Trade fair in Vicenza: Shapes of Jewelry

According to the fashion gurus, jewelry manufacturers should focus on the immaterial value of their products – especially the design – in order to restore their customer’s interest; after all, this is what they are looking for in all accessories. The organizers of the trade fair in Vicenza are also convinced that there is no way round restyling the product jewelry: This is why they have initiated the trend salon Shapes of Jewelry – Visions; indeed, its gates were open to visitors to the trade fair Orogemma last September for the second time.

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“Visions Show” Fashion parade. Jewels by Kiara

“Jewelry manufacturers need to understand that there is no point in producing jewelry designed for old ladies meeting for afternoon tea.” It is well worth listening to this slightly pithy comment, as it comes from Renzo Rosso, the man who used the brand name Diesel to succeed in an apparently hopeless undertaking, namely selling jeans to the Americans, and who has now focused on the world of jewelry for two years. The Diesel boss is also most certainly not alone in his opinion: Giacomo Bozzi, Chairman of the Board and CEO at Richemont Italia, recently said that “the drift in focus among jewelry customers towards immaterial values has led to a chasm opening up between supply and demand; this strips the product of its competitiveness, as there is insufficient response to the customer wishes.” This may sound like manager jargon, but it does not change the underlying principle: A certain proportion of the jewelry produced today is quite clearly out.

Earrings, pendant and brooch “Orange segments” by Pia Mariani. Gold, diamonds, rubies, interchangeable ambers

Naturally, this problem has not hit all Italian manufacturers (of which the best set the scene for the trends on the international jewelry market), but it does make life difficult for smaller companies that cannot draw on their own style department. Shapes of Jewelry now finally gives them the opportunity “to make contact with the top names in trend setting” emphasizes Corrado Facco, Secretary General at the Vicenza Trade fair. “We want to convince them,” he adds, “to invest in innovation and to help by providing designers for the creation of partnerships, who demand a new approach to jewelry as an accessory.”

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Bracelets with pendants by Kazutoshi Kashiwagura, Japan Jewellery Designers Association. Gold, pearls and diamonds

This is a goal that is pursued with a lot of courage and conviction: After the even in 2004, which was characterized by significant participation by the crafts sector, the organizers did not hesitate to impose restrictions on them in order to provide designers with more space. If we take a look at the 95 exhibitors, we find a large number of designers who are themselves entrepreneurs, such as Stefania Lucchetta or the painter Pia Mariani; after earning their spurs with various jewelry manufacturers, they are now presenting their own lines. Permeation with the world of accessories is also confirmed: Pinella Grimaldi, designer at Orocreando, used the opportunity to present on the catwalk a line of handbags with multipurpose handles that can be transformed very easily into bracelets and necklaces.

Pendant “The flame” by Maria Pia Munzi, Gallery Borghesi. Gold, pearls. Tahitian Pearl Trophy 2005-2006, third prize

There are literally thousands of innovative products and items by renowned designers; this is also due to the participation by the best Italian schools and the exhibitions organized by the DTC, Perles de Tahiti and Platinum Guild, on show next to the contemporary silver jewelry show by the Sartirana Arte Foundation and the collection of jewelry designed by the legandary Milan-based industrial designer Ettore Sottsass for Cleto Munari. However, in order to see the Leonardo Pavilion, which was literally besieged, we had to wait until the evening of the “Visions Show”, where buyers and journalists flocked to the catwalk to admire models draped in long strings of pearls by Nimei and jewelry by Chimento, Nanis, Bicego, Roberto Coin, Kiara and the Japan Jewelry Designers Association.

Ring by Kym Myung Hae, Le Arti Orafe school, Silver

For Japanese designers, the “salon is a truly unique even and offers us opportunity to take an even more critical look at western culture,” emphasizes Kazutoshi Kashiwagura, International Marketing Committee Chairperson at the association. Nevertheless, he does mention one objection voiced by many exhibitors. “We are here so that people can get to know us. We would certainly have preferred a place in the central area of the fair.” Naturally, it is barely credible that a distance of a few hundred meters would prevent companies constantly searching for new products from visiting such a salon, especially as its entrance alone already has a trend lab (established by Trends & Jewelry Forecasting), offering a prediction of fashion trends in probably the world’s easiest language, that of a visual journey.

