Anna Raimondo of Smith Jewellery actually studied at university at the same time as me, and consequently we’d often pass each other in the hallways since the graphic and jewellery design students all worked in the same building. i always envied the jewellery designers, who were basically making art out of jewellery. what could be better. it’s been ten years since we were students, and i see Anna’s work popping up in magazines and at design fairs all over the country. she makes some beautiful pieces, and i especially loved seeing her new collection at this year’s Design Indaba.
i thought i would delve into some design history today, for a change, mostly because i want to learn & teach myself about these things. so much of the awesome creativity i share on the blog is likely influenced by someone or something, and it’s always good to go back and see who was groundbreaking in their field, becoming design heroes in a sense.
if there’s one design field i do not know much about, it’s jewellery. so today our design hero is Elis Kauppi, a Finnish designer born in 1921 (d. 2004) who was at the forefront of the modernist jewellery movement in Finland.
In 1945, at age 24, Kauppi founded his renowned jewelry workshop, Kupittaan Kulta, in Turku, Finland. Part of a younger generation of makers which would forever change the face of jewelry design, Kauppi was driven to innovate by both the difficult circumstances of war and a desire to push past accepted standards of jewelry design at the time. He was one of the first to use local stones such as granite and spectrolite, which were elevated in status and incorporated into unique designs in fresh and innovative way. Attention to simplicity and form was the order of the day. A true modernist, Kauppi’s designs emphasize abstraction, rejecting the popular forties naturalistic flower and leaf designs. With strong focus on craftsmanship and integrity of design, his bold creations remain strikingly relevant today. *
it’s possible that you might look at these pieces and think, “well, i see stuff like this now a days!” (i do give people more credit than that, but you never know) that’s of course because Kauppi and his Modernist contemporaries – not just in Finland, but all over the world – set the stage for modern jewellery design.
These forward thinking artisans rejected the traditional European designs of the time which included the rigid geometry of art deco and the popular ornate decorative trends. These early modernist jewelry designers created vibrant, exciting and fresh pieces where form, workmanship and esthetic ideals were more important then intrinsic materials. Using brass, copper, wood, silver, found materials, stones, etc., they created bold and expressive sculptural forms never before seen in jewelry design. *
you can find and buy his pieces on Etsy, eBay, 1stDibs, Bukowskis and a few other modernist speciality shops & vintage collectors online including Hopea, Samantha Howard Vintage, Gråsilver, Welsh Elliott Modernism and Decopedia.
all the images in this post are courtesy of the websites mentioned and linked to above.
here is a sweet new small summer collection from WSAKE, who i featured previously in my Jewels post. a father and daughter duo from Regensburg in Germany, WSAKE mainly makes beautiful jewellery – but they also create small editions of objects & postcards. i especially love their wreath & coral pendants and these clever vase caps. check out all their wares at their online shop.
WSAKE jewellery and objects are designed and hand made by the father-daughter-team Anna & Waldemar Artmann. He’s a silversmith with 50 years of experience and an own workshop where everything is hand made. She actually studied graphic design but has all the while worked in the mentioned workshop and after she had graduated, we’ve started to work together on our venture WSAKE, where we’re trying to combine centuries worth of craftsmanship with contemporary yet timeless design to create one of a kind durable pieces of jewellery.
my taste in jewellery ebbs and flows, but at the moment i’m really digging on beautiful statement necklaces – especially with chunky beads or bold metal work. i discovered Hanna Sandin’s line SAMMA thanks to Pour Porter, who currently stocks many of her fine pieces of jewellery.
Hanna Sandin founded SAMMA in 2009. The jewelry line developed out of Sandin’s work in sculpture and is defined by a stripped down vocabulary of form; elemental lines and simplified shapes cast in non-precious materials — brass, bronze, copper — combine and repeat, while slight variations and irregularities, a result of each piece being handmade, add nuance, warmth, and tactility.
i’ve been noticing some beautiful new jewellery & lookbooks around, so considering this post was pretty popular i thought i’d expand on that thought. please click on the images to be taken to the relevant designer / shop.
catching up on my reader this morning i spotted autoctona over at anja’s wonderful fashion fridays post. allessandra is the talented italian born, portland based designer behind the label. you can read more about the meaning of the symbols used on some of the pieces here.
autoctona means native, an italian word referring to origin, identity and a sense of belonging in the most primitive form. we create forward thinking objects whilst preserving and fostering the use of premium craftsmanship and materials. these are contemporary pieces that challenge a conventional definition of jewelry, clothing and accessory. the primary inspirations are amulets, ritual objects and love tokens with their associated symbolism. each piece has been designed, prototyped and singularly hand cast. we source and create everything locally.
i am pretty fussy when it comes to jewellery. i can appreciate beautiful pieces but actually wearing something is a different story. i don’t like anything gaudy or flashy and i really, really have to love something in order to wear it. so -my eyes almost popped out of their sockets when i saw this ring by mirta jewellery over at amateur couture. the designer andrea simic is an architecture student who makes jellewery on the side. i would wear all these pieces.
you may remember the jewellery by oh dear megan from alix’s things i like right now post. i really love megan‘s stuff, especially the pieces that incorporates old south african pennies & military buttons. the pieces made from watch parts also have a great steampunk feeling to them. my kinda jewellery. you can buy some of her stuff at spence now.
just bought this ridiculously adorable necklace from mary mary handmade
*dies of happiness* ps: sloths are my favourite animal, you know.
La Tonkinoise à Paris
My little world is a happy recycling, a small jumble of flea market where you find the jewels fell into disuse. Each jewel that I put in point is a unique piece with a carefully considered composition. Remixing pins, buckles, buttons, watches, often of no concern to people… Each model is assembled by hand in my workshop from the 11th arrondissement in Paris