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Galerie Rob Koudijs amsterdam

02.11.2013–21.12.2013 BENEDIKT FISCHER Monocoque ALEXANDER BLANK Kings of my Blues

11.01.2014–22.02.2014 KATJA PRINS Hybrids MARC MONZÓ New Works

23.11.2013–01.12.2013 PAN Amsterdam

Wednesday, Friday 12-18, Saturday 12-17 www.galerierobkoudijs.nl

Elandsgracht 12 1016 TV Amsterdam The Netherlands


Joya Barcelona

Piece by Florence Croisier

Contemporary Jewellery Fair 17–19 October 2013

FAD Plaza dels Angels Barcelona, Spain JOYA, Barcelona’s Contemporary Jewellery Fair is the main international event in Spain aiming to present excellence in art jewellery from around the world. Creativity, technique, design and professionalism in contemporary jewellery can be found during the three days of JOYA, not only for professionals but for the general public as well. Without diminishing its international scope, JOYA is preparing to become the most important outlet in Europe for Latin American and Mediterranean art jewellery. By presenting local and Latin American collectives, galleries, schools and conferences, JOYA reveals a movement that is in some cases recent and brings a unique, even daring, sensibility to the world of contemporary jewellery. This growing community of artists demonstrates that the possibilities of perceived value and concept of jewellery are unlimited. New ways of understanding the relationships between a piece, a body and its surroundings continue to be presented as a new means of expression.

17, 18 October, 11.00–21.00 19 October, 11.00–20.00 JOYA challenges itself to reach outside an exhibition hall by pairing jewellery artists with galleries that are not necessarily jewellery oriented but do understand its contribution to art and design. The purpose is to further extend the contents of this art event to the wider public by creating greater synergies between the existing contemporary jewellery outlets in the city. The end product is a route of jewellery exhibitions around the city of Barcelona that awaken the senses with a mix of sculpture and poetry.

Directors:Paulo Ribeiro and Anthony Chevalier www.joyabarcelona.com


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Gijs+Emmy Fashion and jewellery design by gijs bakker and emmy van leersum 1967-1972 Stedelijk Museum amsterdam 22 February–6 July 2014

Open Daily 10.00–18.00

Thursday night till 22.00

Museumplein 10 1071 DJ Amsterdam The Netherlands www.stedelijk.nl


a brief history In 1967 the Dutch duo Gijs Bakker and Emmy van Leersum – husband and wife team, both trained as jewellery designers – was catapulted into the public eye. Their breakthrough came with a sensational fashion show presenting more than just their vision of jewellery and clothing, but their vision of the young modern woman. The show was held at the Stedelijk Museum on the occasion of the opening night for the ‘Edelsmeden 3’ group exhibition presenting the upcoming Dutch jewellery designers of the time. The futuristic astronautically-styled garments – notably their large aluminium collars, the styling of the models, the fashion show aspect of their presentation with electronic music, flashing lights and rhythmical movements – propelled them to the forefront of contemporary youth culture. In the ‘60s, Amsterdam had its own flourishing fashion scene, with young designers who created affordable fashion with sleek, simple lines for their peers. Fashion reflected the spirit of democracy that resounded throughout the decade. In the autumn of 1967, the work of Gijs and Emmy travelled to London, the mecca of youth fashion. In the summer of 1968 their work was included in the group exhibition ‘Body Covering’ at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in New York City, accompanied by the work of designers such as Rudi Gernreich, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin. Up until 1972, a succession of one-off performance events followed, in which Bakker and Van Leersum presented their designs in the context of fashion, art and contemporary music and dance.

designers demonstrated the lengths to which this principle could be taken. Joints and erogenous zones were emphasized by the addition of prosthetics, altering the contours of the body. With their body-altering capability, the garments more closely resembled objects from the world of art or theatre, than they did of fashion. A number of these expressive costume designs were commissioned for the ballet ‘Mutations’. In 1972, the ‘Kledingsuggesties’ went on display in London at Electrum Gallery. No footage survives of the ephemeral, time-based events as they existed but there is plenty of photographic documentation. With an instinct for branding, Bakker and Van Leersum arranged for professional photographers to document their work, thus the show at the Stedelijk Museum became legendary through this photographic work. The photos were printed in numerous reviews in newspapers and magazines and, 45 years later, are still being used. In 1972, Emmy van Leersum and Gijs Bakker turned their attentions to their individual specializations. Bakker focused on industrial design, Van Leersum concentrated on jewellery. Her interest in the unity of clothing and jewellery continued. There were however to be no more one-off performance events. In 1971, the Stedelijk Museum began a comprehensive jewellery collection in which the work of Emmy van Leersum and her analytical approach played a prominent role. In 1979, the museum organized a retrospective of her work.

Group portrait for the happening ‘Kledingsuggesties’, with Gijs and Emmy sitting in the front row. Photo Sjaak Ramakers.

The primary event was the happening ‘Kledingsuggesties’ (and accompanying exhibition) hosted on the initiative of the avant-garde gallery Art & Project. This time, the models were artist friends from the Amsterdam gallery Riekje Swart and friends from the dance world. The designs encompassed black and white body stockings of elastic stretch fabric, created from seamless knitted tubes stitched together. If mass manufactured, this basic garment could be worn in an endless variety of ways. In the exhibition and the one-off event featuring stand-in models, the

the show: collaboration with bart hess In February of 2014 The Stedelijk Museum will present an exhibition echoing the Gijs and Emmy’s original 1967 show. For this occasion, the Stedelijk has asked young Dutch artist Bart Hess to take charge of the exhibition design where ‘theatrical images’ will be involved to recreate the atmosphere of four decades past. “Because this show was such a spectacle back in the days, we want the reconstruction in our exhibition to become a dynamic spectacle as well and not a static image of mannequins/dolls wearing clothes..." Bart Hess should be considered a natural fit for this collaboration with the Stedelijk due to his trans-disciplinary background in post-surreal photography and material studies, as well as with film, fashion and animation, in addition to his fascination of the human body and manipulation of it. Hess’ work marks him almost as generation-skipping successor of the duo, sure to enhance the upcoming exhibiton ever so fittingly.


Current

Obsession

Iris Eichenberg, Pink Years Later, 2009 Photo Kristof Vrancken, Z33

The Wilde Things The So Contemporary Jewellery Collection of Mrs. Wilde

HASSELT Z33 – House for contemporary art 13 October 2013 –19 January 2014 Opening reception: 12 October, 19.30 The intense and intimate relationship between jewellery and its wearer is unique in our material culture. Z33’s The Wilde Things explores new presentation models for contemporary jewellery in a context of the wearer within a narrative framework while also taking a critical look at current developments in this discipline. Central to The Wilde Things lies a fictional story written by Oscar van den Boogaard. Get to know Mrs. Wilde, her collection of contemporary jewellery and the personal memories and meanings attached to them.

Hannah Joris (BE), Lore Langendries (BE), Tzu-Ling Lee (TW), Benjamin Lignel (FR), Suska Mackert (DE), Jorge Manilla (MX/BE), Evert Nijland (NL), Katrin Spranger (DE), Manon van Kouswijk (NL), Lisa Walker (NZ), Christoph Zellweger (CH)

Artists of the collection: Volker Atrops (DE), Gijs Bakker (NL), Dinie Besems (NL), Iris Bodemer (DE), Liesbet Bussche (BE), Nicolas Cheng (SE) & Beatrice Brovia (IT/SE), Boris de Beijer (NL), Hilde De Decker (BE), Gemma Draper (SP), Iris Eichenberg (DE), Silke Fleischer (BE), Irma Földényi (HU), Studio Formafantasma (IT/NL), Karl Fritsch (DE),

Z33 – House for contemporary art Zuivelmarkt 33 B-3500 Hasselt Belgium www.z33.be

Text: Oscar van den Boogaard Film: Manon de Boer Curator: Evelien Bracke, Z33

TAKE AWAY TAKEAWAY — is a special advertorial section in the Current Obsession magazine as well as a column on our website that features selected upcoming events and exhibitions.


Antwerp, Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Stockholm FOUNDER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Marina Elenskaya info@current-obsession.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sarah Mesritz magazine@current-obsession.com

COVER IMAGE Images by SAGEL AND KRZYKOWSKI CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kamal Nassif Mariah Tuttle Chris van der Kaap Adam Grinovich

PRINTED IN BELGIUM New Goff, Gent PUBLISHED BY Current Obsession Marina Elenskaya & Sarah Mesritz

SPECIAL THANKS Frank Verkade, Kellie Riggs, Monica Gaspar, Cathelijne Engelkes, Jantje Fleischhut, Nhat-Vu Dang and Dang-Vu Dang, Willemijn de Wit, Niki van Rooij, Mandy Roos, Victoria Ledig, Anne van Galen, Fred Mesritz, Fleur Mesritz, Demitra Thomloudis, Ulrike Jurklies, Federico Cavicchioli, Sasha Sementsev Made possible with Materiaalfonds voor Beeldende Kunst en Vormgeving

INTERVIEW Never Get Old, Ruudt Peters photography Jan Hoek INTERVIEW The Way of the Future, Bart Hess photography by Bart Hess stills from a movie made in collaboration with POSTmatter MATERIAL Invisible gold, Sofie Boons, Jodie Melbourne Special thanks to Professor Milo Shaffer for the use of his lab at Imperial College, Dr. Alexandra Porter for allowing us to image the nanoparticles on the Transmission Electron Microscope and nanoComposix for their expert guidance into the purchasing of the nanoparticles. PIECE BY PIECE S.O.A.P.P. Atelier Ted Noten concept by Marcel van Kan

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TAKEAWAY For advertising opportunities and other enquiries please write to: magazine@current-obsession.com

HEROES IN THE SHADE Giovanni Martinelli, Carles Codina written by Chris van der Kaap illustrations by Larissa Haily Aguado interview Carles Codina translated by Annelisse Pfeifer interview Giovanni Martinelli conducted and translated by Doris Maninger

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INTERNS Annelisse Pfeifer Julia Fischer

EXHIBITION THAT NEVER HAPPENED Boris de Beijer, Patricia Domingues, Maiko Gubler, He Jing, Wei Mao, Florian Milker, Marina Stanimirovic, Shana Teugels, Nelly Zagury, Ejing Zhang initiated by Current Obsession curated by Matylda Krzykowski photography by Christoph Sagel

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ART DIRECTION & GRAPHIC DESIGN Anna Hennerdal & Linda Beumer

CURRENTLY OBSESSED WITH: How Soon Is Now? Melanie Bilenker, Arthur Hash, Märta Mattsson, Edgar Mosa, Shari Pierce interview by Kamal Nassif and Mariah Tuttle

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Current Obsession www.current-obsession.com

SOCRATIC DIALOGUE Edward Grinovich, Otto Künzli, Damian Skinner, Rogier Taminiau, Sean Yeaton curated by Adam Grinovich STATEMENT PIECE Triples corps, Magnet3, Emile Barret

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STATEMENT PIECE Razzle dazzle panda puzzle, Raffaela Graspointner photography by Ester Grass Vergara @Unit Cma make-up by Sybille de Beuckelaer model Manouk @ElvisModels TRAVEL Copenhagen Louise Bech, Christina Bizzarro, Annette Dam, Jolien Hanemaaijer, Vibe Harsløf, Helen Clara Hemsley, Mari Keto, Marie-Louise Kristensen, Janne Krogh, Pernille Mouritzen, Therese Mørch-Jørgensen, PUTPUT, Maja Røhl, Mette Saabye, Josefine Rønsholt Smith, James Stocklund, Henrik Vibskov, Agency V

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TAKEAWAY Galerie Rob Koudijs (Amsterdam), JOYA (Barcelona), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Z33 (Hasselt), Précieux Passages (Paris), SOFA (Chicago), Gallery Klimt02 (Barcelona), New Traditional Jewellery (Amsterdam), Sieraad Art Fair (Amsterdam), Galerie Ra (Amsterdam)

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CONTENT p. 8 Piece by Piece S.O.A.P.P Atelier Ted Noten

p. 44 Material Invisible Gold Sofie Boons

p. 10 Currently Obsessed With How Soon is Now?

p. 48 Socratic Dialogue

p. 18 The Exhibition That Never Happened

p. 54 Travel Copenhagen Getting a Fair Shake

p. 27 Heroes in the Shade

p. 66 Statement Piece Raffaela Graspointner & Ester Grass Vergara

p. 33 Statement Piece Emile Barret

p. 72 The Way of the Future Bart Hess

p. 38 Interview Never Get Old Ruudt Peters

p. 1-4 p. 76—80 TakeAway

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Editors I'm so young
I'm so goddamn young! Oh, so young
I'm so goddamn young! We created it - let's take it over! – Patti Smith So what is it about youth? What is youth all about? Since the 90s grunge might be the last real youth movement coming from ‘the masses’, and all ‘post’ movements are tracked, picked up and artificially branded by sales-teams and trendsetters for commercial purposes before they even develop, we would have to disappoint you by telling that there is no revolutionary new mass movement we will declare. But that’s ok.

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Youth movements of today happen in a different space-time and their nature is versatile. Human interactions are becoming multidimensional. Someone posts an image on social media and minutes later others respond with music tracks, links to texts, videos, GIFs, all of which expand our intellectual sensitivity, making interaction associative and no longer linear. Young people are able to perceive, share and deduct information at an enormous speed and efficiency. Information (and our sensitivity to it) is no longer categorized; it is merging and becoming an upgraded complex version of its previous self. As the genres and aesthetics merge with ever-growing speed, new movements no longer need the ‘critical mass’ to come into being. We lost that battle to brands and corporations a long time ago. What is valuable is the dexterity and vision. New small collaboratives and groups appear every day. Websites become new galleries, shops close and move online, web platforms start creating products like brands. These processes are based on collaborations between professional individuals, who are able to work fluently in different mediums. Today it is enough to have few good friends and contacts all over the world and you can ‘take it over’.

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The new generation of makers is able to create a new multidimensional work. Therefore we came up with a word – MULTIMAKER. Like Bart Hess, London-based artist and material originator, who combines performance, photography and video to convey his futuristic visions, or Henrik Vibskov, being labeled as a fashion designer he makes great art, music and performance, channeling his vision through different disciplines. In a way, MULTIMAKERS, regardless of their age, are the alchemists of our time. Making ‘spiritual gold’ from unclear, unrefined and confusing elements. It’s about an individual being able to transform him/herself by exploring many disciplines within one oeuvre. MULTIMAKER is someone who defies genres and classifications. The generation of MULTIMAKERS shows that it’s not about the promise of youth, but about testing one's own beliefs time and time again. Being young at heart instead of being young by definition. In appreciation, Editors of the Current Obsession Magazine, Marina Elenskaya and Sarah Mesritz

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Piece by

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S.O.A.P.P. Shredded Obsession Addictive Pleasure Piece

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“We like to destroy and to create. We like to seduce and to attack. We love our audience and want to trigger their thoughts.”

