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.