Tuesday, 18 December 2012

It's the little things…

Yes, it is the little things that really matter.

Recently I've been focussing on some of the smaller items available as part of the George Jensen "Living" collection for Christmas and it's been a delight to look more closely at items that may not be as glamorous or as luxurious as a lot of the jewellery we feature but still hold true to the belief that beautiful and simple design can be practical and life enhancing and that stretches to items that can be so easily overlooked. The Keyrings, for instance are a very good example. Designed by industrial designer Klaus Rath, who has worked for companies such as Modulex, Seimens and Motorola, his collaboration with Georg Jensen represents an exciting direction for Georg Jensen–the bringing together of technology and artistic technique.

The key rings are meticulously crafted so as to make them reliable, strong and technically dynamic but also beautiful to look at and to touch. They pack a lot of sophisticated design into a very small package, a portable and affordable Georg Jensen icon that you can appreciate every day.

The Salt & Pepper set by Søren Ulrik Petersen are another such example, bringing a touch of modern Danish style to your dining. Designed with a touch of fun, Mushroom-shaped and complementary black and white, the stainless steel bottom is weighted so that, despite not having a flat bottom, the shakers will always remain upright. Petersen Trained as a cabinet maker Wulff’s furniture firm in Copenhagen before gaining a degree at the Danish Design School.

He has a functionalist approach and bases his products on the goal of promoting close interpersonal relations and combines art and craft with a keen sense of material properties. He has his own design studio SUP design.

The Elephant Bottle Opener was designed by Jørgen Møller in conjunction with his grandchild in 1987, the design went on to be a popular favourite across the world, and it was this form that inspired him to come up with the Moneyphant in 2010, which we featured in an earlier post.

Architect Jørgen Møller worked for the great Danish designer Arne Jacobsen early in his career and his work is included in the collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Stylish, functional and quirkily endearing, the trunk serves as a sturdy bottle opener and I think this engaging and contemporary design shouldn't be hidden away in a drawer but be on show when not in use.

Moving on to something slightly larger, Petit Bloom from the George Jensen Living Collection. This is the little sibling to Helle Damkjaer's Bloom bowl, who created this modern classic taking inspiration from the exotic flowers she found whilst travelling in Asia.

Helle Damkjær is a perfect example of how today's celebrated designers are prepared to work in various categories of design; her latest designs include home accessories, furniture, a jewellery collection and items for international cosmetic brands.

The matt stainless steel is soft to the touch, while the fluid curves create a soft reflection, and can also be seen in Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The larger versions are perfect to use as part of the dinner table setting while this Petit version can be used around the house or even for serving nuts, dates, olives and other delicacies.

As you can see, even the smaller pieces from the ever developing George Jensen Living collection are the result of the same thoughts and design processes that are inherent in the products throughout the history of the company. Simple and seemingly uncomplicated designs that exemplify sophistication and ease, if design can influence the way we behave and feel then feel good, feel beautiful with the smaller things in your life.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Heritage of a Richer Blue

You may well ask about the juxtaposition of an old French manuscript and a piece of Georg Jensen jewellery, and if you carry on reading you'll find out. It's as a result of our online launch of the new selection of Georg Jensen Heritage products for 2013; this will be the 26th edition of the Heritage Collection, and I have just uploaded the latest additions, two new pendants, ear hooks and ear clips, each embellished with Lapis Lazuli and silver stone.

The use of Lapis maybe considered a departure for contemporary Georg Jensen designs, gemstones range from the subtle tints of pretty Amethyst and Rose Quartz, to the enigmatic metallic hues of Moonstone, from dense shining Agate to the dramatic zinging colour of Orange Chalcedony; but it is a direct recognition of the use of Lapis in Georg Jensen’s original Art Nouveau designs.

The deep mysterious yet vibrant blue of Lapis makes it a most compelling gem-stone.The name comes from the Latin 'lapis' meaning stone, and the Arabic for blue 'azula' and yet it is so much more than that simple description suggests.