Why do we always have an urge to keep, collect and conserve things? How to start all over when things are destroyed, like - a house, a book, money, a love letter? How valuable is a piece of jewellery made of shredded paper? Does shape add value to material? Does material add value to shape? Can a magazine become a jewel? What’s the new definition of jewellery when you think of: “jewellery is what you make of it”?

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Concept by Marcel van Kan (Atelier Ted Noten) in collaboration with Current Obsession Magazine To find out more about purchasing S.O.A.P.P. please visit www.current-obsession.com

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“Let’s energize and wash ourselves with the content of the magazine! And let us become a jewel ourselves.”

Some questions occurred thinking about destroying a valuable magazine, like: -

We found Atelier Ted Noten to be so excited about the first issue of Current Obsession that we got them to shoot some ideas for the second edition of our Piece by Piece project. An object produced along with the magazine, dedicated to explore it’s potential as a piece of jewellery. In their usual quirky, glamorous and obsessive way ATN came up with a great idea to reuse what was left of the first issue and to cast it into something new. ‘All in one production line.’ It had to be a performance in which the magazine would be literally transformed for physical use. Four people wearing golden body suits and fake blue nails are standing in a large room alongside a long stainless steel table. They use a monolithic golden paper shredder to dismantle and destroy the magazine until what’s left of it is a huge heap of thin strips. The assembly line then carries the remains into moulds, mixing and casting them in a bar of ‘Current Obsession’ S.O.A.P.P. on a rope.

The bars of soap containing the first issue of the magazine are meant for use, so you can carry your Current Obsession and indulge yourself with it. We hope our ide as rub off on you!


Current

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Currently Obsessed With

How Soon How long does it take emerging jewellers to navigate looming questions of studio practice, lifestyle and finances once out of their respective academies? How long does it take to feel like they are establishing themselves within the field of contemporary jewellery? How long until that elusive future materializes into the now? Interview by Mariah Tuttle and Kamal Nassif 10


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Wait and see. That is often the perspective towards the futures of fresh graduates. Some people receive immediate, strong and positive feedback towards their aesthetic, technique or craftsmanship. Others may hibernate and blossom slowly. More than a few


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Melanie

Bilenker which gives me a variable but steady income. The look of my work has changed; it is more two-dimensional and imagebased now. While the techniques are entirely different, I still use materials with history (a former life) and fragmentednarrative to convey a sense of a larger whole. I work in a time consuming and somewhat tedious way and sometimes consider this a detriment. But, I have realized that a focused, calculated evolution is part of my process and is evident in the completed work. Currently, I am in the research phase for a new series inspired by WWII era novelty cards in which a nude was revealed by slipping a sliver of paper between layers of a transparent drawing. I am working on pieces containing layered drawings with an intimate element to be revealed.”

Optibrooch, 2012 Sterling silver, enamel, copper and stainless, steel

Pinning, Gather, Brooch, 2013 Hair, paper, gold, mineral crystal 3 x 4.7 x .7 cm Photo by Melanie Bilenker

Melanie Bilenker received her BFA a little over ten years ago and has established herself as a contemporary jeweller with a long resume of exhibitions and museum collections as well as being named one of the Forty Under Forty by the Smith­ sonian Institute of Craft. Her work is a mix of technical ingenuity tempered by a profoundly intimate conceptuali­ zation of ordinary moments of life with ‘drawings’ made from resin, gold, silver and the artist’s own hair. “Immediately following school, I applied to every ‘call for entry’ that suited me, which led to my first solo shows and subsequent representation with Sienna Gallery, in Massachusetts and Galerie Ra, in Amsterdam. During this entire time I have also been working for jeweller Gabriella Kiss,

Arthur

Hash

Arthur Hash has a diverse identity as a maker, educator and blog writer who examines and discusses the small moments of object making through the industrial lens of contemporary craft jewellery. He is committed to the exploration of what jewellery is and can be, retaining the sense of elegance and beauty found in the long tradition of body adornment while incorporating industrial technologies such as waterjet cutting, 3D scanning, CNC routing and rapid prototyping to make one-off art jewellery pieces. “Truthfully I dabbled with using the computer in my work in grad school but didn’t use it in earnest until after I finished my MFA (from Indiana University, Bloomington in 2005). Currently, I am working on a number of pieces that involve the reduction of 3D digital surfaces to simple, faceted planes. Similar to how a digital image can be pixelated, a 3D object can be reduced to a faceted version of itself. A ring or a bracelet is really just a torus, but when simplified can be a beautiful ‘crystal-like’ object. I remember struggling with getting into shows in grad school; I got a lot of rejection letters.

I was lucky that I had good friends who introduced me to galleries right out of school and I instantly started to develop a healthy relationship with two in particular (Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco and Sienna Gallery in Massachusetts). The entire process of talking with them about my work and how interested they were in what I was doing motivated me. The more I made the more people would get to wear the work, which was the ultimate goal. I have led kind of a charmed life where my progression went from not being able to get into shows, to getting into shows, to getting solo shows, to ultimately curating shows and now… too busy to commit to shows. Working for a university, I see a range of students come through our program. While we do our best to help students take the next step (residencies, employment etc), sometimes it is hard to properly prepare them for what is on the horizon. When the loan money is gone and their peers have moved away, students often find themselves in a new world of taxes, insurance and no studio.”

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graduating from the Royal College of Art. I had upcoming exhibitions with short deadlines, so I worked very hard on getting a studio up and running as fast as I could. I think because of the fact that I had things to work for straight away, I have not felt a major change in the way I work. To be honest, I did not really have time to miss school. I had been dreaming for so many years about getting these kinds of opportunities, so when they came along I was working my ass off trying to stay on top of things and keep clients/galleries/ organizers happy. However, I think I was a bit too ‘nice’ and polite during my first year after college. I have learned that it is okay to demand certain things, and that it is okay to speak your mind, and to be clear about what you want. It’s both nice and a little bit confusing to be working on different themes simultaneously, but most of the time I am up for the challenge. For example, I am currently working on: a project in Chemnitz, Germany working with petrified wood; making big sculptures for a fine art gallery; a project titled Eating art with gallery Platina in Stockholm; a group exhibition with the theme ‘art nouveau’; making a commercial line for the design company Lifestylebazaar; creating new pieces for a solo exhibition at Putti gallery in Riga; as well as a project with jeweller Tanel Veenre.”

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Märta Mattsson has not stopped working in the three years since graduating from the Royal College of Art. Her pace has made her work and aesthetic known through solo shows, classes and lectures around the world. Mattsson’s work is based on the tension that exists between attraction and repulsion. Utilizing mate­rials from nature that often disgust or repulse, she translates her fantasies into ornament and invites people to marvel over their oddities. “Initially, I started to work with insects and skin from animals because I was uncomfortable with both looking at and handling those materials. A couple of months ago I started to explore and work on some new pieces where I used wings from butterflies, cicadas and moths. The ideas of mimicry, and transforming the wings to look like new species of animal appeals to me. By assembling and building new bodies, I can create mysterious creatures that use the aesthetic qualities of the wings without making them too pretty. In my work in general I use dead creatures to evoke wonder. During my jewellery studies I attended schools in Sweden, England, USA and Japan and learned to be quite indepen­dent and adapt to new environments. Some might say it can be confusing to study under so many different professors, but for me it was great. I moved back to Stockholm two weeks after

Mattsson

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s s e What do you see? 2013, Necklace Butterfly wings, resin, silver 30 x 20 x 2 cm

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Split, 2013, Necklace Copper electroformed beetle, driftwood, silver, cubic zirkonias, resin, lacquer 35 x 20 x 6 cm


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Edgar

Mosa

Edgar Mosa earned his BA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the Netherlands and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in the United States culminating in work that both flirts with costume jewellery and its lexicon as well as engages with the quiet moments of object intuition. His work is grounded in method and material, while exploring temporal symbolism, his environment and fashion. “Right after graduation I got sucked into a two-year lethargy, with an almost nonexistent working practice, while trying to make a sense of living in New York City. For a number of months, I kept on repeating processes and techniques that I felt encouraged by and successful about during my studies. I needed that feeling of goodness, of continuing to do something worthy, something successful, something, hmmm… safe. I was like an artist copying another artist’s work, even if it was my own work I was copying! It wasn’t at all an empowering feeling, more like a very strange egocentric kind of pastiche. It is curious that, now, the busier I am, the more I produce. I am a production jeweller for a fine jewellery company based in Chelsea; I am a goldsmith for an antiques gallery in Soho; and I teach jewellery at two schools in the city. I have been a shape-shifter since I got here having assisted the most diverse makers like leather and lighting designers, mural painters, art gallerists, art fair organizers and so on. I keep a very effervescent outside(r) practice.” You seem to be at a point where you need to invite all your different aesthetics and muses to the same table for a drunken conversation. What do you think that takes? (Besides a good tequila)

Where does that push come from? How do you approach both cultivating your creativity while trying to refine it? “Hmm, well, let me grab a glass first! I don’t care much for jewellery. I care for jewels and what emotions they can convey, absorb, or shoot right at you. I don’t care for a studio practice, the solitude, the stillness, as much as I care for dialogues, relationships and the ability to establish a connection. My ‘muses’ are not aesthetic subjects, they are friends, loved and regarded as part of my life. They make part of, and live with, the work. ‘My work’ is not mine alone; it only exists due to the contribution, assistance, collaboration and motivation of many people. I have many to thank. I have gotten to a point where my work has become my hobby. I have no shame or judgments over this matter. In fact, it allows me an immense freedom. I can do whatever and take the work in whichever direction I see fit. There’s not enough self in my work, I think sometimes. You see, my points of contact and reference are not in my own control; they become who I am, by living, bumping into others, into the world. The range of the work that I do - production, academic work, teaching, collabora­ ting, organizing - is a way to avoid having a self by moving from one ‘person’ to another. But I hope that, on the way, I link them and show my aesthetic and the nature of my mind. In the end, how easy it would have been to respond by saying that my work aspires to be that tequila bottle on the table. It is but a means of linkage and a creativity booster among all of us who toast with it.”

Photography by Aaron Boldt

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He Loves Me He Loves Me Not (Installation), 2013 Bed Sheet (object), Necklace-Mandarin Peels, Honey (Frame on Necklace), Fabric from bed sheet

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For each artist it is different and that is why it can be difficult. There is no secret formula. It really is a constant process.” As an artist who blurs boundaries, mediums and exhibition techniques, how do you think more emerging jewellers can break through some of the trends and associations to traditional jewellery (even if that tradition is to, in fact, ‘be different’)? “In general I would say get off your ass and approach your work with intensity and passion. Think critically; use your imagination, BE CREATIVE. I have been invited to mentor students with their work and I always tell them that if you do not have enthusiasm and drive to say something different, challenge yourself/your field, and take responsibility for yourself and your work, then you should get a job as a banker (for example) because your life will be much easier and you will have much more money. Being an artist is a hard job and no one will care if you wake up in the morning and make something or not: NO ONE. So you better put some fire under your ass and develop passion for what you want to communicate regardless of what that is. Everyday we have to conform - pay bills, earn money, follow rules. Why the hell would I want to do that as an artist when it is the one area where I define the rules? So, define your own rules. Look at what has been done in the past and how you can you expand your field and yourself through the work. Make trends do not follow them, and be prepared for a lot of criticism in the process. It is that easy.”

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Shari Pierce is an American artist with a BA in Fine Arts from East Carolina University who moved to Germany over a decade ago and attended the Munich Academy. Shari works with jewellery as one of a variety of mediums to make pieces and exhibitions that address contemporary feminism while questioning societal standards for gender normativity. “I had a very long artistic education, four years (1994-1999) in the US and six years (2001-2007) at the Munich Academy in Germany. Thinking back to when I was finally finished, the first project that I did was SheLL Project which had nothing to do with contemporary jewellery. It was not a conscious change, but one thing led to another and it seemed like the right time to pursue my ideas in other mediums. There was definitely a new sense of freedom that I could continue to develop myself as an artist working in any medium that I felt appropriate without the approval or expectations of an institution, mentors or my peers. Since then, I have tried to not limit myself but work with whichever medium or material I feel is best suited for the expression of my concept and the development of my work. The Munich Academy is quite independent and you work on your own development, so I did not experience this emergence after I finished my education but during. For me there is really no in and out of school - I am constantly learning and sometimes not always gracefully. One must struggle to grow and develop regardless. For me this is very important, but that is only my perception and way of working.

Pierce


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FAILURE and SUCCESS can be INTERESTING TEACHERS MÄRTA:

I am successful in the sense that I have a job working in my field, I am surrounded by makers, I have a great studio, a wonderful wife and the ability and drive to continue to make. In many ways I have accomplished what I set out to do. I have been very lucky but I have also worked very hard to get where I am.

One thing I have learned is to edit what I send away for exhibitions or post online. In my first year after graduating I was working on tight deadlines and sent away some pieces that I was not completely happy and certain about. Other people might not have even noticed that the piece was a ‘failure’, but I have learned that it is better to edit a collection down to fewer pieces sometimes. People might see me as a bug jeweller because that is the work that people have seen the most, but I see myself more as an explorer of my fascinations and feelings towards disgust. It can be hard sometimes to be known for a certain material or technique, you can feel a little bit restricted. I feel that during the last year I have received the most criticism, as well as the most praise, for my work ever in my life. I got a lot of really nice and interesting comments and remarks from collectors, makers and friends, but I also received a lot of criticism about being overexposed as well as people telling me that they are waiting for my next collection. Some of the criticism has really helped me and pushed me forward, but many of the comments about ‘waiting for my next big thing’ have been quite hard to tackle. Since I don’t jump between different subjects, the changes in my work may appear quite subtle. In general criticism helps me become stronger as a maker and challenges my brain, but of course some criticism is constructive and helpful, and some just stings a little. My personal definition of success would be that I get invited to participate in very interesting projects and exhibitions, I never take anything for granted and I am really grateful and humble to the fact that I can keep doing what I do.

