The moment you walk through the front door of Macchiarini Creative Design and Gallery on Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s North Beach district, you know you’ve entered a creative space. Behind the glass-encased jewelry, family memorabilia, and gallery is the atelier where you’ll find Dan Macchiarini, 66, and his daughter, Emma.

Across three generations, jewelry design and sculpture have been a family legacy since 1948, when Dan’s father, Peter Macchiarini, first opened his jewelry-design studio and gallery a few doors down from its current upper Grant Avenue location.

Barely visible through a layer of dust and metal filings, Dan and Emma’s workbench is blanketed with a panoply of mallets, calipers, pliers, protractors, files, assorted drill bits, and burs. As with the production of most art, jewelry design is a messy process.

Dan is clearly happy at what he does best: jewelry-making and metal sculpture. Sitting under a bright neon lamp, he’s carefully filing a silver bracelet while wearing a protective leather cap and a tool-laden apron. Peering below his magnifying glasses through warm bespectacled eyes, he greets me with a gentle smile, which is framed by his graying horseshoe mustache and trimmed goatee.

“Welcome to Macchiarini Creative Design,” he says proudly. He introduces me to Emma, in her mid-30s, and a younger co-worker and Telegraph Hill resident, Julia Farrow. The two women are intently working at an adjacent bench. The pungent metallic smell of acid, polishing chemicals, and welded metal permeates the small confines as they meld raw metal and semiprecious stones into unique works of art. Music from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band sets the creative mood as each designer is intently focused on honing their jewelry pieces. Read more about the Oldest Jewelry Studio in the United States on website HERE

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