Discover Benelux | Dutch Design | Made in the Netherlands
Beauty through simplicity TEXT: BAS VAN DUREN | PHOTOS: COBER
Like many craft-type professions, it is family where Vincent Cober at age 14 learnt the tools of his trade. In his case, it is his mother and the trade is jewellery. Now at the age of 47, Cober is one prolific jeweller, based in the South of the Netherlands in the city of Oss. One never to shy away from new developments, the ‘Ossenaar’ (as inhabitants of Oss are called) never sits still and talks about his profession with a level of passion that hints it never faded away for even a moment. A hummingbird is part of Cober’s logo and there is a good reason for Vincent Cober to choose that as somewhat of a mascot: “It’s a tiny but brave bird. And just like the hummingbird, we might not 22 | Issue 47 | November 2017
be the biggest player in the world of jewellery, but we’re quite capable and resourceful.” He sells himself a little short: born as a son of a jeweller, Vincent helped in his mother’s store from the age of 14, and became a master goldsmith before reaching adulthood. Starting with necklaces and other ornaments, Cober remembers his tutor the most from that time: “A strict guy who would scold me if I didn’t do an assignment well. Tough, but that’s the fastest route to becoming a hard-working jeweller. In a few years’ time, I mastered all the basics and got quite bored actually.”
Revolution Thus Cober set out to challenge himself, majored in economics and started his
own store by the age of 21. “I started out designing my own creations and went to jewellery conventions like the one in Basel. That’s where I saw how our whole industry was about to be revolutionised by the advent of 3D printing machines. This was way before the mainstream was able to buy one of their own, these would cost up to 200,000 euros alone. But it was how famous jewellery brands like Cartier were able to design in an unconventional way and that got me intrigued. Being able to overview the whole process was truly groundbreaking. A lot could suddenly be done in store, except for getting diamonds out of Canada, gemstones from over the whole world and having them polished in either Thailand or in Antwerp. We’ve been 3D printing at Co-
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