Lapis Lazuli is relatively rare and lapis jewellery has been found in burial sites in Mehrgarh, one of the most important Neolithic (7000 BCE to c. 2500 BCE) sites in archaeology. In ancient Egypt, Lapis Lazuli was favoured for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs and was used for jewellery and seals in many ancient civilisations - Cleopatra used powdered Lapis for eyeshadow.
However, whenever I think of Lapis I think of the pictures from The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry a French Illuminated  manuscript from the late 1400's. Richly coloured it is the intense Lapis Lazuli and Cobalt blues that really stand out and make the images fizz with energy.

I've coupled the new Heritage pendant with one of the images, and although the reproduction of the blues can in no way get across the iridescence of the colour it is a reminder (for me) of a tiny part of the history of this extraordinary gem stone.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Celebration of ... Henning Koppel (1918-1981)

Henning Koppel is one of the main designers responsible for what the world has come to think of as “Danish design".

According to the Georg Jensen site, Koppel was an early pioneer of functionalism. In architecture this was the principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building, this stemmed from the work of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. Denmark developed its own form of Functionalism which also extended to other disciplines including furniture design in the work of Arne Jacobsen. However, the Danish functionalists were considered in some cases to have focused primarily on functionality at the expense of aesthetics, and according to <a href="http://www.deconet.com/decopedia/designer/618/Henning_Koppel" target="_blank>Decopedia</a> he considered himself to be an anti-functionalist, and his ideal was to make everyday life products beautiful as well as practical. "Functionalism has nothing to do with the art of forming silver" was one of his favorite expressions.

Koppel trained as a sculptor at the Royal Danish Academy and later studied in Paris and began collaborating with Georg Jensen in 1946.

Henning Koppel was born to a wealthy Jewish family and showed an early talent for art, leading him to train in both drawing and water colour early on. Koppel trained as a sculptor at the Royal Danish Academy and later studied in Paris.

Like many Danish Jews, Koppel fled to Sweden during the Second World War. At 27, he returned and began working at Georg Jensen, which marked his start in jewellery, hollow-ware and flatware design. His work was inspired by the sculpture of Calder, Arp and Brancusi, it was organic, archetypal and somtimes sensual. His first works – a series of necklaces and linked bracelets resembling whale vertebrae and microscopic organisms - were small masterpieces in imaginative modelling.

When Henning Koppel first designed his world famous watch in 1978, he broke with tradition and changed the way of marking time on watches by substituting dots for numbers. This simple yet striking difference in watch design has influenced Georg Jensen watch collections ever since and embodies the fundamental minimalist design values in Georg Jensen. A daring simplicity combining functionality and quality.

When Henning Koppel died in 1981, aged 63, he had created an astonishing range of work: from stainless steel cutlery such as “New York” which found its way into the homes of millions, to magnificent one-off signature pieces such as the silver and crystal chandelier he designed to celebrate the 75-year anniversary of Georg Jensen in 1979. His most famous piece, the silver pitcher for Georg Jensen of 1952 has been revived and remains a must have classic.

During his life, he won many awards including the Milan Triennial, the International Design Award of the American Institute of Interior Designers in 1963, and the Lunning Prize. Accolades are important, but what means even more to us is that people still choose to wear a watch by Henning Koppel or to serve coffee from one of his pots. The integrity and appeal of his designs remain vital and undiminished.

His daughter Nina Koppel, also went on to design for Georg Jensen, and carried on the family traditional of producing timeless classics, for it is she who is responsible for the Fusion Ring.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A Celebration of - Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe (1927 – 2004)

Image courtesy of thebrownsparrow blog
“A piece of jewellery should be a symbol of love. It should enhance and move with the body so that it blends with you. It must not overwhelm, but enhance you. This is why it must be timeless. It shouldn’t matter if you are 17 or 87 years old.”

