrate John Franciscus's 35 Years as a master hand engraver in Atlanta, we reached out to some of his long time creative collaborators. One such person is Lainey Papageorge, an amazing artist whose medium is jewelry.
John and Lainey met at the esteemed Gemological Institute of America in 1979 as both were expanding their knowledge of diamonds and fine gemstone setting. Though one would work strictly with metal and the other with colored gemstones, they were immediate kindred spirits. Both brought to the table an "articulated focus” and compatible creative visions. So much so, that they can still finish one another's sentences and my conversations with Lainey and John blur into one another with similar phrases and themes. One such recurring theme: "Anything worthwhile takes time and energy."
So where do we begin her story of time and energy well spent?
Before Lainey was a jeweler, before she became bewitched by gemstones, before all that she had begun her creative life as a dancer and choreographer. Little did she know that her study of the human form and her observations of the movement of dancers would dovetail perfectly into her future profession as a jewelry designer.
This fluidity would be key to her creations. . . Jewelry that felt as good as it looked.
But before that, Lainey was a child with learning differences in a world that hadn't even coined the term "learning differences" yet. Today she would most likely receive a diagnosis of Dyslexia and ADHD, but then she only knew that traditional school was extremely difficult and overstimulation would leave her exhausted. These circumstances put her on a path that would lead to her greatest gift.
During this time, she learned valuable lessons by being left alone to explore nature. . . to observe patterns and light, shapes and shadows, and the action of water on the creek banks. Unhindered by left and right, experiencing the acceleration and deceleration of time depending upon her activity, and the gift of unstructured time set the stage for learning the most valuable skill of all: How to manage solitude. It is from this quiet place that she returns to again and again to tap into her creative root system.
Lainey Papageorge / photo by Steve Pelosi
In order for Lainey to create she must become still. Her process is not a moment, but rather a synthesis of dreams and life events over decades. And she can only get to that place through that quiet place. . . a place that she meets with the gemstones, listens and gets to know them. There is a meditative quality to her work and the human touch is inescapable. Jewelry created in this way is qualitatively different because so much time and energy has been invested in it. Both women and men enjoy her jewelry because it is easy to wear; subtle, not flashy and comfortable. It’s jewelry that is worn every day and leaves you feeling incomplete when you’re not wearing it. Essentially it “feels good”. . . both physically and emotionally.
We are thrilled to bring Lainey Papageorge to Franciscus Silver & Pewter Gifts for a very limited engagement. For three days the showcases will be brimming with her creations Thursday October 19 through Saturday October 21.
So whether you're a long time collector or completely new to her creative universe, do stop by the shop.
And as a special reward for those who have read to the very end, you should know we will be fêting John and Lainey on Thursday from 4:30 - 7:30. This an event you won’t want to miss so mark your calendars now.
Because old friends are indeed the very best kind! ~ lwM