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Brooch “Black fire” by Giovanni Aliotta. Tahitian Pearl Trophy 2005-2006, winner

The trade fair and the Milan Polytechnic College have dedicated a forum to the (difficult) relationship between production and design; this was just the first in a series of high-quality events. The next one will be held in Milan on December 13; Franco Cologni (Cartier) and Francesco Minoli (Pomellato) are scheduled to attend. Apropos specialist conferences: We noticed that the motto this year “distinguersi o estinguersi” (“distinguish or extinguish”) was very popular. The language is different, but the basic principle remains: A lot of products are out, and if you don’t invest in searching for trends, life will be everything other than easy. www.shapesofjewelry.it * rob

Ring by Sara Monti, Istituto Europeo di Design, Milano
Rings “Sponges” by Stefania Lucchetta. Synthetic resin
“Visions Show” Fashion parade. Jewels by Nanis

Suzanne Thiels precious plastics

Strictly limited is the number of these unique pieces of jewelry created by goldsmith Suzanne Thiel from Heidelberg/Germany. Only 50 rings “Book Pages” made from Galalith, an early plastic, are going to be created. Once the existing material is used no more rings like this can be manufactured. The artist used the original samples in the genuine colors of an 1938/39 sample collection and set them in fine sterling silver. Formed like an open book the rings capture the spirit of a decade and are on their way to become “modern classics”.

Galalith has been discovered by accident in 1897 and is one of the earliest plastics ever produced. The name means “milkstone” for its main ingredient is casein. Galalith displayed a wide range of brilliant colors and was in its texture very similar to natural horn. During the 1920s, -30s and -40s it was used for creating jewelry mainly in France and Germany. The development of synthetic plastics put an end to the production of Galalith and only very few samples of this classic plastic are still existing. www.suzanne-thiel.de * ahe

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Jewelry from the bottle

In her collection “Glass Rings”, Regina Gräber pursues the idea of creating jewelry from old glass bottles. “For a long time now, I have been fascinated by the fantastic colors and the material used in drinks bottles”, said the designer. “In view of the fact that the bottleneck dictates the form of the rings, you only have to cut it into discs. I then enhance the blanks by grinding and engraving them.” The glass rings, each of which is unique, are available in different styles, ranging from simple to playful. Some pieces are also gold-plated, silver-plated, combined with enamel or enhanced with an inner ring made of silver. www.arkantus.de * ahe

Medal for everyday hero

“Grey, humdrum everyday life is a thing of the past, we reward commonplace heroes”; this is the motto by which the young designers createtheir individual insignia. The medals are conceived for anyone deserving of being honored. However, it is good at times to reward ourselves, say the two creative heads, Rebekka Schrami and Anette Ströh, with a little wink. The young, Weimar-based artists see their medals as rewards for people who are happy to have survived a night of hard partying or people who for years have only gone by the name of mom. These things are enough to be a modern hero. The insignia are original and hand-made. A gallery of everyday heroes and various events around the awards ceremony organized by the young designers in person are found on the internet. www.ordensschwestern.de * ahe

Inspiration from early History

The 3,600 year-old Nebra celestial disc is impressive not only due to the masterful crafts skills of the goldsmiths during the Bronze Age. It is also an artistc role model. The State Office of Monument Protection and Archeology in Saxony Anhalt and the State Museum in Halle, Germany, therefore organized a competition for a series jewelry collection “Nebra Celestial Disc”. The young winners were Katja Finke and Stefanie Wettig. They are currently studying jewelry design at the Burg Giebichenstein Academy, College of Art and Design Halle. They produced jewelry items that were inspired by the celestial disc and sold them in the museum shop in an edition running to 50 items each.

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The design of the jewelry items drew on the powerful, clear language of forms found in the celestial disc. Each heavenly body was translated into the topic for an items of jewelry. The expansive style means that the brooch, the pendant and the earrings correspond with the original. However, it is also translated into a contemporary form of design. Titanium replaces the bronze in the jewlery items. Titanium, with its mythological ties to the heavens, stands for eternity and clarity with its metallic properties such as lightness and blue-grey color. As in the original, the golden celestial bodies protrude from the clear titanium surfaces like sculptures. The golden-colored metal is etched just like its counterpart. The individual items of jewelry are comprised of etched, golden surfaces and a titanium rear and front side. All three surfaces are connected using hollow rivets, optically similar to the discovered cultural object. karolinefinke@web.de * ahe