It doesn't' seem quite right to say that Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe was one of the most influential and celebrated silversmiths of the 20th century, although it doesn't diminish her; I think that she is still first and foremost a designer, why then can we not celebrate her as one of the influential designers of the 20th century. She mixed with some of the most influential artists of the century, Matisse, Picasso, Braque; she became a friend to Picasso, she designed jewellery for him and her clients also included the famous and the talented, Billie Holiday, Ingrid Bergman, Brigitte Bardot to name a few. Her designs have become legendary and are exhibited at several museums worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

She broke with tradition in the late 1940s when she started to make jewellery from twisted wire and rock crystal, moonstone and quartz and pebbles. She called this her "anti-status" jewellery as she didn't want to make jewellery that was too precious to wear and would spend most of the time locked up. As society's boundaries were changing, artists and designers needed to expressed this fluidity and change. Torun Bülow-Hübe's designs expressed a modern freedom and indeed still continue to do so - sculptural and yet organic, inspired by natural shapes and the flow of water, often echoing the wearers body.  Her Möbius necklace, from 1959, which included a lead crystal drop to be draped over the shoulder of the wearer, was described by Barbara Cartlidge, (author of "Twentieth Century Jewellery" as a "milestone in the history of modern jewellery".

She began her long and fruitful relationship with the Georg Jensen company in the mid 1950s, the company embodied her own beliefs that jewellery should be about design and ideas and not just an agglomeration  of luxurious ideals and materials.

She designed their first wrist watch in 1962 - this was the iconic Vivianna Bangle which has been part of the Jensen watch collection ever since. A simple open bangle with a mirrored numberless dial: “I wanted to free people form the slavery of time, I wanted to make a watch which reminded one that life is here and now, so I created a watch with a mirror face, no numbers and a simple second hand. A watch should not make us prisoners of time–but liberate us. Perhaps it is possible to make a timepiece which more intensely perceives the Here and Now. The watch is open ended to symbolise that time should not bind us, and the dial like a mirror reminds us that life is now.”

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Celebrating… Regitze Overgaard

Born in 1946, Regitze Overgaard trained as a Goldsmith at the end of the 1960's and graduated from the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts in 1976.
She has been collaborating with Georg Jensen since 1987, and has produced a number of the brand’s most successful designs including the popular Magic, Infinity, Zephyr and Curve collections.

Inspired by forms of nature, the movement and reflections of water and the beautiful light of North Jutland, Regitze Overgaard holds the view that jewellery should be as simple as possible, that the artistic force is felt through its uncomplicated sculptural quality, everything that is inherent in itself and not by its external ornamentation. In this way she also seeks to create an almost seamless connection between jewellery and the human body, sometimes physically and at times metaphysically.

She is pictured above wearing her signature Moonlight Grapes ring and her leather strapped Smithy Wrap Cuff and she says that although the pieces are from two different collections the natural forms means there is a balance between the pieces and this makes them easier to mix & match. One of her own favourite pieces is this distinctive and graceful Gold Bangle from the Regitze collection.

Her new Autumn collection takes natural forms and traditional symbols and interprets them with a distinctive Overgaard flourish. The Flower Ring, while delicately sculpted is also a very strong and striking piece when worn.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

MOONLIGHT GRAPES - The creation of an icon

The perfect blend of classic and contemporary, the iconic Moonlight Grapes collection – originating back to an original Georg Jensen design from the early 1900’s – affirms its position as a future classic. 

This autumn bids welcome to diminutive grapes that, despite their scaled-down size, are as voluptuous and desirable as their predecessors. A polished grape cluster charm is the perfect complement to Georg Jensen’s braided leather bracelet; and vine leaf earrings with flawlessly formed droplets of this season’s new gemstones in on-trend hues – blue jade or grey moonstone – showcase the union of old and new. 

Handcrafted by skilled artisans, the arresting contrast of polished silver and radiant gemstones enhances the intensity and vitality of each piece. Authentically vintage yet truly contemporary, Moonlight Grapes unites the world’s most beautiful natural materials in forms inspired by one of nature’s most sanguine symbols. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Care for Your Jewellery

Gold jewellery should be polished with a soft piece of wash leather, which is Leather that has been treated so as to be very absorbent - this is also suitable or cleaning the surface of the diamonds.

It is advised to have the setting of the diamonds checked by a professional jeweller once a year, especially on the rings and we can do this for you.

Cleaning of the diamonds: The safest method for cleaning diamond jewellery is a soft toothbrush and warm soapy water followed by a good rinse in hot water.

