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Jewellery is not only adornment, but also a cultural, archaeological and technological document. Technology applied by the ancient goldsmith leaves characteristic traces investigated by archaeometallurgy.
Historical jewellery can be analysed and tested by laboratory reconstruction of selected goldworks, with the making of samples and replicating museum artefacts using goldsmithing skills based on known technology of the same era. This tests current theories and raises further questions concerning manufacturing technology. It tests the assumptions and theoretical strategies of working by the historical goldsmith, and the finding of new knowledge become available to the contemporary goldsmith.
In Robert Baines' personal research laboratory constructions with their historical correctness become available for reworking to convey a contemporary visual reference and a statement of history. The results of these analyses and reconstruction form the basis for studio practice in the making of the jewellery object in which contemporary aesthetics are informed by historical practice.