EDGAR: Success – is when someone contacts me regarding ‘the work’ or to meet my acquaintance. It means I have called and the call was answered. It means a connection has been established. The truth is that I still question the meaning of everything so very passionately, wanting to see things executed, even when I am over-layering the cake. And conversely I think I have not been honest and fail by over-editing, and hiding from the public all that I do. I seem to have been labeled as a wood jewellery maker and so that is what I have been catering to: a still wooden mask to hide all the anxiety that goes on behind stage. I hope I can start being more confident in the work that I do despite the fact that it never gets to see the light of day. Even though my work denies function and figuration, I have plastic cast cherubs and a clothing line hiding in my studio. I just don’t quite know what to make of it. MELANIE: Every truly ugly, awkward, unsuccessful piece I have made is in a drawer in my studio. Sometimes I’ll take them out to remember that it’s necessary to try something new. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it will stay hidden in that drawer. Success is making work that drives you forward towards that next piece. There must be derailments in the process and questions left at the end. If all is fully resolved there is no need to continue. Gaining recognition for a specific type of work or aspect of your work can make you feel superficially successful, but internally divided. If you are ready to move beyond other people’s definition of your work, or disagree with it, this feedback can be a valuable critique and the proper propellant for the next step.

ARTHUR: It is VERY hard to get a full time job doing what you love. I struggled and still struggle to find where I fit. On one hand I have a successful professional career and on the other a great job. I really never thought that I would have a life in academia. When you are in school you can’t wait to get out, but if you teach it is almost like you never leave. Few can be successful artists and successful educators. I am not saying working in academia is failing, but it always causes you to question your decisions. You almost have to be part politician, part psycho­ logist, part accountant, part advisor, part educator and lastly part artist. That’s a lot of parts. Also where does your own personal life fit into all of this? When is there time for you to develop personal relationships or take vacations? It is not easy. For me there are two levels of success. Completing a piece can be incredibly bittersweet. Spending intimate time with a small piece of jewellery for weeks, living almost microscopically is kind of unhealthy. When the work leaves the studio and it is ultimately worn, only then I can say it is successful. The second type of success is when you realize that what you envisioned yourself being is what you are now. What I mean is that my goal fifteen years ago of becoming someone that could participate in the field is actually a reality.

SHARI: I fail all the time. Every new work has the potential for failure. I don’t think that you can grow and change without risk, and with risk there is always the chance of failure. It is really all relative to what you want and expect from yourself, and in the end the expression and commitment to your work decides. I do not let other people define me. Personally I fight against this. I am very happy that I receive a lot of positive feedback from people about my work being very inspiring or that they understand what I am trying to communicate. I do need this - it is important. But sometimes people are disappointed with what I do, or they like this and not that. I have to choose my direction consciously. When I can no longer create a body of

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Arthur Hash (MFA 2005) is a maker, curator and the Instructional Support Technician for the SUNY New Paltz Jewellery Department. He also manages and writes. theartescapeplan.blogspot.com Märta Mattsson (MFA 2010) is preparing for a solo show at Putti gallery in Riga in November 2013 and collaborating with her colleagues while still finding time to walk her dog in her home base of Stockholm, Sweden. martamattsson.com Edgar Mosa (MFA 2011) lives and works in New York City and is preparing for his second solo show at Galeria Reverso das Bernardas in his home town Lisbon, Portugal in September 2013. cargocollective.com/edgarmosa

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Shari Pierce (MFA 2007) is currently continuing her body of work Agraphobia for a solo exhibition in Quito, Ecuador at Arte Actual FLACSO Contemporary Art Space in November 2013. sharipierce.com Mariah Tuttle (MFA 2011) and Kamal Nassif (BFA 2014) are Rhode Island School of Design alum and student team and the founders of risdjm.com. They are both nerds about music, vintage dresses, hot sauce, jewel(le)ry (obviously) and their new projects under the umbrella {x}collaborations. xcollaborations.com

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I will never forget what Manon Van Kouswijk said on my last year of school: even if you would spend your whole life reading and learning about jewellery, you would never be able to fully grasp it as a whole. Being in NY has been interesting because contemporary jewellery is fairly nonexistent, and even when it does exist it is masked by a different hand of labor. It is fascinating dealing with diamond setters, bridal designers, CAD and laser people, renderers, wire wrapping and beading laborers, artists, critics, what have you. There are so many ways of speaking this language, and I think it’s up to all of us to draw a line - of connection not dispersion - and make our own dialogue.

Melanie Bilenker (BFA 2000) is a recent recipient of the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and will be featured prominently in New York’s Museum of Art and Design’s upcoming exhibition Multiple Exposures in 2014. melaniebilenker.com

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In general it is much easier to connect internationally and there is a lot more support for those that want to engage in a dialogue with others. Maybe I take this for granted because I live in a place with so many contemporary jewellers and I am fortunate to travel often and meet new people all of the time personally or through my work.

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I never attended graduate school and tend to be a bit insular as a worker, so it was all the more important for me to keep up with a community after school. There are so many more vehicles for connectivity now. Though to be honest (and perhaps due to coming out of school at a time when only a few of us had websites), there is still nothing to replace an experience like attending Schmuck and meeting longtime jewellery idols, peers and students.

Perspective is everything. I would like to be able to actually communicate more with jewellers outside of my immediate circle. I think that it could only help my work to understand how others feel about the field. Five years ago a lot of people found success just by being experts at marketing themselves with tools like Twitter and Facebook and now they are realizing that keeping up with that sort of stuff is a full time gig and would rather be making in their studios. Younger artists are starting to see how valuable gallerists can be. The older collector market is dwindling. Gallerists have a hard job of both educating new collectors and marketing younger artists that have yet to establish themselves. Often there is a strangle hold on organizations by older generation artists that are afraid of becoming left behind. They are alienating an entire generation. It is crucial to continue to educate not only the public but also the older generation on the perspective and process of what this new generation is. There is a HUGE contingency of unbelievable younger artists out there just waiting to be discovered.

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Many new jewellers are finding their own ways of creating opportunities for themselves and others by starting collabo­ rative projects - for example the Norwegian group KL!NK and A5 in Sweden. Personally I have had a lot of support from both new and old friends that I have met during the years I studied, as well as jewellers that I have met after graduating at workshops and conferences etc. I have also gotten a lot of support from former teachers of mine as well as the gallery owners that I work with. I feel that the field in general is quite supportive and warm.

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Graduate school is often described as a time of growth for makers in which we can selfishly (or indulgently) explore our practice within a bubble of constant support and contact with our peers and professors. One of the things people miss the most (or have the hardest time doing without) in their first few years out of school is that sense of community. On a larger scale, there is a growing awareness of the global jewellery community and discussion on how to broaden and strengthen the dialogue between jewellers. What are your thoughts on the current contemporary community and support within the jewellery field? How has this changed or evolved since your first year(s) out of school?

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work with enthusiasm or feel that I have said all I can say then it is finished. The worst thing is to be a bad copy of yourself. Sometimes success is waking up in the morning and having the strength to push through when I feel like a total failure; the email I receive saying my work has touched a person at a very deep level; the students who tell me they studied jewellery because of me or remember advice I gave them 5 years ago and thank me later; winning a prize or getting an amazing exhibition space for a solo show. Again it’s all relative- every day it is changing.


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The Exhibition That Never Happened Initiated by Current Obsession Curated by Matylda Krzykowski Photography by Christoph Sagel The Exhibition That Never Happened is an exhibition you can hold in your hands. It developed from the physical experience of the actual pieces and the real-life curated show into a two-dimensional representation of itself prin­ted on paper and later on textile, becoming tangible (and possibly wearable) again. Shifting common contexts and creating new dimensions for jewellery is why we made The Exhibition That Never Happened. A two-dimensional curated show is an exhibition that a magazine can offer. The number of printed copies equals the number of invited guests, but they do not need to stand around in a crowded space, distracted by the buzz of the opening. Each gets an individual visual sensation and experience. Matylda Krzykowski — I am an exhibition maker. Current Obsession asked me to work with them because I can, to quote the editors ‘create images’. My view on jewellery comes from a product and object-related context. Through my blog MATANDME I have been in touch with a fair amount of designers, many of which I’ve worked with and sourced for their ways of relating to design. This eventually led me to co-founding Depot Basel, a place for contemporary design, where we have curated

numerous exhibitions. For The Exhibition That Never Happened we’ve selected jewellery by young designers focusing on the potential of each individual object. As a curator I was aiming to find one piece that holds the attitude of each jeweller’s general work – a reference piece. The result is an overview of recent, sometimes undiscovered work, for which the context hasn’t been fully defined.

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Page 22 - Florian Milker, Digital Precision Goldsmith, Jewellery Designer Kunsthochschule Burg Giebichenstein, Halle Saale, DE, 2015

She imagines the reasons why people made them and how people treat them. When she makes the work with ready-mades, she is ‘collaborating’ with them. Page 23 - Wei Mao, Right Material Jewellery Designer BA fashion Jewellery at London College of Fashion, UK, 2013

Florian did an apprenticeship as a Goldsmith – a classic playground with its limitations. Soon he turned to 3D programs. The B_Serie is made by laser sinter process. “I like the gentle surface, the low weight possibility and the precision of the technique.” Florian will graduate in 2015.

The work is based on dessert-making and creampiping. Wei researched the material that is soft and fluid enough to go through a piping nozzle, while not being too soft or too fluid to keep the shape. She tried plaster, jesmonite, resin, silicone and etc., eventually found polymer clay material. It is also pure white, which makes it easy to get any colour palette.

Page 20 - Shana Teugels, Shaped Kitsch Jewellery Designer St. Lucas University College of Art & Design, BE, 2010

Page 23 - Maiko Gubler, Experiments Within Hybrid Spaces Art Director/Commercial Images Maker Visual Communication at The Berlin University of the Arts, DE, 2000

Shana uses polypropylene, resin, plastic beads, and glitter glue – a combination of cheap materials that came from an intense research on kitsch and resul­ ted in experiments of endless shaping options. Page 21 - Nelly Zagury, 2D To 3D Fantasy Hands-On Art Director Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg, FR, 2011

Maiko is interested in printing technology and 3D modelling. She experiments within hybrid spaces and explores the intrinsic qualities of three-dimensional computer-aided imagery and objects. “The intersection where things are lacking definition and have a sense of unease is what I’m interested in. I’d like to invite people to think about the obsolete real/digital distinctions differently and to expand their notion of spatiality and things.”

Nelly creates a mythological world, where jewellery is a relic of her fantasy, a hybrid object, which looks like a whip or a penis. She creates ornamental objects playing with symbolism of adornment. Page 20 - Ejing Zhang, Tradition Encounters Interaction Textile Designer MA Royal College of Art, UK, 2013

Page 23 - Boris de Beijer, Artefacts From The Far Future Designer & DJ Jewellery department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie, NL, 2011

Ejing made an abacus out of essential materials and tools - bobbins and paintbrushes. Abacus was the calculating method taught everywhere in China when she was little. The thread winding, the plastic, and the wood all came from that abacus. She is interested in jewellery as something interacting with the body and not having limitations of being soft fabric.

Boris deals with historic context of jewellery, rather than it's contemporary relevance. “Jewellery pieces are not even meant to be worn by humans.” Invents his own material by combining and excessively experimenting with existing raw materials and found objects - mixture of different resins at the base for each piece. Due to its unpredictable and aggressive behaviour, the outcome of the raw bloc is always a surprise, always unique and therefore it is impossible to duplicate a piece. ‘It's a lot like alchemy.’

Page 22 - Patricia Domingues, Reconstructed Material Jewellery Designer MA Hochschule Trier, Fachrichtung Edelstein und Schmuck, Idar-Oberstein, DE, 2013 Reconstructed material is a massive block, without anything, any line, any detail, and any imperfection. It does not matter the angle you cut, it will always be the same. Whatever you make will only add something to this naked block.

Page 20 - Marina Stanimirovic, Juxtaposition Of Sculpture Or Design Object Jewellery Designer Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery department at Royal College of Art, UK, 2013

Page 24 - He Jing, Readymade Liaison Jewellery Designer Jewellery department at Gerrit Rietveld Academie, NL, 2013

“Because even if you can’t wear it to go to work or go buy some food, the fact that it has been designed for the body, makes the piece the most intimate sculpture or design object.” Marina used Corian®, resin mixed with powder of stone, because when you touch it, it is a really cold and heavy material, but also really soft to carve: two antithetic notions.

Jing appreciates normal-looking, mass-produced things, because they are simple, durable, and functional. They are full of hints in details.

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events, group exhibitions and conferences, which puts them in the role of politicians of a sort. Their persuasion inspires a personal conviction and gives students invaluable tools to reason about their work. They are like mental coaches, satisfied only to see you fighting and fatigued. And then there are those teachers who try to help in times of despair, when the institution of the school weighs too heavily on us. These teachers inspire solutions and supply us with tools only found in practical experience. These are the technical teachers, the unmistakable masters, each of their own specific trade. It’s not the ones on the back of your mind during the four-year reign, but those you remember years after graduation. They are the ‘heroes in the shade’.

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Why we once ended up at an art school is often because we have fallen in love with the building, the professors or the people studying there. But being there ourselves is an altogether different story. The reality of being a student is that some teachers give you the tools that enable you to work, whereas others seem to test your courage and dig deep into your creative endurance. They question the very foundation of your work and being. Some of them are glamorous and/ or famous artists with strong personal beliefs and methods. They are often attracted to the academies because it gives them status, diversity and public appeal. Often professors of leading academies end up representing their school and the local contemporary jewellery scene at international


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We've selected two stories, two teachers, at two well-known European schools, who represent a certain attitude towards teaching their craft. It is about the idea of a mastership. Just like everyone, they once started from scratch, but have since received an endless training of only the best tutors before them. They can safely call themselves masters, because while they used to be students themselves, now it's up to them to pass on the knowledge they’ve received. But somehow it is hard to believe in this linear transmission of knowledge. Mastership is not about how many books you've read or how many years you've spent practicing. It is about the understanding of what it means to teach or to be taught. The two people we’ve interviewed for this text are Carles Codina and Giovanni Martinelli, the technical teachers in the workshops of the Escola Massana (Barcelona) and Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School (Florence). We wanted to hear them speak about their life and experience before and beyond being ‘just another’ teacher, which is what many people mistake them to be.