All Georg Jensen white gold is rhodium plated to make the white gold alloy white. Rhodium is a chemical element that is a rare, silvery-white, hard, and chemically inert transition metal and a member of the platinum group.

The rhodium coating will wear off at some point, how long it takes will vary from piece to piece and person to person depending on how and how often it is worn. We can arrange to have the rhodium coating renewed and we also stock cloths for cleaning.

We also offer a complete jewellery repair aftercare service which includes:

• Ring re-sizing.
• Re-tipping claws.
• Re-mounts and re-setting.
• Gold and silver chain repairs.
• Gold and silver bracelet repairs.
• Pearl and bead re-threading.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Moneyphants Pink and Moneyphants Blue

Danish architect Jørgen Møller designed the elephant shape for a bottle opener in 1987 with his grand child, transforming it into a money box in 2010.

In 2011 Swiss designer Alfredo Häberli developed the next generation of Moneyphant, his design being the addition of two small elephants that nest wthin a larger one. These are made of solid oak and fit into the original polished stainless steel elephant.

In addition to the stainless steel original available online, we also have the well loved elephant money box in light blue and rose in store. Although this product is not a toy it would be the perfect gift for a christening, a gift that is timeless, strong, elegant and functional - and so cute.

Materials: Powder coated stainless steel and ABS plastic. 
Measurements: L 170 x W 60 x H 125 mm

This video animation celebrates the process of design. showing the creative process of Alfredo Häberli as he designs a range of kitchen accessories for Georg Jensen.

You can see our selection of Georg Jensen accessories for the home online (click on the banner below) or why not come and see what we have in store. And when you come in, ask to see the baby elephants too.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

A Taste of Scandinavian Style

George Jensen at Danish Fashion Week

Mobius and Extra Bangles at the Yde Fashion Show

Copenhagen Fashion Week finishes tomorrow and I felt I should say a few words about the George Jensen products which were featured as part of the YDE show, and which comprise an essential part of our collection at Jeremy Bloomfield.

Copenhagen has long been recognised as a city that sees good design as a necessary part of life, and its museums, shops, cafes and bars reflect this philosophy, it's a place that blends style and utility effortlessly and with elegance. It goes without saying that Georg Jensen, epitomises this attitude.

When fashion house YDE showcased its SS13 collection at Copenhagen Fashion Week this week, runway models wore vintage Georg Jensen sterling silver jewellery.  The jewellery is carefully curated by designer Ole Yde from the master silversmith’s impressive archive. 
The show also featured a selection of Georg Jensen’s current jewellery.

Ole Yde is the only couture designer in Denmark and when he first moved to Copenhagen he worked in the silver department of the Georg Jensen flagship store. They started to collaborate in 2008 and since then Yde has used the GJ collection to accessorise his clothes. This year he launched his Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection in the GJ silver smithy itself. He says: "We share the same values. Both Georg Jensen and YDE are rooted in design, quality and craftsmanship. We are both very authentic brands."

These products from the show are currently in stock at Jeremy Bloomfield:

Wide Extra Bangle by Lina Christensen

Danish designer Lina Christensen unveiled the original EXTRA bangle in 2000. It won attention right away for its easy, sparkly femininity.

Mobius Sterling Silver Bangle by Vivianna Torun Bulow-Hube

MÖBIUS is a Georg Jensen classic. This sterling silver bangle is inspired by geometry and a magnificent example of post-modern innovation. It is is a shape with one surface and one edge. It is a fluid, infinite shape that inspires reflection.

Launched in 1968, MÖBIUS is a great example of Georg Jensen design from the mid to late 20th century. They encompass philosophy and beauty, an artistic creation that turns an unusual shape into a stunning piece of jewellery.

