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Restoration Rocks: Fragments of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Become Jewelry

The Guggenheim Museum announces the release of Restoration Rocks, a special edition jewelry line -- made with Gunite remnants of the Frank Lloyd Wright building - and distributed exclusively at the Guggenheim Museum's retail store and on its website.

Above: Five-Piece Necklace,RJ03$395.00

Designed and fabricated by California-based jewelry artist, Cara Tilker, the collection features nine different designs including earrings, pendants, bracelets, a ring, and cuff links.

Above: Two-Piece Necklace, RJ14$350.00

Each piece incorporates actual historic fragments of Frank Lloyd Wright's landmark Guggenheim Museum, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2009. Lightweight concrete and Gunite remnants, set aside during the 2007 restoration process* from the building's walls, are presented in resin and sterling silver settings.

Above: Hoop Earrings, RJ32$175.00

Above: Bezel Earrings, RJ27$195.00

Tilker makes each jewelry piece through a labor-intensive process. Resin is poured into a handmade silicone rubber mold, then individual building fragments are placed in the resin, covered with a second layer of resin and allowed to set. After the resin pieces are released from the mold, they are hand-shaped and sanded, and finally set in sterling silver settings.

Above: Cuff Links, RJ04$300.00

Above: Large Cuff Bracelet, RJ21$350.00
Small Cuff Bracelet , RJ18$325.00

A minimal amount of Gunite--a mixture of cement and sand aggregate, and the jewelry's featured component--was removed from the building as was deemed necessary for its restoration, and saved. The material, which comes from the interior and exterior of the building, was removed in order to gain access to reinforce points of the exterior wall to preserve its structural integrity. Material was also removed from damaged sections of the exterior in order to replace it with more stable material.

Above: RingOne size, adjustable, RJ34$250.00

Restoration Rocks is a component of the planned 2009 50th Anniversary celebration. The building is judged by many to be one of the architectural wonders of the world.

Above: Pendant Necklace, RJ08$275.00

The Restoration Rocks jewelry will be limited in quantity with retail prices starting at $125.00. Several select designs from the line will be also available in 14-karat gold, by commission. The prices on those, however, are significantly higher than the ones shown above.

*about the restoration:

As the original landmark building of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum—designed by America's supreme architect, Frank Lloyd Wright—approaches its fiftieth anniversary in 2009, aspects of its facade and rotunda structure require restoration. This exhibition explores in depth the restoration team's work, which has included a systematic evaluation and documentation of the building, an unprecedented analysis of the rotunda structure, laboratory and field investigation of repair materials, and detailed environmental analysis to propose adequate repair methods.
Photographs, drawings, and videos document the components of the current restoration, including reinforcement of the upper ramp walls, installation of a corrosion protection system, replacement of skylights and windows, repair of the cracking curved exterior walls, and application of a new exterior coating. The exhibition surveys all these efforts to restore the exterior to its original splendor and to maintain the building's unique environment for both the art and the visitor.
—Monica Ramirez-Montagut

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