It's All About The Job We asked ourselves: how did they end up being teachers after all they have accomplished in their careers? Heading from solo shows to retrospectives, by now their teaching job is considered their main profession, even though their histo­rical merit comes from the individual talents they have. Like us, they started off by getting extensive training to become the best in the field. But even after reaching their acclaimed positions they seem never too old to learn and do so naturally. They show their humility by emphasizing that they worked for even greater masters than themselves and this attitude makes them appear as endless students. It gives them pride in passing on their skill to the young, the ignorant and the hopeful. We asked Carles Codina to talk about his experience as a pro­fessor. Codina is known around the globe for his instructional books on techniques of jewellery making. They are beautifully illustrated and contain meticulous technical explanations. Both students and professionals keep using Goldsmithing and Silver Work and The New Jewellery as reference books on the acquired techniques behind traditional and contemp­­orary jewellery.

became a bestseller worldwide. I was never aware of it; all I wanted was to be thorough with my own memory. The hardest part of writing craft books is to determine whether your knowledge and skills are indeed true and if your memories are certain, because in front of you lies the responsibility of writing, which is as a important as your responsibility as a teacher”. With this attitude Codina shows that he has stepped into the role of the master-teacher. Technical teachers inspire others to keep the profession pure and to maintain the historical relevance of a certain school. Their problem-solving, solution-making nature in the workshop gives students a place to turn to; an almost hidden place, one that is not meant to be on the public display, one that is different from the classroom, tutors and challenging guest teachers, who seem to struggle to maintain their own identities, consistency and are concerned with the external outlook of the institute. Codina talks about the notion of ‘perfection’. A notion we're hardly familiar with. We can only embrace it as an abstract idea. It appears valid only when the idea is not forced onto someone or something but genuinely attained; or perhaps when someone’s lifelong position has been to look up to the infallible mastery of a tutor or predecessor. Seen from the perspective of Codina, it seems related to ones responsibility to their work.

“My evolution as a professional has progressed in many different directions. There was clearly a time when I decided to think in another way and do something different as a teacher and as a professional; this happened specifically in late 1995. There were many coinciding factors that year; one of them was a proposal for something that seemed rather mad than feasible: the making of a jewellery book based on premises that did not interest me at all. After a year of intense work my first book The Complete Book of Jewellery Making appeared on the market and

“I have always shown a certain dualism as a teacher and as a professional. When facing a technical challenge I have always sought for perfection; perfection not so much of the object, more as the need to conduct the process in an appropriate manner and with the utmost strictness.

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What bothers me most is when people do things wit­hout due care, with apathy or leave them half done, the ‘anything goes’ or ‘that’s enough’ bothers me and even blocks me.”

If there is anything Giovanni inspires, it is a sense of wonder and amazement. “I was born in 1943, a very bad year in a very matriarchal family. My grandmother used to decide everything and her decision was that only the girls, I have 3 sisters, could study. The boys had to go to work after elementary school. I would have liked to study but I had no chance. My uncle traded silver and I was always interested in the objects he used to carry with him. So he found me an apprenticeship with a goldsmith in Florence. I was very lucky because my master Cini knew how to make practically everything. The first months I was only allowed to watch. We worked only in gold, but very low alloys; the workshop had a small-scale production and was doing a lot of castings for Florentine wholesalers. I stayed there for 4 years and then I moved on – I wanted to do more important things and was taken on as an apprentice by Batacchi. He was a very famous jeweller, in my opinion the best in Florence. We made jewels on a commission basis for important people in Florence (aristocrats from Italy, England). It often took us 2–4 months to finish a piece and the years I worked there were the most exciting of my life. I got to see some of the most wonderful jewellery in the world, really important pieces with incredible stones. I remember a diadem with diamonds and emeralds – we had to take it apart and modify it so it could be worn as a diadem while the single parts could also function as brooches. Batacchi was incredibly demanding. I had to remake pieces endlessly until he was satisfied.”

In this sense Codina embodies the classical archetype of a teacher being always a little disappointed with the efforts of his students, maybe even his own; an attitude by which he wants to inspire them to improve and seek their own standards and persuasions. “I believe our schools are not providing the adequate education that students need. Sometimes I think that the problem of art schools is that we have done it too well and this has led us to stray towards failure.” I believe Codina is more hopeful than it seems as he aims to prepare his students for success. While this is a potentially threatening as much as it is a rewarding notion, it is also something very important to think about while still being a student. Teachers hope to prepare you for the time when they are not around anymore. When the students have to set their own standards, find their own tools and make their own promises. “We have formed groups: those capable of transmitting conceptual values, with analytical capacity, capable of ‘doubting’ their own work and the social values of their environment; groups formed by reflection and experimentation that ultimately have become new craftsmen and are working with new materials and technologies; groups of creatives that are currently caught between their local identity and the global reality, a group of students well prepared in this regard, but who do not have a clear way out of their own situation and have confusing ideas of future prospects and directions.”

“It is about those who are willing to learn and those who just want to get things done fast”.

Show Your Wound Arriving to school in an immaculate car, best described as stepping right out of a magazine ad, Giovanni Martinelli is the striking mix of youthful flair and ‘old-school’ impeccability. It's not vanity or stardom, but he definitely makes an impression. After a long and exciting career of his own, he was asked by school founders Doris Maninger and Lucia Massei to become the head technical teacher at Alchimia – a young school for contemporary jewellery in Florence. Lucia once worked for Giovanni as a designer at his atelier and when she and Doris decided to start their own school years later in 1998, it was the perfect opportunity to return to him.

Was he always right when you had to repeat a piece? “Yes absolutely, I often did not see the fault - but when he showed and explained it to me he was always right. I was a good apprentice though and after a while I would execute really important work. I remember especially a bracelet, platinum with incredible emeralds (the butler brought it, we never saw the owner) where a whole element was missing. We had to redo it and the stones alone where worth millions of Lira. I did it while he (Batacchi) was standing behind me to watch my every move – I knew he had me do it because his eyesight was not good enough anymore and my hands were more secure. He appreciated me because I had a sense for proportion and measure.”

“At the beginning I was a bit suspicious about contemporary jewellery. I remember Manuel Vilhena (PT, 1967 Jewellery artist, senior lecturer at Alchimia for six years ending in 2006) telling a story about a project. He made a ring, ate it and then… I could not believe it and have difficulties believing it even today. But for a lot of other reasons I have to say that I am curious about it and sometimes even like admire it. I like when things are unique and done with real love and intention.”

What did this painstaking way of learning teach you? “To work with a system. To fabricate an object right you need to follow a system – you need to have an exact plan when to do what – and this is what I try to teach my students now.”

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While its not hard to identify with his personality, it's not quite as easy to get Giovanni to reveal his craftsmanship early in the game. Students at Alchimia get to spend a lot of time in the workshops. Three days a week for three hours, 3rd year students can ask him anything they want to know about metals, alloys or soldering techniques. He is there to find simple solutions for their ideas. But unlocking his true skill often takes more time than people spend studying. It takes a true challenge to get a teacher like Giovanni to really show the passion that he's been carrying for so long. It has nothing to do with the pride of a master himself. It is about those who are willing to learn and those who just want to get things done fast. Talking to people who know him we started to see the resemblance with the story of the church father, Saint Jerome and the wild lion. Jerome was an acclaimed writer and intellectual, usually shown in his study

and a different strategy in their education. I have worked extensively in Latin America with groups of all kinds. Last year I have worked in Algeria and Morocco. During one of my last lectures I understood that many of the values we have internalised in Europe are going to change because they are already exhausted. Those truths we assumed, what we learned and what we have identified with will disappear or will be questioned. The changes for these future generations are already there on the street: religious changes, social changes, etc. The new jeweller will have to bring together the global and the local; blend tradition, personal development and innovation and altogether must capture traditional values and give them a new future in a global market. I do not believe that schools at this time will live up to the expectations of our future students.”

“The difference between a student and a teacher lies in the time between them.” among books, which he translated into many languages. The study he depicted in transits directly into the open nature as to symbolize the knowledge being publicly available. But despite his vast knowledge and potential of being a great teacher, Jerome was known as a person very hard to come by… Up until the moment a wild lion showed up in his study. At first Jerome and even the lion were immensely scared. However, they didn't stray away from each other, but slowly became curious. Only when Jerome showed enough bravery to come close to the lion, he saw that he suffered from a wood splinter in his paw. The lion remained still while Jerome removed the splinter. This unusual transaction brought the lion and Jerome closer. Even when we see them now, the lion and Jerome are depicted together in mutual respect and trust, although between men and animals such concepts don’t literally apply. This is how we imagine the relationship between a student and a teacher. The school that houses this relation is an open place. It is possible to dive into knowledge, but it is easy to wander off as well. In case of Giovanni, there are different levels to his teaching. Some people may only catch a glimpse, while others are truly invested. But most importantly, he doesn't feel like he owes the students anything. It seems, a fruitful relationship between a student and a teacher can't be institutionalized. The student, being the lion, needs to reveal his/her true interest, a reason for being there, a true cause, like the lion’s wound, that doesn't easily identify itself.

The difference between a student and a teacher lies in the time between them. When the students finally graduate and receive their degrees they are still far away from becoming masters. What teachers can prepare you for is an inevitable change. Learning is as much about wandering off and reconditioning values as it is about sitting at the school benches. Only those students who have endurance to maintain open trough this process have the potential to become masters of their own. We believe it is a mix of excitement and pure skill combined with an extremely humble nature that makes a technical teacher so special. It is quite striking how some people can really help you to do so much more than you originally thought possible. It is interesting to see both the student and the teacher struggle to exchange their knowledge and deal with their learnings. The master's gift remains something quite extraordinary and might be something that we, students, may never attain. Yet, it awakes the curiosity we will never loose and might someday reveal the teacher in us.

Sticking Around Mastership is about patience. The goal of attending classes is not just about acquiring knowledge, but also about bearing witness to a certain attitude. In case of the Lion and Jerome it's about holding still, even though it's in lions' nature to become violent. With emotions varying from fright, wonder, rebellion and a sense of achievement, being a student is naturally confusing. Carles Codina: “The entire group graduating every year from jewellery and design schools strives for a change

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Mystical, deep experience of reality is directed to overcome the human condition–rotting, by means of performance or illusion. Imagination is actually the only real magic power, which has the authority to act on others. A subtle physical fluid fills the universe, serving as an intermediary between humans, earthly and heavenly bodies and between men themselves. The disease results from poor distribution of the fluid in the human body. Use of appropriate stones can adjust the balance.

Alzheimer’s: Smoked diamond Unruly children: Kunzite Obesity: Tantalite Sense of the past: Dumortierite Flu: Amber Lung: Zircon Existential questions: Proustite & Azurite

This series is part of the publication Triples Corps, 2012 Diploma work at ECAL (Ecole cantonale d'Art de Lausanne) Photography by Emile Barret

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I first approached Ruudt Peters about featuring him in the Youth issue in early May 2013. My original idea was to talk with him about his resiliency in terms of making work, his capability of reinventing himself by creating an entirely new body of work every two years, about his youthful mind and his tireless dramatic relationship with jewellery. He greeted me at his beautiful Amsterdam home; we hugged, sat down in two designer chairs in his living room and started talking. I started explaining what I wanted with the article and the words ‘never getting old’ came out. His reaction was absolutely unexpected. He cried “I know! Yes, that’s it! Never getting old, never dying, it’s about immortality! It’s about alchemy!” I had no idea what he was talking about… until he told me the whole story. It took two intense and emotional sessions, where we cried and we laughed and we talked about everything. I really love this story and after trying to re-create it in my own words and failing, I chose to write it as Ruudt told it.

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Immortality and constant change through the teachings of Chinese alchemy and the makings of Ruudt Peters


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I always want to stretch my borders, to find new ways. That’s where it starts. New ways always come when I put myself in an uncomfortable situation. I was sitting in these two chairs with my husband, talking about a trip, which we both wanted to take. Usually we stop our activities for three months and seek new inspiration, new life… all this crisis talk in Europe is so boring! So we were talking and talking and there were few options, like India and China. I thought I would like to go to a place where I don’t like being so much, because we have been in China back in 2000 and we didn’t like it. People are very kind, but their exchanges are very hard to understand. It’s very difficult to get into the culture; the language barrier and the cultural barrier make you work very hard to understand things. It is not a holiday country at all! But regardless of all that we made a final decision to go to China… And you know how before the trip you do all kinds of things and preparations… and I thought, shit, I have something, like a bump inside my cheek; so I decided to go see a dentist to be aware of what it is and make sure it was ok. He couldn’t figure out what it was and sent me to a jaw surgeon. I went exactly one week before the trip. And the surgeon said: “Well, I can’t do anything about this”… I just thought he was a strange guy… So we went on our trip. We had a one-entry visa, meaning we would only enter the country once. And honestly that was the best thing… because after three weeks I was bored of China, it is so incredibly overcrow­ded, everywhere you go there are people, you can’t hide yourself, it is always, full, packed, packed, packed… It is always public there, and there are no moments for sec­rets. I grew really sick of it: Chinese were coming out of my ears, and coming out of my nose… But I couldn’t leave because I had a workshop and a lecture planned at the end of the trip and the fact that I couldn’t leave turned out to be fantastic, great, perfect! There were three things I wanted to do: to travel, to get to know the country and research the subject. Then do artist in residence in Xiamen and a workshop in Beijing. My reason to go to China was to know more about Chinese alchemy. That was my leading interest. It was extremely difficult, because all the information, all the texts are in Chinese and very little bit is translated. And even when translated, books are very difficult to understand. And there was a difficulty in me concerning China and Chinese alchemy… I knew a little bit about Chinese alchemy, about the Naidan and Waidan, inner and outer alchemy. The outer, coincides more with the Western understanding of alchemy. In this difference lies the exact problem: we think with the brain, we try to control things intellectually... trying to achieve gold from led. It is about creating objects and giving value to these

objects outside your being. For the Chinese, the understanding was exactly opposite: they were trying to create gold to ingest it. Ingestion of gold elixir was targeting the ultimate goal: immortality. They saw the process of making gold as a holistic, total experience of life prolongation. They ate gold, instead of making gold to make objects; and they ate it to extend their lives… I find that great! For me death is one of the most romantic things in life. Death, what to do with death!? The romance of being here, knowing that there is this point at which you are going to die, and not knowing when exactly this point is in your life – I find this to be the highest romantic aspect of living… Being in China, I was confronted with things I couldn’t deal with. The more difficult people are in front of you, the more you learn about yourself, because they constantly keep the mirror up and you see the reflection of yourself. Difficult people are difficult because they make you confront yourself. So being in China, I met my mother and I met myself, little Ruudt… I was constantly annoyed with the Chinese because I had to deal with my own issues. The first few weeks were very confronting: you can’t read anything, they don’t help you, in a restaurant no one can translate anything, I felt like a real stupid Dutch ‘cheese head’, thinking I really cannot cope with this culture! Clash! There was no one to help, to translate, to explain, but that exact thing turned out to be great in the end. I found out that Taoism, yingyang, Tai Chi, acupuncture are all aspects of the inner alchemy and all of these combined make up the way Chinese, ordinary people, live their lives. In the morning people wake up and do these fantastic practices, they do them consciously, because they believe in them. So, we have been to the monastery, we’ve learned these practices, we have done workshops in acupuncture and all kinds of things to get in contact with the culture… But the strangest thing was, I found myself struggling with a constant thought: how can I translate this into jewellery? This holistic, huge thing… I didn’t know how to react to the culture, the things I saw. I had no clue… It took some time and finally, step-by-step I started gras­ ping it. I had one thing, a routine of making blind drawings, which I performed every day - during the journey, lying on the bed, in the evening - one or two each day. It became a journal, a story of my experiences. I believe that blind drawings are a direct connection between the belly and the hand. I ‘exclude’ the brain by not seeing what I’m doing. I can’t force, because I can’t see. My emotions come directly on paper. I think my hands are stronger than my brain, and my belly is in between. Of course, I guide this process, I ‘eat’ a lot of information, I read a lot, but at one moment I say: STOP. I ‘burn the books’ – that is an alchemic principle, meaning forgetting everything. And then I work, without thinking…

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So most of the time when I make something, I realize what I did only afterwards. I believe that when you grasp things too seriously, the beauty will retreat. When you want too much you will never get it, but if you do have a certain destination, but you let it go, it will come to you. It’s not about taking distance - you have to be completely in it, but not wanting… When I was in Xiamen, I saw incredible acupuncture medi­cine shops. You can get amazing body treatments there and I did everything they do because I was here, I was lonely and I wanted to know why are they doing these things. They have a hundred thousand treatments compared to what we have in the West. Once I went to a herbal medicine shop and saw the ‘supernatural’ Lingzhi mushroom there. I first saw

It was a really powerful feeling that I was alive and I wanted to live. You also get extremely clear about things: ok, I don’t want to spend time with some people anymore, only the people who really matter, only people who really confront you. And also pieces that are not good are out. Jewellery without significance has no right to exist. When there are no balls in it, when there are no guts in it – forget it. I don’t want to walk on a smooth side. I don’t want to compromise. At that moment I thought it was over, I was going to die. But strangely enough two days later I was completely Zen. I became highly aware of every moment, my eyes were wide open, I could hear everything, I could smell everything. This never happened to me before. I realized how calm and kind I could be, being a drama queen that I am.