Christofle offered more than just cutlery

The exhibition “Christofle” will be held until the end of January 2006 in the Silver Museum Sterckshof in Antwerp. The co-organizer is the Musée Bouilhet-Christofle in Saint-Denis. Anyone who speaks of Christofle is thinking about cutlery. But is that true? A selection from the collection owned by the Musée Bouilhet-Christofle in Paris proves that the house Christofle can offer much more than just unique creations from the 175 years of its history. For example, the production for the French court, the artistic objects with enamel and the art Nouveau collection are on show in Gallia. Other main focuses include the silverware for cruise liners and hotels and also the Christofle presence in Belgium. The silversmith work from the 20th and 21st centuries was created in close cooperation with leading designers. At the heart of the exhibition there is a set table, providing an impression of the eating culture among the prosperous middle class during the Belle Epoque. www.zilvermuseum.be * ahe

Homage to Tchaikovsky

Familiarizing the West with Russia’s cultural legacy is one of the main ideas behind the still young, luxury watch brand Alexander Shorokhoff. The model Peter Tchaikovsky is dedicated to the great Russian composer. The chronograph is fitted with an alarm calibre. The sapphire glass base permits viewers to see into the clockwork. Special features include the crowns installed on the top of the watch, so that they are protected against damage. Another refined idea is the pressure button with which one can remove the inner part of the housing through a folding hinge. This allows the wearer to show the clockwork without removing the watch from his or her arm. Additionally, the watch can be folded out, placed on a side table and used as a small travel alarm clock. www.alexander-shorokhoff.de * ahe

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Safes as design objects

Safes, until now designed as bulky and purposeful item of furniture, are becoming a focus of design. Stockinger Safety First Class GmbH in Munich has developed a model entitled “Safe Bugatti”, which has been marketed here parallel to the model Bugatti Veyron. The safe should cost one tenth of the luxury car. Depending on the customer wishes for additional features, there will be significant deviations in price, however. The Safe Bugatti should leave no wishes unfulfilled. This will include leather paneling and round, brushed aluminum on the inside, a two-tone paint and features reminiscent of Bugattis on the outside. High standards were also placed in the security offered by the 126 cm safe. Optional features include body noise alarms, proximity alarms, sound alarms, surface protection, floor anchors with removal alarms and JPS signals. www.stockinger.com * ahe

High reflection cut gets gemstones sparkling

The globally patented HR cuts (high reflection cut) by Groh + Ripp reflect 95 percent of the light that hits them. In standard cuts, the light yield is 40 to 60 percent. The method developed by Helmut L. Bürger allows a large number of transparent gemstones to sparkle fantastically. Whether one is dealing with aquamarine, peridot, tourmaline in green or pink, blue topaz, lemon quartz, citrine or amethyst – the new technology renders the stones convincingly sparkling, even in candlelight. In years of computer-animated cutting tests and calculations of thousands of angle combinations, Bürger selected those in which the incoming light is reflected as perfectly as possible. This extensive angle system lends consideration to all forms such as oval, round, carré, baguette, heart, navette and octagonal. Even a relatively low number of facets on smaller stones can provide a beautiful, clear cut image. The stones appear larger than they actually are, as the reflection stretches to the girdle. www.groh-ripp.de * ahe

Success through cooperation

The gemstone center Sonja Fietkau from Pforzheim is a family firm in which personal customer service plays a substantial role. At the moment, the high-performance business is strongly promoting its export trade, as colored gemstones from skilled companies in Germany are increasingly popular throughout the world. For this purpose, the firm Fietkau recently signed a cooperation agreement with the gemstone cutting firm SUC Trading Co. Ltd. from Bangkok for the sale of gemstones and synthetic stones. The firm SUC Trading has 15 years of experience in cutting gemstones. In addition, the Thai company manufacturers its own cutting tools, ensuring that the stones are cut with the highest precision. Sonja Fietkau can look back on 22 years of sales experience. The Pforzheim-based firm will provide support to all customers throughout Europe.

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Some of the standard products – mainly for the production of mass series’ – are cut in China. This guarantees marketable prices. The collection of colored gemstones also includes fantasy cuts and sets, intended specifically to target the ateliers and jewelers with their own studios. The range is designed for the standards required by discerning customers. Extravagant ideas or wishes can also be catered to. Additionally, Fietkau offers selected pearls from the South Seas and Tahiti for tailor-made creations. www.perlen-edelsteine.de * ahe

