Frey Wille: An Homage to Art

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HomeLearning CenterJewelry DesignFrey Wille: An Homage to Art
By Peter HenselderMore from this author

From the ancient Greeks to contemporary art - this Vienna-based enamel workshop excites its clients throughout the world with artistic authenticity and perfect quality.

Frey Wille
Dr. Friedrich Wille

Art and design - hardly any brand of jewelry demonstrates this relationship as consistently as Frey Wille. The Vienna-based enamel workshop, steeped in tradition, creates enamel jewelry of unique perfection and beauty. At the same time, the international and multicultural team of designers adapts motifs or details from the great eras in art history and from masterpieces by famous painters. Art and design - in the case of Frey Wille, this represents a combination of the finest craftsmanship, cultural spirit, and great respect for historic traditions.

Mogul Art, Kohinoor

"The most important thing for Frey Wille is artistic achievement," as Dr. Friedrich Wille, owner and operator of the international jewelry and luxury brand, explains his credo. With collections such as "Contemporary Art," "Homage to Gustav Klimt," and "Egypt," he strives to offer his clients the greatest level of artistic authenticity possible. This approach to the great prior examples is a perfect success: rings, armlets, and necklaces from the collection "Homage to Gustav Klimt" seem as if they had been made by the master of Viennese art nouveau himself.

Vienna-based enamel workshop, Frey Wille, Vienna

So much authenticity exacts a toll. The work that goes into the completion of a design is only exceeded by one other phase: the work involved in the final production of the jewelry pieces. Making a single piece of jewelry may demand up to 80 process steps. Glowing colors  and 24 karat yellow or white gold dust are applied in various process steps, mainly by hand, and then smelted at 800° C (1472° F). Several on-glaze firings then ensure lasting durability and give the colors of the enamel an unparalleled luminosity.

Mogul Art, Elephant of Fortune

This concept excites jewelry enthusiasts all over the world: in recent years, a worldwide jewelry empire has arisen around the Frey Wille brand. The international jewelry and luxury brand maintains its own boutiques in the best locations in Europe and overseas. The exclusive shops with the golden sphinx, the trademark of Frey Wille, can be found in London, Paris, Hamburg, Milan, and Munich, as well as in Dubai, Tokyo, and soon in Moscow.

Frey Wille has covered new ground in recent years, and not just in terms of geography. There are also clearly no artistic borders: one hears that Frey Wille will soon dedicate itself to a greater extent to contemporary modern art.

Interview with Dr. Friedrich Wille: "Every detail is carefully researched"

Art + Design: What philosophy does the jewelry design of Frey Wille follow?

Dr. Wille: A French magazine came up with a very beautiful expression for what we make: "Bijoux culturels." It is the passion for art that drives Frey Wille. All our collections are inspired by eras in art history or by masterpieces by famous painters. Our teams of designers spend a great deal of time learning the essence of this art. Every detail is carefully researched and can be documented, making it authentic in terms of art history. The studies for this kind of jewelry piece can sometimes last years. This type of thing is expensive, but success justifies it. Because artistic credibility and our knowledge of handling enamel make Frey Wille jewelry unique and unmistakable.

Art + Design: What perspectives do the suggestions for the collections from cultural history come from, and who transforms them into jewelry and accessories?

Dr. Wille: I am fascinated by the great epochs of human culture: the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, or, quite topically indeed, Persia and the Orient. These epochs have contributed more to the development of our current society than we are aware. Our art-historic collections are aimed at building bridges between cultures. With the painters, it is a little different. The rich variety of forms and colors plays an important role here. Only think of Gustav Klimt, whose art made his name synonymous with the art nouveau aesthetic. From the selection of a topic to the finished piece of jewelry is a long process. We demand that every ring and every armlet demonstrate perfection down to the smallest detail. Our team in Vienna is responsible for that. And they go to it with a good deal of ambition.

Art + Design: Your jewelry has been characterized by exquisite enamel work for decades. How did this trend begin, and will it continue to be decisive for the creative design of the workshop?

Dr. Wille: Our knowledge of enamel work comes to us right from the cradle, from Michaela Frey. She founded the firm in 1951 The original processing technique is still used today. In Gumpendorf, Vienna, right where it all began. We can state in all modesty that our quality is unique worldwide. The luminosity of the colors, the fine lines, the durability - all these are unmatched elsewhere. This quality has made Frey Wille known worldwide. And we will not be distracted from this path.

by Peter Henselder

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Peter Henselder

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