“Soon I noticed that the drawings contained a figure. A man, maybe my alter ego...” it during my trip to China in 2000, I loved its shape, but I didn’t know what it was. I asked the shop lady and she said that Lingzhi is used to prolong the life of a dying person, by putting it in their mouth. And as the patient sucks on it, the liquids from the mushroom get into their body, helping them to live longer. My eyes popped open! I loved it. I thought it was fantastic! I was thinking about the Lingzhi when I was making my blind drawings… Soon I noticed that the drawings contained a figure. A man, maybe my alter ego... A human body and a human figure somehow were reappearing, like the main subject in the drawings. I was drawing men with distorted faces and thought they were the faces of the ‘eight immortals’ of Taoism. I really got obsessed. I was in the studio working for four weeks alone. I took big sheets of paper 80x100cm, stuck them to the wall and started making blind drawings with charcoal. I gave myself a precise time limit of 25 minutes. I’d set the alarm, close my eyes and start drawing. Only when the alarm would go off I’d open my eyes to see. Really being with each piece for 25 minutes was very intense. Three months later, after coming back to the Netherlands, I was still worried about the bump in my cheek. I asked for the best doctor and went to see him. For me it was just a regular check-up, so I came to the hospital alone. I was sitting there and the doctor said: “Oh!” I said: “What oh?” And he was like, well, it can be positive or negative. I had no idea what he was talking about. I asked what he meant. Then he said the word ‘cancer’ and I think I fainted. I was completely gone for a few seconds, all the blood drained out of my face, I was completely white. All these doctors came to help me… I remember I was trying to walk out of that room and everyone was following me, because they didn’t want to leave me alone… When I came back home and entered my studio I realized that the faces of the ‘eight immortals’ were actually me. I didn’t see this before. In my brain I was still into the abstracted notions of immortals, Lingzhi, a great story about sucking on a dead mushroom… Until I heard the words of the doctor: “Mr. Peters, you have cancer”. And there I was, standing in front of these eight drawings and I thought: “Shit!” I understood everything now. The first thing on my mind was: “I’m ok. I’m ok, I’m still in contact with my body”. My body knows more than my brain. It knows everything.

Then the surgery happened. Something I still don’t understand: I went to the hospital a week after the operation and they said: “Ok, you are in good shape, you don’t need chemo or any such treatments. You are done.” I walked out of the hospital and said: “Back to normal now. Work.” And that is something strange, going quickly from a Zen experience of reevaluating life to ‘back to normal’ in a finger snap. It was like ‘I die’, then ‘maybe I die’, then ‘I wouldn’t die’ and then – ‘work!’. I’m ALIVE! I shall show you that I’m alive! I will make things. Make-make-make, go-go-go!

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Sofie Boons (BE, 1989) recent graduate of the Royal College of Art’s Jewellery department has a particular fascination for the invisibility.


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Sofie Boons worked on projects involving scents, like a perfume bottle in a shape of a ‘stamp’ which would leave an invisible secret sentence, seen only for a brief moment before it gets absorbed by the skin. She also made a recipe book for solid perfumes: inspired by a certain word, a collection of things like herbs, flowers, seeds, wine corks, newspaper shreds is put together to create a smell. For her graduation show in 2013 she created series of murky resin beads with oddly bright blue and red shadows. What makes these beads so special? Current Obsession

Sofie Boons

Photo by Antoine Foulot

While researching the subject of smell, Sofie stumbled upon and gradually became fascinated with the statement that gold carries no smell. Noble metals in general have no smell, and the ‘metallic smell’ we happen to associate with coins is actually a body odor produced by metals reacting with skin oils. But what if one could influence small particles within the metal to manipulate or add smell? Following this idea Sofie set out investigating deep into the material, Nanoscale deep. During a ‘speed dating’ event aimed to connect scientists and artists, organised by the Imperial College Committee Sofie met Jodie Melbourne, a PhD student at Imperial College London: – On the night we both were wearing the same scarf and while talking about our mutual interests some interesting ideas sparked! Our first collaborative approach was focusing on the concept of inhalable jewellery, and this led us into research on metals on a Nanoscale. Nano is a pre-fix which means x 10-9. So, if we want to ‘visualise’ a nanoparticle, we can imagine taking a large beach ball and then making its volume a billion times smaller. On a comparative scale, if the diameter of a marble was one nanometre, then the diameter of the Earth would be about one meter. Also, a human hair is about 80.000 - 100.000 nm in diameter and this is just about as small as we can see with the naked eye. We see objects when light is reflected from them and travels into our eyes. However, nanoparticles are much smaller than the wavelength of visible light and so it is impossible for us to resolve them. We just can’t focus on something so small! – But how we make jewellery from something, which is invisible? Well if you get enough of the invisible stuff, you can then see it…

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In the process of working Sofie and Jodie noticed that when added to resin, larger quantities of these individually invisible particles resulted in strange optical properties. By altering the size and shape of the nanoparticles, the colour of the resin changed. This amazing discovery appealed to the girls and they decided to investigate more into it. They discovered that the colour also depends on the quantity of the particles and on the degree of dispersion in the resin. The light in which the resin is perceived also has an effect on the colour it displays. The beads containing 80 nm gold nanoparticles will appear brown in ambient light, purple when the light is transmitted and will have a blue shadow. Gold and silver particles are responsible for the vibrant colours in the stained glass windows of medieval churches that are hundreds of years old. Medieval artisans unknowingly became nanotechnologists when they made red stained glass by mixing gold chloride into molten glass. That created tiny gold spheres, which absorbed and reflected sunlight in a way that produced a rich ruby color. Modern day nanoparticles are created in the laboratory by scientists and are generally used for many medical uses, from imaging and aiding diagnoses to delivering therapies. Using this form of gold and silver for the creation of jewellery, however, is a novelty.

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In the future Sofie and Jodie are interested in and focusing on exploring other medium than resin and in the casting of different shapes to fully utilise the potential of the process.

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– In this occasion we did not use glass to disperse the particles in but our own resin recipe. The advantage of using resin is that it is easy to work with in the lab environment. It also has a long enough setting timeframe in which we can add the particles, disperse them by sonication and precisely cast them- limiting wastage. Resin also has the advantage that it can be exactly measured and we could therefore accurately monitor the results. We have spent over a year researching how to develop the casting process and we have experimented with different quantities, sizes and qualities of nanoparticles. The result is a range of different coloured beads displaying remarkable optical properties.

– We also want to see if we can simplify the manufacturing process, whilst reducing costs, so that we can think about the commercial availability of the jewellery. But for now, we are both very happy to have undergone this journey and look forward to a long future of exploration into the aesthetic potential of new and novel materials. a l


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Curated by Adam Grinovich

Front of Depot Basel, photography by Matylda Krzykowski

Socratic Dialogue

A discourse between: Adam Grinovich Jeweller, Artist

Otto K端nzli Jeweller, Artist

Damian Skinner Art historian, Critic, Museum Curator

Rogier Taminiau Artist, Painter, Photographer

Sean Yeaton Musician, Writer, Artist

Edward Grinovich Entrepreneur, Business-owner 48


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We installed a micro forum as a part of the Current Obsession website (talk.current-obsession.com) and tried to employ a way of discussion called Socratic Dialogue between people from various disciplines, curated by Adam Grinovich. The topic we selected was Change. The rules of the discussion are an important part of governing the outcome. And while we try to keep this as open as possible, it is key that the participants use a language the others can understand. A language of personal experience rather than one from quotes and books. We do that by filtering out assumptions that come with an ordinary way of speaking in which we often assume others know what we mean. This way of speaking makes up for a slow and thorough, but a rewarding discussion. The following text consists of fragments of speakers’ statements. This is a pilot conversation with more to come.

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Current Obsession is exploring the potential of modern media meetings. We believe in creating a platform for artists and designers to share their opinions and express their voices. We believe that a real (inter)active discussion between people, concerned with the subject in discussion, can potentially serve as a critical discourse in the field of contemporary jewellery.

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Five people of various ages, backgrounds and professions were assembled as participants and the challenge was to try and create both a structure and a form sympathetic to all of the individuals involved. Digital communication has become a global standard – chat rooms and forums have been around since the days of dial up modems. They’re about as rudimentary as online technology can get. Forums and online chatting in general owe their success to the fact that they provide a level playing field for all members involved.

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This was my father’s response to an email rant that I wrote him questioning the spirit of the age that we are currently living in. I was experiencing that kind of schizophrenic anxiety that comes with trying to understand my place in a world I couldn’t properly define. Perhaps I was being presumptuous, but I had the feeling that I was in the midst of a cultural shift and I had the desire to be dealt some wisdom as to how to interpret the indications of change. To develop this investigation I saw two ways of going about it: either I could buckle down and attempt to delve into complex philosophical analysis, or I could try and gather some of the people who I’ve come to know and respect to get their take on the matter… I chose the latter. The topic is Change… nothing to be taken lightly. The leader of the free world used it as a one word slogan in order to campaign himself into two terms of the United States presidency.

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“Random and perversely ideologically motivated attacks on life will wear down complex aesthetics and, as you eluded to a reversion to basic elemental art/music/life, and you are right, the moment rules thought, hell, why think too much.”


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Obsession The forum format restructures traditional modes of dialogue by removing personal charismatic dominance and reduces a conversation to lines of text that can be contemplated, refined, and then submitted. The forum also has an Achilles heel, for nearly the same reason that gives it strength. How and why people come into contact has a great deal of influence on a particular relationship. At its worst, the forum can function as an impersonal fish tank where all is on display and those with the closest affinities to the medium take presidence over the ones less inclined to sit in front of a screen and voice their personal insights. I harbor a sense of hope and excitement for these new forms of ‘social media and entertainment’ (reddit.com is a good example that comes to mind). A generation is dawning that has been raised on high speed Internet and digital networking.

July 7th 2013

Adam Grinovich

We live in a world of constants and variables: things that stay the same, things that change. Generally speaking, change is usually brought about by some force, an impact. This impact could be as mundane as a subtle inner feeling or as monumental as a world war. An interesting element of change is its relation from what was, to what is, to what will be; it embodies a range of emotions from severe nostalgia to unbridled hope. Development, decay and everything in between. I was thinking about the idea of change and how decades stand for specific markers and cultural definitions. It's a strange phenomenon. The 70’s had a hippy movement and aesthetic, 80’s neon, electronic instrumentation, 90’s had grunge culture and a widespread sense of apathy, the birth (and death?) of generation X. I still have the unreasonable sense that on 1 January 1980 people woke up to a world that looked, sounded and felt entirely different. I realized that this way of thinking has conditioned me in a way to think about cultural shifts in 10-year periods.

WHAT DOES CHANGE MEAN TO YOU?

July 8th 2013

Damian Skinner Every generation articulates a moment in which the world changed. The English author Virginia Woolf wrote that “On or about December 1910, human character changed.” I've always loved the entirely unreasonable specificity of that date, so I'm inclined to feel warm towards your claim that 1 January 1980 marks an epochal moment in human culture, and that waking up that morning was to encounter a world transformed from how it had been the day before. But I also find it interesting that you stop describing the 10-year cultural shifts when you get to the 2000s, presumably because it becomes too hard to get an historical perspective on the times in which you're a participant. How would you define 2010 onwards as different to 2000 onwards? Can you identify change while you are experiencing it? I'd say you can, but it can't be narrated until it becomes history and therefore distant and other in some way. The oracle in The Matrix films says that we can't see beyond the choices we don't understand, and I've often thought that is a really useful idea. Maybe in this instance I would translate that as: change becomes history the moment we can articulate what it means, or the character of its difference to what came before. As to what kind of role a critic or writer or curator has in contributing to change, we all hope that we might say or do something that will prove influential, but I don't know if this ever stops being more than desire on the part of the critic to imagine they make a difference. There are many different ways I would like various cultural practices and art worlds to change, and I can articulate and agitate for this change to take place, but there is no guarantee that will make any difference. Then again, some change is about ideas or philosophy (e.g. this is what I think is going on), and some is about what you do or how you behave (e.g. I think we need more critical discourse in the field of contemporary

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Decades and Changes have nothing to do with each other, except that some people need or wish to put everything in boxes, in pigeonholes, to categories everything, to create -isms. Decades (as well as centuries and millenniums) are a western invention based on the decimal system. Far over 2/3 of the worlds population have their own and different calendars. But yes, I also use phrases like: this is typical 50’s. Changes are subtle and happen without even noticing, and in their accumulation one day they may hit you like mad. Changes are noisy, big, frightening and overwhelming, but after all not much may actually have happened. Some changes are wonderful and refreshing and somehow has something when really changed. Certain things I try to change but repeatedly fail to do so. Some other things I wish so much to keep but don’t manage, they change against my will, and looking back it was not always the worst thing that it changed. When I repeat a piece it is never the same. Therefore something must have changed. Therefore I never call repeating ‘repeating’ but instead renewing. I changed almost 100 silver coins from about 40 countries by erasing both sides, head and tails. Queen Elisabeth had to go, Mao got removed, and I filed of the Pope as well as Steffi Graf. I transformed all the silver discs into pendants and named the project Change. Every moment something is changing. And I change all the times something somehow. Therefore I am. When I watched the towers in New York coming down, life and from not so far away, a lot changed, but my life didn’t. When I was sixteen, my six years older brother died and my entire life changed forever.*

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July 9th 2013

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jewellery, so I will start writing it). It is amazing what can happen when you decide to act as if the world is different. As Gandhi put it,“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him... We need not wait to see what others do.”