Diamonds show for whom the bell tolls

Diamonds are telling time as never before: a shining idea. Diamond Fiction by TAG Heuer is unlike any women’s watch known to date, but is instead an elegant and beautiful bracelet, adorned with 879 Top Wesselton full-cut diamonds (5.8 carat) VS/SI (1.1 mm). This valuable, luxury item hides surprising innovation: the first digital display using diamonds. As if by magic, 54 of the uniquely cut 879 diamonds change their color, thus displaying th ehours and minutes in red. The diamonds bundle the light from the 54 LEDs located beneath them. The red time display is alos replicated on the stain strap, ephasizing once more the power and beauty of the breath-taking chronograph. Within the framework of the 5th Grand Prix d’Horlogerie, which took place in Geneva on November 10, 2005. TAG Heuer was awarded the prize “La Montre Dame 2005” for this watch. This haute couture choronograph was originally developed exclusively in honor of Uma Thurman, in order to pay tribute to her beauty, her strength of character and her dedication as a TAG Heuer ambassador. The Hollywood star wore the watch for the first time in June 2005 in Paris to mark the occasion of a special presentation of the TAG Heuer women’s collection 2005/2006. Following the incredible success and enquiries by several enthused collectors of exclusive watches, TAG Heuer decided to produce three other models in its studio, each of them valued at over 100,000 EUR. They have all since been sold. www.tagheuer.com * ahe

Lemniscate table clock – the endless passage of time

Whenever we hear about eternity, we ponder time, although eternity cannot actually be measured. Time does not actually exist; it is a human invention. The “here and now” is over in the same moment in which we mention it. Over the course of history, measuring time has taken on many different forms. If you wish to measure time, you must, of course, also render the measurement results visible. The traditional dial divides the day into two rounds of 12 hours, while the digital version wither counts from one to twelve or twenty-four and then starts from the beginning again.

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The fine artist, Cees van den Bos, who was born in The Hague, and designer of the new clock, has for some time now felt that the style of measuring time in traditional clocks was dissatisfactory. He believes that time is a movement, something that has a direction and is continual and relative. On his search for other options for rendering time, he finally arrived at the idea of “Lemniscate” (Greek; a horizontal figure of eight), expressing both the permanent passage of time and the difference between day and night. In a horizontal form, the lemniscate is a symbol of eternity as a mathematical term. In a vertical form, it is also symbol for the balance between the spiritual world on the one hand and the material world on the other. An interesting feature in this is that this form has a natural relation to time. If you plant a stick vertically into the earth, mark the outermost end of the shadow cast by the sun and repeat this on a daily basis at the same time, you will have drawn the form of a lemniscate by the end of the year.

A row of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used to display the time. The large LEDs indicate the hours, while the smal ones stand for the minutes. The uppermost point shows 12 p.m., while the crossing point on the lemniscate is 6 p.m. or 6 a.m. Midnight is right at the bottom. Accordingly, minutes are read on the inner ring of the lemniscate. In a sense, this provides an expression of the constant passage of time. The difference between day and night accentuates the fact that the upper loop of the lemniscate is open, while the lower loop, nighttimes, has a dark surface as a background. This also incorporates a solar cell, which provides the energy for the clock. The lemniscate clock is 33 cm high, 25.5 cm broad and 7 cm deep. The front is made of maple wood, while the body is made of beech. All wooden parts are treated with eco-friendly linseed oil. The clock is radio-controlled. www.deiningdesign.nl/ * ahe

Sculptured jewelry or jewelry sculptures?

If someone calls Silvano Bulgari a jeweler, the Italian artist from Milan is more than displeased. He defines himself as a “creator” mainly creating sculptures and jewels. Instructed by Romolo Grassi, Silvano Bulgari skillfully masters the technique of “cera persa” (lost wax technique) and is therefore reunited with the historical tradition of Benvenuto Cellini. His works of art are authentic sculptures: unique pieces, unrepeatable. Like his father Giorgio who is a talented artist, Silvano is a skillful engraver and has inherited his father’s passion for jewelry. His work is a sort of philosophy made of color, space and time: inspired by nature, fairytales and myths Bulgari generates jeweled sculptures and sculptured jewelry in an interchangeable role. www.silvanobulgari.com * cete

Each chain a unique item

In the magnificent chains contained in her jewelry brand Noble Necklaces, the designer Marjana von Berlepsch uses other interesting materials in addition to precious gemstones. The Munich-born artist, who previously worked as an editor and stylist, draws inspiration from national and international trends. She has created two collections a year since 2003. Each collection is a new experiment, each chain is unique. Her current winter collection places a clear focus on processing coral, mountain crystal, jade, red China wood, aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, ebony, silver, gold, and devorative coins. www.noblenecklaces.com * cete

Bench Media – call for entries

The second annual Bench Jewelers Passion Award Design Competition will be held in conjunction with the Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo April 28 – 30, 2006 in Denver CO. The competition is open to all professional Bench Jewelry Artist and Designers actively involved in the design and production of jewelry. The Passion Award Jewelry Design Contest consists of two divisions, one for finished jewelry and one for CAD renderings.