Designed by Swedish born designer Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe (1927 – 2004) whose designs have become legendary and are exhibited at several museums worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Regitze Silver Collier by Regitze Overgaard

REGITZE, the most personal collection from master designer Regitze Overgaard, is a Georg Jensen design through and through: the organic shapes, use of sterling silver and overall sense of whimsy are the essence of Georg Jensen and Scandinavian design. The collier can be worn in two ways: lying flat against the neckline or standing upright like a collar. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

All Things Bright and Beautiful

A showcase for the creativity and vision of two brothers

I've been selling beautiful jewellery at the Jeremy Bloomfield shop since 1993, stocking a sumptuous collection of highly desirable pieces including a range designed by my brother, Sheldon Bloomfield, a leading manufacturer and importer of fine jewellery. 
Sheldon travels the world on his quest to buy the finest diamonds and coloured stones. He has been in the jewellery trade for 25 years, building up a reputation for craftsmanship and the quality of his finished pieces, which are bought by many of the UK and Ireland’s high profile retail jewellers. I stock select pieces from my brother’s range, and on request can bring together a more extensive collection to suit my customers’ requirements or for anyone who would like to see particular items. 

The dazzling variety of stones used in the earrings, rings, pendants and bracelets include rubies, sapphires in various colours, rich green emeralds, soft blue-purple tanzanite, aquamarines, amethysts, blue topaz, green and pink tourmaline, delicate pink kunzite, smoky quartz, peridot, opals and garnets. It’s no surprise, then, that Sheldon is particularly renowned for the gorgeous spectrum of coloured gems in his range which includes over 3000 lines. His designs are striking and elegant. There are several examples which take their inspiration from the Art Deco period, and others which have the pleasing pared-down lines of contemporary design. 

The stunning ring above has a beautiful emerald-cut green tourmaline centre stone of 6.64 carats surrounded by diamonds, all set in 18 carat white gold. This magnificent ring and other pieces in the range represent excellent value for money without any compromise on quality, as I buy directly from my brother’s manufacturing company.  Of course you can see some of the pieces on the Jeremy Bloomfield website or better still, next time you’re strolling The Grove, call in for a warm welcome and prepare to be dazzled. 

Friday, 20 July 2012

Investing in diamonds

If you have some money that you would like to invest, diamonds are a great option. They are particularly useful in times like these, when banks are a little unruly and economies are being challenged. Best of all, you can get plenty of enjoyment out of a diamond investment by setting it in a piece of jewellery!

Before you start looking at what designs you like, here are a few other reasons why you might like to invest in a diamond.

- Long-term investment
 As we all know, diamonds are a good long-term investment. Rather than gaining value immediately (and therefore being subject to quick changes in value which can go either way),  diamond value increases over a period of years. The two most important factors in increasing value are increased demand and decreased supply. As demand in Asia, South America and the Persian Gulf explodes, there become more and more people looking to own the same stone, making it more valuable. Another important factor determining the rising value of diamonds is the volume of production by mining companies. It is thought that the major mining company De Beers is anticipating a diamond shortage and therefore is reducing the volume of diamonds they produce. When we remember that only 10% of  available diamonds are of suitable quality for use in jewellery, it is clear why the impact of any reduction in output would greatly increase the value of diamonds - they become even more rare!

- Safe investment
 In times like these, when money is tight and both economies and currencies are insecure, diamonds are the safest of investments. They are accepted universally and not tied to any currency. While gold is used to determine currency value, diamonds are not. Therefore, their value is far less likely to fluctuate and is much more secure.

- High value-to-weight ratio
The value of a diamond is often equal to that of a few gold bars, but good luck wearing those around your neck, on your finger or in your ears! Because diamonds have high value but lower mass than other investment items, they are very practical. Whether worn in jewellery or kept hidden in a safe, they are discrete and easily transportable.

- Easy to manage
Unlike property, bonds, the trading floor and all the various mind-boggling options offered by the banks, diamonds don't require special or expert management. The knowledge required for diamond-purchasing is very easy to grasp and any good and trusted jeweller should be able to explain diamonds clearly to you when you visit them. Once you've sourced your chosen stone, it can be kept loose or set into jewellery. After that, it is simply a case of wearing and enjoying your diamond, or  putting it in a safe or bank where it will retain the value and physical properties as well as being easily accessed if required.