July 26nd 2013

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To take it in a personal direction I believe that these sentiments towards change have made me very attracted to things that are resistant to change. Take for instance a bicycle, a form that never needs to change, or a format that will never change like having a drink at a bar, which people have done forever and will continue to do so forever. It’s like looking at the periodic table of elements: there's no possibility of seeing it another way.

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July 12th 2013

Ed Grinovich l o g

Cultural change is, from my seat, an adoptive process on a grand scale. An event, an idea, a perceived event or a non-event, is circulated, discussed, redefined and articulated a thousand times, and the general view of the populous of any region accepts the thing as part of the current culture. There are overwhelming events that drive a culture to some change, war, disease, ideological waves, but those are both unavoidable and not an indication of what any culture has agreed upon is a representation of their understandings. On a trivial level, perhaps not so to some, fashion is one of those cultural icons we paste on an era. No one decrees fashion, it is simply the adoptive resolution of the majority that some particular style is the iconic representation of the ‘generati on’/era/ culture, thus, every other person has some iteration of the fashion on, for as long as that

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* Sorry for my long statement – it is the first and the last for this project – because I have just decided to make another change and to quit my participation. Adam, next time when we enjoy a drink together, I will tell you why (it got nothing to do with you). All the best/Otto


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Obsession style is determined to be representative. When a new fashion displaces the prior, the old is a landmark to history and the new is the new true symbol of the culture. I do not minimize the importance of events, but events effect the individuals affected, not the whole, some events are human landmarks and force change on many levels, but that event needs to be so huge that the majority needs to accept the obvious conditions implied or enforced by the event as drivers of their current culture.

August 9th 2013

Rogier Taminiau In a way I’m anti-now. I’m interested in periods where television did not exist. I’ve heard this theory that color television was responsible for the bright colors that the hippies wore in the 70’s. This switch from black and white to color influenced the fashion… Of course with the drugs and music, that probably didn’t have much to do with color TV. It was about reactions… that grunge was a reaction to whatever came before it.

July 17th 2013

Sean Yeaton The tool of influence that crafts change is perception. Time is a way to measure change, but I believe it is perception that governs (commissions?) acts of change. This notion, for me, requires the consideration of alternate realities and universes that perhaps exist as an analog to our own current perception of the present (how it will or WE'D LIKE it to impact ‘Change’). The seeds of these alternate realities still exist in our current perception of the present they have perhaps only not sprouted as much as others. This, in a way, relates BROADLY to the notion of JUMPING THE SHARK: The eponymous example of THE FONZ from Happy Days using water skis to jump over a shark in the show HAPPY DAYS marks the decline of the program, which begs its audience to wonder what COULD have been and implies that CHANGE, in an irreversible sense, can not be simply GOOD or BAD but can only be.

July 18th 2013

Adam Grinovich I can personally say that most of the changes in my life so far have been due to a source that I could locate, and I know that my age has a lot to do with that. We are all living right here and now, and that dictates a tremendous amount of free will. We have the ability to make choices and take responsibility for the consequences. I read an article some time ago that was on the theme of choice, and it illustrated that the idea of choice is a fairly modern concept. In earlier western eras it was thought that God willed everything that occurred in the world, so the idea of choice was moot as it was a higher power that had full control over the fate of mankind. Ok, so what I’m really questioning is: What is the constant? Quite some time ago we talked about the idea of the glue that keeps this world together, the idea of this mutually understood etiquette that stops someone from behaving in a completely abnormal manner. To quote a rather trite cliché “the more things change, the more they stay the same” Its crazy right… I think that when I was a child I expected things to be a lot more different now than they are (technologically, culturally, globally etc.). What happened?

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July 19th 2013

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Damian Skinner I recently read a short story by science fiction writer Greg Egan about the multiple universes theory, in which there are an infinite number of worlds in which different consequences unfold from the choices we make – therefore, no choice is ever final or determinative. In effect, there is no free will, since all possible outcomes will be played out by the different versions of you spread across the different universes. The protagonist decides to create an artificial intelligence child who, with the aid of technology that I couldn't understand or repeat because the math and physics were beyond me, would make choices that would be final, because they would be singular - cut off from the multiple universes, there would only be one individual, in this world, making decisions and experiencing the consequences. His need to create this child emerged from his sense of helplessness, his feeling that free will didn't exist because whatever he did would, when considered from a perspective that took in all the multiple universes, have no impact. (All possible outcomes would be happening to a version of him somewhere.) Certainly, when you start thinking about change and what it means, it can induce a kind of philosophical vertigo. At the beginning of this conversation, I would have said that I knew what change was, and how to induce it - and that the only uncertainty was around its effects. But when you begin to think about it, you start to see infinitely regressing and progressing chains that make change a complicated proposition. It seems arbitrary as to what you choose to identify as the states before and after change, or the action that causes change, or the consequences.

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Full version of the conversation can be found and joined at talk.current-obsession.com

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Getting Fair Shake

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We came to Copenhagen in mid-July for a short 5-day visit. The timing was bad, as everyone had gone on vacation. Nevertheless, a lot of people were very kind to come down from their summer houses to meet up and talk. In contemporary Denmark modesty, punctuality and reliability are important aspects of social behavior. People seem to be satisfied and proud of their country’s achievements and also proud of the equality and uniformity in the society. People are happy to be where they are. The brutal Jante Law1 has dissolved and faded, but has remained embedded in the social DNA in a form more subtle and polite. The point here is to avoid envy in others. What if there is an alternative to the value of individual success, the idea of uniqueness and the system of competition encouragement? Maybe the leveled playing field that creates no winners creates no losers. These were some of the things we were trying to discover while spending a few days talking to local artists in Copenhagen.

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“We cherish to be laidback and sometimes, when we aren’t, we like to appear that way.” - Danish architect and contemporary jeweller Maja Røhl

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Green, fresh and airy, populated by beautiful people with loads of kids, Copenhagen is a perfect mix of things vaguely reminding one of Berlin, Stockholm and Amsterdam at their best.

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1 – Jante Law is a concept that points out certain tendencies within the Scandinavian communities that frown upon individual success, ambitions and achievements, considering them inappropriate. General value is shifted towards the overall wellbeing of the community, while discouraging those who stand out as achievers. Ten rules of Jante were fist formulated in a fictional novel ‘A fugitive crosses his tracks’ (En flyktning krysser sitt spor) by the Dano-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose. The Jante Law is otherwise known as the who-do-you-think-you-are law.

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In the evening of our first day we met up with Jolien Hanemaaijer, a young and talented Dutch designer, who has recently moved to Copenhagen. She took us to a hot hipster pizza place in the Meat District, Kødbyen. Among the first things she mentioned des­ cribing Danes were the words ‘cozy’ and ‘laidback’. She told us how casual and equal the relationships seem between the superiors and the subordinates and how easy it feels to work in such atmosphere. The definition of status of this wealthy country surpassed the stages of material success, and in its upgraded state took shape of the abstract notion of ‘laidback-ness’. What does it mean? Apparently, the best way to show off in Denmark is to show how relaxed and laidback you are, regardless of your actual schedule and position.


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henrik

vibskov Making a Twist From The Daily Life Vibskov opposes the common notion accepted in Scandinavian countries to stick together and not to stick out. He sticks out quite a bit, being not only an avant-garde artist whose distinguished style is recognized all over the world, but as an example of a new generation of ‘multi-makers’ that, we believe, are the future. Interior and theatre design, installation, performance, fashion, music and overall experience are the mediums Vibskov is working with, fluently moving from one to another. He talks about the five senses and how important it is to involve them all when presenting his work. We visited his show NECK PLUS ULTRA at the Gammel Strand Museum and being big fans of his art and his fashion, we felt compelled to write a few lines about this Danish artist extraordinaire. The show, in a surrealist logic or the lack thereof, revolves around the neck. NECK PLUS ULTRA is a pun on the Latin expression nec plus ultra meaning nothing farther beyond and simultaneously a reference to the neck as an anatomic body part, a throat, a tube, a connection between the head and the body. Vibskov’s obsession with a ‘neck motif ’ comes across in different forms throughout the exhibition. One of the most memorable installations is a room filled with black flamingoes hanging upside down. Bizarre black birds, whose necks stretched all the way from the ceiling to the floor, create a weary feeling when inside the room. One has to ‘push’ trough the necks and it is quite impossible to walk through the room without touching them. This work is a reference to a slaughterhouse, as the birds are hanging upside down, but the exoticism of the flamingo birds brings a twisted surreal feel to the place. The neck represents his ‘right-now’ interest and one can bear witness to his working method of creating a twisted universe, a complete fantastic story around a subject, and channeling the expression through art, through performance and through fashion. “Maybe I'm the ordinary one. And everybody else is avant-garde… Maybe I think normally, and everybody else operates strangely. They go to work every day at the office. That's strange.” – Henrik Vibskov (documentary by Carl Johan Engberg, Stavfel produktion, 2011)

Vibe Harsløf’s jewellery captures urban Scandinavian style, her pieces are very delicate and wearable. She creates a collection every 6 months and shows it at professional fairs in Copenhagen and Paris. Each season Vibe collaborates with a fashion label creating pieces for their fashion show. She graduated 20 years ago, but started to work with two collections a year since 2006. She worked for a large Danish jewellery company Pilgrim, developing a sub-line for them and even after the label was shut down due to economic crisis, she felt like continuing with the same production rhythm, in a more structured way and not randomly producing as before. Vibe Harsløf Fool Gold, 2012 Gold neckpiece from her AW collection

Vibe Harsløf, Gold neckpiece from her AW collection ‘Fool Gold ’ 2012

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Henrik Vibskov, Neck Plus Ultra, 2013 Installation at Gammel Strand Museum

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Henrik Vibskov Runway AW 2013 Victor Jones

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Vibe Harsløf:

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“I don’t know if you noticed, but the Danish girls always wear sneakers. I worked a lot with ankles, I’m into ankles chains, and ankle braces, and ankle anklets and stuff… but it doesn’t make a lot of sense in the winter because you can’t really see them. So I was thinking how can I develop it into something that will work in the winter and will function outdoor, and then I started working on some shoe things.” Photography by Lene Hald

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Maria Black—Behind The Scenes stills AW 2013

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The Daisy or Marguerite Route sign, that guides drivers to scenic roads, beautiful landscapes and hidden villages throughout Denmark, this route was founded April 1991 by Queen Margrethe II.

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black Making Superfluous Essential

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Maria Black is Copenhagen-born fashion jewellery designer currently based in London. We have been following her work on social networks, which are believed to be the place where her designs first gained popularity, tagged by people wearing her jewellery on Facebook and Instagram. Typing #mariablack in Instagram yielded over 3102 results. After her collections had been sold out at a temporary pop-up store during Copenhagen Fashion Week 2012 she decided to open a permanent flagship store in Copenhagen in June 2013: very black and very elegant indeed. Her minimalist approach to jewellery excludes stones and uses metal as the only medium. Concentrated pure and geometric forms, repeated patterns and, what we found most peculiar, the interchangeable pieces compose her signature style. The elements in each collection can be combined in different ways, which activates the possibilities to wear older work. She makes jewellery to adorn a human body in a most observant and intimate way: small rings for upper phalanges, earrings that curl up the earflap, earrings that are hardly visible, yet very sensual, necklaces, which lengths are precisely measured to be worn in multitude… Her jewellery is a perfect example of ‘good taste’ (a term mentioned by Roland Barthes in the book The language of Fashion) fashion jewellery, where a small object, regardless of its price, or the material it is made of, becomes a vital element to the overall style, a connecting link that ties together the composition. This jewellery makes the outfit emotional and meaningful.

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focuses on how the quotidian, common, insignificant objects can serve as a means of one’s identity and belonging.

Korea is considered to be one of the most expensive in the world.

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“There is a lot of material transformation in my work. I read this story about girls* from South Korea carrying empty Starbucks cups around as a fetish.”

Therese Mørch-Jørgensen for Morten Underbjerg Olesen, Art work collaboration.

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Therese has graduated from the Jewellery Department of RCA, she recently left London and returned back to Copenhagen, where she is currently establishing her practice. Her work

*Doenjang girls’ is a phrase used on the Internet in early 2000s referring to a new social trend in South Korea. The word ‘doenjang’ originates from a popular Korean fermented soybean paste and meals prepared with this paste are considered the cheapest in South Korea. The name ‘Doenjang girls’ refers to young women who are addicted to brands, they would eat the cheapest meal, or even skip one in order to go and spend an insane amount of money for a Starbucks latte (coffee by this brand in South


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put

put Making Ordinary Extraordinary PUTPUT is an upcoming interdisciplinary Swiss/Danish duo currently based in Copenhagen. Ulrik Martin Larsen, the Danish half of the duo (the other half is Stefan Friedli), kindly agreed to meet with us outside a cute coffee shop in the Nørrebro area. He brought a neat box with perfectly arranged prints of their photographic work. The main focus of PUTPUT is the juxtaposition of various recognizable objects that have meaning in contemporary culture and precise interception of that meaning in an endless game of clever interpretations. They are interested in word games: titles like Girl With a Pearl Earring or Clockwork Orange become unexpected and bizarre interpretations, constrained within the boundaries of everyday objects. “Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary” is how Ulrik puts it. The man himself is an obsessive collector. For him the enjoyment of collecting is not about accumulating objects of one type, but rather curating several collections at the same time, until he feels like a certain group is ready to be “taken further”. Like taking a pretty sponge that has been lying on his desk for about two years and combining it with a Popsicle stick. Two objects just happened to lie next to each other and one of a sudden the realization dawned on him – he took the stick and pushed it into the sponge. That is how their wellknown Popsicle series was born. – I collect sponges everywhere, I have a huge sponge collection… I don’t think it’s necessarily a fascination with collecting as such; it’s more a fascination with the objects and our relationship to the objects. I find it interesting, this metaphysical relationship that you have with something dead, you know, like the meanings you apply to it. I don’t think of these connections being coincidental; I really keep my eyes open and see a connection between things… This meticulous and time-consuming approach to making work made us think about jewellery. – The project is based on a meticulous research into generic plastic containers and more importantly their often colorful lids and trying to match or pair them with glass and porcelain pots, bowls, vases and glasses. We tried to facilitate a meeting of materials between two related, but quite contrasting objects, which in turn hopefully creates a narrative through combining the two different entities; we imagine a fancy lady on the town sipping her take away martini in a glass with a plastic lid normally used for take away coffee´s. We find the juxtaposition of the plastic lids which are often thought as being cheap throw-away items and the more precious glass and porcelain items interesting, they both fulfill practical demands, but the difference in perceived value of the treasured glass and ceramic items seem to have a bigger threshold for imbedding or attributing emotions and memories, whereas the plastic lids are mostly met with indifference. The entire research for the project took about 4 months, countless trips to second hand shops with a bag full of assorted plastic lids accompanied by a lot of curios looks from strangers whilst trying on lids on pretty much every household item in the shops, but it was a strangely satisfactory feeling to find the perfect matches and meetings between objects.

Vessels, Inkjet, Edition 1/3

Objects appear complete, but in a rather bizarre way. The final result is an amazing collection of images, where vessels appear reborn, acquired a new character, unknown and unexpected.

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helen

clara

hemsley

Making Streetwise Jewels Helen Clara Hemsley (ZA, 1969) trained as a sculptor at the Glasgow School of Art and at the Institute of Fine Metals in Copenhagen. Her passion for small things created debates with teachers who demanded more volume and more dimensionality. She was also interested in performance as a medium, and once, during a live performance she had an epileptic shock because of the soap bar she was holding in her mouth. After that incident she wanted to make something a little more ‘controlled’, so she started making jewellery. Helen is one of the founding teachers at a recently opened school Fabrikken where youth 15–25 years old learn how to work with textile and jewellery, among other things. Helen is absolutely irresistible; while talking about her work, she completely pulls one into her world. Growing up in Durban, a port city on the east coast of South Africa, she became obsessed with TV series Dynasty and Dallas. Watching rich and fabulous women, “trophy wives, whose husbands married them because they look like they do”, all Helen wanted was to be like them. Her work itself is of the most direct and the most literal kind. The pieces are embroidered, flat, two-sided pendants and brooches. They portray things like faces, cars, continents, animals in a very naïve, very child-like manner. The titles are hilarious and witty: The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side (for a rectangular patch with two shades of green), You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink (for a head of a horse with a leather lead), Give me a call when you like yourself better (for a life-size embroidered iPhone), but they are also very emotional and personal. Helen states things as they are. It is very interesting that regardless of the work being quite literal and, one may say, crafty, it has a very prominent contemporary edge to it. It’s like she deals with all these things mentioned above then comes out on the other side with work that is absolutely ‘now’. The embroidery, no matter how simplistic, has a very interesting and somewhat twisted notion of the ‘other side’. What is the ‘good’ and what is the ‘bad’ side, or what is ‘front’ and what is ‘back’? The idea of making something and all the time looking at its ‘front’, while knowing that you would not be able to avoid dealing with its ‘back’… In the same way Helen’s work has a different side to its naïve appeal: it is the artist, in whose character it is to deal with life’s events, whatever they might be, with courage and humor.

Mouthpieces designed by a London-based menswear designer Lucie Vincini and made by Therese Mørch-Jørgensen. Therese - “Lucie Vincini got it touch with me to ask if I could help producing pieces for the catwalk show at RCA. All the research leading to her menswear collection pointed towards styles of the street and rough, juxtaposed influences and she want­­­­­­­­ed a different take on the grills for her models to wear as accessories. I had previous experience of making gag pieces for another designer’s show, which luckily someone picked up on and sent her in my direction. All our communication happened online and through the post as I was in Copenhagen and Vincini in London. The job came with a very specific design brief, a given budget and a tight deadline. I received a set of dental retractors from which a mould was made and Vincini’s retractors would be a so to speak ‘sampled’

version based on these. Technically, the mouth-inserts were cast in bronze and joined onto the exaggerated brass handle before polishing and goldplating. We made 3 retractors, all one-size and as disturbing as they may look, they are surprisingly safe to wear for both mouth, teeth and the poor models! In my experience, when it comes to showpieces - at the end of the day - what is important is that things look great and less how well they are made. Therefore, for this type of work I quickly decide with the client if we are aiming for show standard, finished prototype or production pieces. For a jeweller it is obviously desirable to achieve high standards in quality as well as execution and finish, yet typically fashion and costume allow less time for that, so it pays off to be quite spontaneous and executive. Such an industrious approach is to me much fun and thrilling as it equally challenges, provokes and balances the perhaps more reflected

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A leopard cannot change his spots Photography by Peter Thomas Location Nørrebro, Copenhagen

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Helen Clara Hemsley’s arm tattoo “If I don’t mind, It doesn’t matter” holding Unleashing my inner African goddess, Neckpiece

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mette

saabye Making Impossible Possible Mette Saabye is the mother figure in the Copenhagen contemporary jewellery scene. Her studio in a vibrant Latin Quarter of Copenhagen exists on its current location since 2005 and seems to be the meeting point for a lot of local jewellers. It is entirely covered with gold leaf and literally glowing form the inside. Mette shares her studio with two other jewellers: Josefine Rønsholt Smith and Louise Bech. She is a woman of a quite unusual character for a Dane. She is very confident and the typical Danish modesty transforms in her into more outspoken, willful and focused character. Due to her personality, it seems, she draws a lot of people close to her and serves as a center of gravity for the community. She realizes this part of her personality and carries it with responsibility, doing things like organizing international events, which try to draw more attention to Danish contemporary jewellery scene. Or was it to draw the attention of the Danish contemporary jewellery scene towards the outside world? – All that’s happening is kept here in Denmark, we discuss at the seminars that we should try to go more abroad and take action ourselves… Denmark is a weird country, you can make a good living and you can make things work out ok… so in a way many people don’t really see the point in going abroad… they don’treally see the whole idea of developing intellectually and getting a network outside of Denmark, I think it becomes a kind of inbreeding... I really love my field and I think it is a pity that we are ending up left behind. I think there is a lot of talent and we could be much more a part of the international scene… and I think it’s just dull that people stay in their own nest… comfort zone. While I was growing up I was taught that it was a good thing to look for more information and knowledge and try to be curious and try to learn from it… And maybe it would give you an idea if what you are doing were the right thing. You know, having this discussion is also about becoming more focused on what you are doing and why you are doing it. Mette is a revolutionary in her own right. She wants to show that jewellery can be much more, and she interprets it in her personal work as well. Her latest obsession is with the process of condensation from the prospective of an alchemist, a jeweller and a philosopher. She uses various simplistic shapes that vaguely remind one of tools, utensils, cups, handles and are generally perceived as such. But they serve a metaphysical purpose. They portray the process of material transformation, where, for example, red glossy resin ‘goes’ into one side of the piece and ‘comes out’ as a precious stone from the other side. Mette cleverly plays with the perceptions of preciousness and metaphoric understanding of jewellery. – I always thought it was interesting to make the impossible possible. I think you should have this dream in your life, you should believe you can do things although everyone says it’s impossible. I like to pass this idea onto others, so they see it is possible to make the impossible…

We visited the Goldfingers gallery on the second day of our arrival. This gallery, founded by Janne Krogh and Karl Ejnar Nybo, is a strong gravitational center in the Copenhagen jewellery scene. Located in shopping area of the city center, Goldfingers gallery is a perfect place to lure in the 'innocent passers-by'. Goldfingers hosts exhibitions by both Danish and international jewellery artists and collaborate with The Institute of Precious Metals, providing an exhibition platform for their guest teachers. At the time we were visiting Goldfingers, the exhibition on display was Annette Dam's More Or Less.

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Marie-Louise Kristensen wearing her Go’e Lange Stænger/Let The Light in silver brooch. Her jewellery miniatures tell quirky humorous stories about Danish design, quotidian life scenes and travels.


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Mette Saabye, Condensator Series, 2013 Ring worn by Josefine Rønsholt Smith

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We’ve spotted Raffaela Graspointner’s collection Razzle Dazzle Panda Puzzle in mid-June 2013 at the graduation show of the Fashion Department, Royal Academy of Arts, Antwerp. Everything, from the voluminous plasticky garments to the bold detailed jewellery, was terrific. Graspointner managed to achieve a fun mix of ethnicity and modern geometric elements in one collection rustling with sequin bedazzle!

Razzle Dazzle Panda Puzzle Photography by Ester Grass Vergara 66


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The Way of

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Interview with Bart Hess

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physical and even imaginative limitations by produ­ cing images that barely adhere to our general sensiti­ vity. Using his unique sense of wonder he always stays one step ahead of categorization. What appears to be the only constant in his ever-changing and transformative work is his obsession with a human body. Only the inexhaustible desire to simply touch the fabric of the future shows that mankind still bears something of its juvenile excitement.

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What happens when we come across something that doesn't fit into our conception of the existing world? We come up with a new category for it. Whether it's art, design or fashion we’ve grown used to amend and to append to the rules defined by the world at large. Yet there seems to be no boundaries, rules or limits for the revolutionary multimaker Bart Hess (NL, 1984). Like a terrifying movie about the apocalyptic landscape of humankind, Hess confronts us with our

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Bart Hess

In one of the interviews you talked about an intuitive impulse to put a material onto human skin, even if it doesn't belong there, e.g. flooring material, to create tension between the two. What does this tension mean to you? Why is this tension important? I think it is a great way to talk about contemporary jewellery, even though you have little to do with it.

Combining a material and a human body is a ‘red thread’ running through my work. For me it's about creating a tension between the two almost as if they fuse, but they never totally do. The physical reaction when doing so is of great importance for me. Not only for a model during a shoot, but even more so for the audience. Showing the skin and how it reacts to, for example, the weight of the material, adds to the experience I want to convey. It's about the subtle details that make the audience imagine experiencing the materials without physically doing so. It has an uncanny feel to it, maybe fetishist, some say, while I look for the boundaries of both the body and the material.

What is your first memory of the future? When do you remember the first time thinking about the future?

I remember as a kid being on holidays and wanting to be Superwoman. That's no longer the case. The future has become something more abstract to me. I use it as a motivation while feeling stuck in my work or when I'm on an airplane, which I hate. It's a way of visualizing a future me that guides me in life.

For Lisbon Architecture Triennale in September 2013 you are working on a new human from the apocalyptic future. Who is he?

For the Lisbon Architecture Triennale I'm working on my new project called Digital Artefacts. The exhibition I'm a part of, Future Perfect, brings together an ensemble of scientists, technologists, designers, futurists and science fiction authors to collectively develop the props, spaces, cultures, machines and narratives of their own brave new future city. In Digital Artefacts I combine installation, performance and video to envision the human body in this future city. The term ‘digital artifact’ is used to describe defects in digital image quality. The most common example of this is the quality change of digital imagery within the use of compression. When I work with several different effects in video software, suddenly the most extreme forms with bizarre colour patterns can occur. These forms usually appear within a fraction of a second and are a direct occurrence of my actions in the physical world. It is this boundary between the psychical and digital world that I search for in my work. The digital world gives me a new view of the reality, one that is boundary-free, fluid, neither material nor immaterial. I find ways to translate

Previous page Bart Hess, Metal Fur, 2010 Pins and silicones Photography by Bart Hess A digital version of the Metal Fur can be seen in the Hunt for High Tech animation. Bart developed the real material months later by hand. The fur exists out of a metal mesh where kilos of pins were sifted into by hand. This is a very time consuming project

that has to be completed by hand. The picture of the Metal Fur in the glass dome is taken of his solo exhibit A hunt for High Tech in the State Musem Twenthe, still on till the end of September. The rug excists of over 100 kilograms of pins.

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I believe that the human landscape won't necessarily change that much, more so the external influences, which can change our body. I expect more experiments and extremes to search for the boundaries of our bodies. But weird as it may sound

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the immaterial into something physical and tactile. Inspired by rapid prototyping and 3D body scans I developed a new technique by which I grow architectural shapes directly onto the body, layer by layer as a 3D printer does by revealing a digital drawing. However, in this case I don't create a digital drawing, but construct the borders for a design process where in the material itself decides its form. A model will be hoist and dipped into a huge water tank with fluid wax on the water surface. The wax hardens when the material is pulled into the water by the body. The process results in a new silhouette where the body is covered with architectural and organic wax forms that strongly resemble digital artifacts.

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Keep defying genres and disciplines. Even though my work gets branded as either fashion, art or design I'm personally not too aware of this while I'm creating. My work circles around materials and I use different mediums to enhance the qualities and characters of these materials. Within this process I won't restrain myself to a discipline, the work will choose and create it for me.

Stills taken from Digital Artefacts by POSTmatter in collaboration with Bart Hess

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What is/was your biggest investment in the future?

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I think a big part of the future is translating and making the digital physical. There is this fear of the digital and its role in the future. Children swiping over a book like it’s an iPad losing their senses. I rather look at it from a different point of view where we bring a sense of romance back to technology. I took a similar approach in my collection A Hunt for High Tech. The ancient idea of going on a hunt, but with a twist. I imagined animals that could be genetically manipulated – part robot, part biological organism. I imagined how they would move in their environment and what they would feel like to touch. I thought about tactile qualities like the direction of hair growth with its dimensionality and the reflective qualities of scales. The end result is a high-tech fantasy in which the forms suggest that they were not made by hand but were grown in a lab or originated from an alien creature.

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What are the tools and means of the future? Elaborate on your vision of fusion between the human body, animalistic elements and technology.

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coming from me: I think at the end of the day people want to shut off all of these external influences, take off their clothes and just be naked.


TAKE AWAY TAKEAWAY — is a special advertorial section in the Current Obsession magazine as well as a column on our website that features selected upcoming events and exhibitions.