For these reasons, you should always buy the best diamond that you can afford at the time. Although this is true of all jewellery, the fact that diamonds retain and increase their value over many years means it is always worth investing as much as possible at the point of purchase to get the maximum gain. By this I mean that if you are wanting to invest in a stone, it is better to select a single diamond with as high a carat, colour and clarity grading as possible than a selection of many smaller and less clean stones.
On the other hand, the value of pave-set or cluster pieces is in the item of jewellery as a whole, and this makes them worthwhile and beautiful investments too.

To start your diamond investment journey, for inspiration or for more information, please do visit us at 42 The Grove, Ilkley, West Yorkshire. We look forward to seeing you. If you live too far away to visit in person, all our contact details are here.


If you already have a stone and would like to use it to create a stunning piece of bespoke jewellery, please visit bespoke design at Jeremy Bloomfield.

If you have some jewellery which is in need of an up-to-date valuation, please visit valuations at Jeremy Bloomfield

Monday, 11 June 2012

This past year has been exceptionally busy at Jeremy Bloomfield, which is why we've not been able to blog for such a long time! We have refitted a lot of the shop and taken on a great variety of new brands such as Lucet Mundi, TW Steel and Babette Wasserman. We also have a host of new Georg Jensen jewellery, watches and Living accessories, so there's plenty to catch up on when you're next in Ilkley.

If you can't get to us straight away, then don't worry. Our new website is up and running with a large selection of jewellery and Living available online too. Take a peek at www.jeremybloomfield.co.uk and do feel free to email us with your comments. 

As always, we have a treasure trove of pearl jewellery in store. Pearls are probably the easiest of jewels to wear, appropriate for every age group and on every occasion, from weddings and evening parties to days in the office and trips to the shops.

 At Jeremy Bloomfield, we stock four different types of pearl: Freshwater, Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian. 

Freshwater pearls are the most often seen of all the pearls, because they are more readily available than other types. The are created with the assistance of mankind, through the insertion of a tiny sliver of tissue into the mollusc, which then creates a pearl around the inserted 'irritant'. This process is called 'nucleation'. The Chinese are responsible for most of the world's freshwater pearls, having invested heavily in the process to benefit their riverside communities. Freshwater pearls were particularly favoured by Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel due to their accessibility and the design opportunities offered by their many variations in shape and colour. The freshwater pearls that we stock at Jeremy Bloomfield are available in earrings, bracelets, pendants and necklaces, and are in a variety of wonderful colours from white to pale pink to a dyed grey. This makes them a perfect accessory to any outfit or mood, and their lower cost makes them even more appealing!

Akoya pearls are grown in oysters off the coast of Japan. The salt in the seawater gives Akoya pearls much more lustre than their freshwater cousins and they tend to be more spherical too, which really shows off the colour and shine of each pearl. Instead of being nucleated with tissue, Akoya pearls have at their centre a tiny bead of mother-of-pearl. The pearls are carefully strung into necklaces and transformed into spectacular stud and drop earrings, bracelets and pendants, all of which we offer at Jeremy Bloomfield.

South Sea and Tahitian pearls are much larger than the aforementioned types, and unsurprisingly come from oysters in the salty waters of the South Sea and the Tahitian coast. South Sea pearls tend to be white, cream, champagne and yellow in colour and as a result suit every skin tone, giving a warmth that is unmatched by other jewels. They are spectacular to behold, described by one of our customers as
'like beads of Australian sunshine.'
In the past few days we have added a wonderful handmade pearl necklace to our stock, at the centre of which is a South Sea pearl drop with three diamonds set at the top of it. As with all of our pearl jewellery, there is only one of these in the world, but this necklace really is something unique and special to behold.

Tahitian pearls may come from the same region as South Sea pearls, but aside from their large size, visually they are very different. The minerals in the water around Tahiti give the pearls from the native Black Lipped Oyster a vivid colour. The unmistakably rich greys, blacks, blues and greens, accompanied by spectacular lustre, make Tahitian pearls among the rarest of gems in the world. 

To truly appreciate pearls though, you need more than just the information and knowledge of how they come to be. You need to feel them in your fingers and to see them as they are meant to be seen - against the skin. For that reason, we encourage you to visit us in our store at 42 The Grove, Ilkley, and to discover for yourself why our pearls are so much loved.