Précieux Passages PARIS Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition

Artists: Rodrigo Acosta Arias, Angela Bermudez, Stella Bierrenbach, Babette Boucher, Céline Buffetrille, Patricia Correia Domingues, Jonathan Hens, Ulrike Kampfert, Christiane Köhne, Nadine Simone Kuffner, Sonia Ledos, Elvira H. Mateu, Aude Medori, Galatée Pestre, Nathalie Perret, Linda Pieri, Janire Roman Diaz, Céline Sylvestre, Janina Stübler, Edu Tarin, Laurence Verdier, Caro Weiss. Précieux Passages is an international exhibition which highlights the contemporary jewellery youth front, curated by the artists Céline Sylvestre, Laurence Verdier and Galatée Pestre. In the selected pieces, we can find nails, handkerchief, handprint and others unordinary objects. In the museum of the bibliothèque Forney, these 22 jewellery artists open new ways. They revisit preciosity notion and share with the public their messages, feelings and stories. Précieux Passages is taking part of Circuits bijoux, an unprecedented event with more than 60 exhibitions, conferences, workshops and happenings in Paris, starting from September 2013. www.circuitsbijoux.com 1, rue du Figuier 75004 Paris, France www.precieuxpassages.blogspot.fr precieuxpassages@gmail.com

Jewellery by Ulrike Kampfert Photography by Matthieu Gauchet

Bibliothèque Forney 18 September–28 December 2013


Sofa chicago

Sculpture objects functional art + Design 20TH ANNUAL FAIR

Naomi Mcintosh Interlocking Surface Wristpiece, 2012 walnut, wood, sterling silver 11.8 x 3.9 x 2 in, Craft Scotland

Annika Pettersson Necklace—balsa wood, rock crystal Charon Kransen Arts

1–3 November 2013

SOFA CHICAGO marks its 20th annual presentation November 1-3, 2013 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. Chicago’s longest running plus the world’s foremost art fair devoted to Sculpture Objects, Functional Art + Design, SOFA CHICAGO attracts national and international dealers representing 800+ artists and their work in studio glass, ceramics, jewellery, wood, fiber, metal and design, alongside lectures, special exhibits and live demonstrations. More than 70 galleries will participate in SOFA CHICAGO 2013, including those that often scout new, fresh talent - such as Portland, Oregon’s Bullseye Gallery - and those that have been exhibiting since the beginning, like Aaron Faber Gallery, an exhibitor for all 20 of the SOFA CHICAGO fairs, who will be displaying the work of many contemporary jewellery designers. Jewellery-related galleries 20-year SOFA CHICAGO veteran, Aaron Faber Gallery looks back at 20 years of artists’ work and presentations and looks to the present with a group exhibition of jewellery by emerging and well-known metal artists. Charon Kransen Arts presents innovative jewellery and objects from around the world. Hedone Gallery returns to SOFA CHICAGO for showcasing talented artist who have a distinctive style, inspired by passion and vision. Crafts Scotland gives the audience in Chicago the opportunity to see and buy some of the finest examples of ceramics, glass, furniture, metal, fiber, silver and jewellery being produced in Scotland today. SOFA CHICAGO Lecture Series (Included with admission) For complete schedule visit www.sofaexpo.com — SNAG Emerging Artists Friday 1 November, 9.00-10.00 Room 327 Three exceptional emerging artists: Dukno Yoon, Heather Bayless, and Yong Joo Kim speak about their innovative approaches to making jewellery and objects. Artists represented by (in order of listing): Aaron Faber Gallery, New York, (Yoon & Bayless) and Palette Contemporary Art, Albuquerque, NM. Presented by the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) — Time is the Creator if it’s Given a Chance Friday 1 November 10.00-11.00 Room 327 The award winning Czech design team Daniel Pošta and Zdenek Vacek utilize chemical and biological processes and crystal replication to develop fascinating necklaces and bracelets that hover on the boundary between jewellery and conceptual art. Represented by Charon Kransen Arts, New York, NY. Presented by the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) with support from the Czech Center New York.

— Transformer 12.30-13.30 Room 327 Jeweler Daniel Von Weinberger discusses the process and content of his work. A decadent artist, Weinberger combines his Jewish religion into objects defined by the constant evolution of his life. Represented by Charon Kransen Arts, New York, NY — View from the Gallery: 20 Years of Studio Jewellery 14.00-15.00 Room 327 Patricia Kiley Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber Gallery, looks back at 20 years representing studio jewellery artists at SOFA CHICAGO, the importance of SOFA in the evolution of the decorative arts market, and the gallery’s continued focus on “Randomness and Pattern” in the creative work of emerging and established jewelers. Presented by Aaron Faber Gallery, New York, NY — Jewelry in the Expanded field Friday 1 November 15.30-16.30 pm Room 327 International scholar, author and curator Monica Gaspar sheds light on art jewellery beyond its quest for the white cube and presents an expanded field of possibilities: jewellery as an exciting form of contemporary object culture fluctuating between the public and private spheres of everyday life, art, design, fashion, social sciences, even spirituality and precision engineering; therefore placing art jewellery in the wider context of contemporary aesthetic practices and pointing at possible alliances. Presented by Art Jewelry Forum. SOFA CHICAGO 2013 Special Exhibit Presented by the Center for Craft Creativity & Design, ‘Taking Shape’ features a selection of recent objects completed by Fellows awarded years 2006-2010, revealing a cross-section of up-and-coming perspectives on craft. Not only is the next generation of makers taking shape, they are shaping the future of craft. Participating artists include: Tom Alward, Josh Copus, Andrea Donnelly, Dustin Farnsworth, Jenny Fine, Erin Rose Gardner, Kathleen Janvier, JooHyun Lee, Aaron McIntosh, Nate Moren, Alexis Myre, Elizabeth Staiger, Amelia Toelke, and Thoryn Ziemba.

Opening Night Preview: Thursday, 31 October 17.00-19.00, First Choice Preview, VIP cardholders only 19.00-21.00 Public Preview, $50 tickets General Admission $15 general admission $25 three-day pass Friday 1 November: 11.00-19.00 Saturday 2 November: 11.00-19.00 Sunday 3 November: 12.00-18.00 www.sofaexpo.com


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Gallery Klimt02 BarcelonA

Noon Passama, MR. K, 2013 Antelope fur, ostrich skin, calf fur, leather, Rhodium plated brass backing, Remanium pin Brooch Photography by Severafrahm

The art jewellery space

Simon Cottrell, Shouldered hipped pruned, 2012 Monel and stainless steel Brooch

Surface depths - Simon Cottrell 18 September–11 October, 2013 Simon Cottrell is an artist born, trained, living and working in Australia. Known for his seemingly utilitarian yet attractive, industrial-esque brooches, Cottrell will present Surface Depths, showcasing pieces the suggest the duality of mechanical and the natural.

Designed for Klimt02 27 November, 2013 –17 January, 2014 This exhibition showcases exclusive pieces created by 6 jewellers represented by the gallery. “Good pieces to contemplate and to wear”.- John Mackenly

“We can see both the machine and the garden; the tensions between the two states wrought with sophistication and sensitivity”.- Katie Scott

Portraits - Noon Passama 16 October–8 November, 2013 Rising star Noon Passama, born in Bangkok based in Amsterdam, achieves acclaim based on her ability to blur the boundaries between fashion, art, design and of course jewellery, made possible by her widely diverse training, working and collaboration experiences. For Gallery Klimt she will present her new series, ‘Portraits’w. “Portrait-face, identity-anonymous, recognizable-unrecognizable, personal-general, imagined-real. ‘Portraits’ plays with balancing on the line between these contrasting aspects”. - Noon Passama

Riera Sant Miquel 65 08006 Barcelona, Spain Open Tuesday–Friday 17-20 www.klimt02.net/gallery by Klimt02 www.klimt02.net Online platform for the communication of the international art jewellery. Be part of a quality selection and promote your work internationally.


New Traditional Jewellery 2014: CONFRONTATIONS "All human lust and burden is materialized in jewellery"

The raison d’être for the biannual international jewellery design contest entitled, New Traditional Jewellery (NTJ) is best summarized with a quote from esteemed Dutch art historian Marjan Unger: "All human lust and burden is materialized in jewellery." Jewellery marks every crossroad in our lives, every highlight and loss. If jewellery accompanies us every step of the way, how can we use jewellery to add to our quality of life? Every edition of NTJ revolves around this question. The contest, previously based on an imminent theme Folklore (2006), Symbols of Faith (2007), Intimacy (2008), True Colours (2010), and New Nomads (2012) is devised to present contemporary jewellery design to a broad audience, to build bridges between jewellery history and current events and to add distinction to the designers’ curricula. Themes are chosen by a network of different specialists in tune with the signs/science of the times. Out of hundreds of entries for every edition, a professional jury selects 50 to 70 pieces for the exhibition. This exhibition premiers at Sieraad Art Fair (SAF) and continues to travel the Netherlands and neighbouring countries. As a result of the outstanding quality in NTJ’s latest edition, New Nomads, the jurors chose three winning designs by students and two by professional established artists. “What is confronting to you? What is it you want to confront us with?” The selected theme for 2014 NTJ’s design contest and exhibition is 'CONFRONTATIONS'. Confrontations come with different meanings - be it on a grand scale (climate changes, distribution of wealth, waste management for example) or as a private inner dialogue - there is a lot we are confronted with. Confrontations are often hard to ignore and force you to have an opinion. Some of these confrontations are even life changing. Confrontations also mean coming to grips with problematic situations, to tackle a problem head-on (taking the bull by the horns) and facing the music. It's an expression commonly used in sports, politics, psychology and war. This is by no means a complete inventory of how 'CONFRONTATIONS' can be understood. We are just scratching the surface; it's up to you to confront us with your interpretation. What is confronting to you? What is it you want to confront us with? That’s the challenge, to translate your take on 'CONFRONTATIONS' in jewellery design. As with all the prior editions of New Traditional Jewellery, NTJ asks contemporary professional jewellery designers to find their design on an inspirational source. The source of inspiration can range from ethnographical jewellery to personal history, or from current events and trends with relevance to 'CONFRONTATIONS'. For conditions and application visit: www.newtraditionaljewellery.com/cms/

Winner of NTJ in 2008 Maryvonne Wellen, The Happy Tourist (from the 'New Nomad' series), SLS printed Polyamide (hand-painted) and leather. Photography by Alexander Romey, 2012 Collage of Masks (from the 'New Nomad' series), Still by Maryvonne Wellen, 2012


Current

Obsession

SIERAAD AMSTERDAM International Art Fair Small objects of great art 7–10 November 2013

SIERAAD: The Magic is in the Mix Small objects of great art - was the conception of SIERAAD - the only art fair for professional contemporary jewellery designers in the Netherlands. That was twelve years ago. SIERAAD has since become a consumer fair where designers from all over the world present their work and thousands visitors gather to marvel and buy. SIERAAD Art Fair (SAF) is the result of remarkable entrepreneurship from managing directors Astrid Berens and Maarten Bodt. They are driven by two intrinsic beliefs: everyone should be able to own a small object of great art and professional jewellery designers should be able to present their work directly to the audience. “SAF’s defining feature is the dialogue between the designers and the public. Audiences meet artists and designers create a fan base.” First Berens and Bodt hosted an annual art fair in the eastern part of Holland, showcasing jewellery as a sideshow. Twelve years ago they took the plunge focussing solely on professional jewellery design and moving the fair to Amsterdam. The success of SAF holds no secrets. “The designers at SAF represent a cross-section of high quality jewellery,” explains Berens. “So there is always something of interest for everyone; whether you’re new to this kind of jewellery or an established collector; whether you’re on a limited budget or money isn’t an issue...” Seven years ago Berens and Bodt were joined by Isabella van den Bos and the three of them developed a new brand, New Traditional Jewellery (NTJ), a bi-annual international jewellery design contest. “We need to build a sustainable future, beneficial to as many professional jewellery designers as possible,” -explains Van den Bos -“an infrastructure to support and reinforce jewellery designers’ entrepreneurship. That is why we are building brands like NTJ. We share our knowledge and opportunities with the participants. It’s like the medieval fellowships, where people combined their strengths for a common purpose,” explains Van den Bos.

Each year two internationally renowned academies are invited to showcase their upcoming graduates. In some cases it is the first time for them to engage in a direct dialogue with an audience. This year SAF will host the exhibition “Little Black Dress,’ showcasing exceptional fashion jewellery made by the talented students from various European art academies. “In four days SAF welcomes thousands of people, last year nearly 8,000,” tells Berens. “After so many years, we can call ourselves keen behavioural observers of public and designers. To sum it up: there are three key success indicators. First: designers with an inviting attitude attract more public and conclude more sales. Second: people want to hear the stories behind jewellery. It’s great when designers talk about their inspiration and emotions. Third: designers should be present every year. It’s an investment in trust. For the public seeing you year after year equals ‘professional’ and worth spending money on.” Success goes both ways. It’s not only about sustaining the jewellery community, it’s also a learning curve for everyone, the public included. Berens: “In many cases, the first time they leave with a more conservative piece of jewellery and do not spend too much money. In the following years, you see tastes develop and budgets going up to invest in small pieces of great art.” More information: 7-10 November SIERAAD International Art Fair Gashouder, Westergasfabriek Klönneplein 1 1014 DD Amsterdam www.sieraadartfair.com newtraditionaljewellery.com


Galerie Ra amsterdam

Noon Passama Portrait #11, Brooch Ostrich skin, sheep fur, leather, silver, 9.5 x 10 x 4 cm Photography by DAN/NAD

Susanne Klemm Pearleater Polyolefin, freshwater pearls 2012

Contemporary Jewellery GALLERY

19 October–30 November 2013

7 December 2013–30 January 2014

Peter Hoogeboom, ceramic objects

Noon Passama, Portraits II, jewellery Portraits II

Susanne Klemm, Oceanum, jewellery Oceanum Collection jewellery 2012-2013 With sense of wonder I look at the plants and animals from the deep sea. There where no daylight comes, pretty and scary. Every time we find new species. Just like the exploration through my mind. Groping in the dark to find my new collection. Like always I'm inspired by nature, rudimentary forms and the colourful, sometimes absurd, sometimes terrifying species nature produces. I stayed with my technique of using the polyolefin. This time including the transparency and tonal qualities of jellyfish, barnacles and sea urchins. The collection consists of necklaces and rings in the colours of the ocean, hinted with striking fluorescence accents.

7 November–10 November 2013 Ra-Books at Sieraad, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam

PORTRAIT, FACE, MASK, RECOGNIZABLE, UNRECOGNIZABLE, PEOPLE, CREATURES, IMAGINED, REAL The collection is an ongoing project. Each edition is a new representation of characters opening for interpretation, identification, and imagination. Nes 120 1012 KE Amsterdam Netherlands Open: Wednesday–Saturday 12–18 www.galerie-ra.nl


Fabric prints made possible by Print Unlimited www.printunlimited.nl

Profile for CURRENT OBSESSION

CURRENT OBSESSION MAGAZINE #2 YOUTH issue  

#2 Youth Issue /AW - 2013/ discusses intensely charged subject of youth that has a personal meaning to all of us. Youth is an elusive, intan...

CURRENT OBSESSION MAGAZINE #2 YOUTH issue  

#2 Youth Issue /AW - 2013/ discusses intensely charged subject of youth that has a personal meaning to all of us. Youth is an elusive, intan...

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