Jewelers may enter both divisions and may enter one piece per category in up to three categories in each Division. Photographs of the finished jewelry or CAD renderings must be submitted over the Internet with a completed entry form. Entry fees must be paid with a credit card at time of entry. To submit entries log onto: www.BWSimon.com/DesignContest.

1st and 2nd place will be awarded in each category. All Passion Award winners will receive a Trophy, Cash Award, and Publicized in trade publications. Winners will be announced April 28, 2006 during the the Bench Jewelers Conference & Expo. In addition, a Jewelers Choice Award will be presented during the Reception on Saturday night April 29, 2006. Jewelers attending the Bench Jewelers Conference and Expo will select the Jewelers Choice recipient from among the Passion Award winners.

Last year’s contest was an enormous success and featured 69 entries from 5 different countries. “The quality of pieces submitted was fantastic”. Deadline for submissions is March 15, 2006. Contest Chairman: Mark Grosser, for details, contest rules, and to enter the competition log onto: www.BWSimon.com/DesignContest * Bench

The church clock

Marking the consecration (October 30, 2005) of the reconstructed Frauenkirche in Dresden, the local jeweler Hoffmann is presenting the special edition of an automatic watch. The wristwatch, manufactured by the Glashütte family firm Nautische Instrumente Mühle-Glashütte, is restricted to 500 pieces. Part of the proceeds will be used to suppor the construction work on the Frauenkirche. The Glashütte watch making company is the only real family firm in the industry and has been true to its Saxon home and its crafts legacy for generations. The Frauenkirche watch made of stainless steel with ETA 2824 clockwork and scratchproof sapphire glass base was therefore created in the tradition of the Ore Mountains art of watch making. www.juwelierhoffmann.de * cete

Fashion collection by Nico Taeymans

“Fashion jewelry is a class of its own”, says Nico Taeymans who started his first jeweler’s workshop in 1988 after having made sculptures, small objects and jewelry in metal and wood for some years before. “Like everything in the world of design, it is subject to the trends and movement that surround us.” His fashion/jewelry collection took its inspiration from distant cultures: Cast iron curls in the gates of the Maharaja’s palace, tinkling bells around the ankles of a belly dancer or sparkling stones from the sultan’s treasure chest. In all of this, Nico Taeymans retains a prominent and personal style: Circles are never round and lines are never straight. His jewelry always has a very natural, vibrant form. www.nicotaeymans.be * cete

“Oh how joyfully…”

Jewelry designers draw their inspiration from as many different places as their results would suggest: Whereas some appear attracted to natural forms such as waves, spirals or leaf structures, others take their creative inspiration from architectural or colorful role models. In one of her latest works, the jewelry designer Gitta Pielcke fed her creativity with ideas from one of the most important Christian celebrations: Christmas. The silver necklace with seven figurine pendants with the title drawn form one of the most popular German hymns “Oh du fröhliche…” presents a manger worn around the neck, depicting the scene in which Jesus is said to have been born. The modeled pendants include Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the shepherds with their sheep paying their respects to the newborn redeemer and the star pointing the way to him. www.gitta-pielcke.de * cete

Rubber jewels

Her present jewel making started as a joke: For an exhibition during a local summer market the Dutch gallery owner Irma Friklink-Grasveld wanted to make jewelry that resisted rain as well as sunshine. Neither textiles nor paper, materials she had worked with before, could be exposed to the outside air. So she had to find another material and started to experiment with rubber (bicycle tires). Today all of Irma’s jewels are made of non precious materials that receive an additional value through the form and the meaning that she puts in it as by the woman wearing it. In 2004 one of Irma Frijlink-Grasveld’s balloon necklaces received a nomination for the Gelderland Kunstprijs. www.galeriedeanderekant.nl * cete

Design prize for a clasp watch

A clasp watch by Alfex Switzerland has won the Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design for the third time; this is the oldest and most famous award for design throughout the world. The Two Time Bango convinced the jury with its imaginative combination of design and function. At Alfex, the head designer, Georg Plum, is responsible for the independence of its language of forms and the material selection. www.alfex.com * ahe

Ceramic jewelry

For two years now, the company Cerico has used high-tech ceramics as a basic material for high quality jewelry and achieves exceptional contrasts by combining this unusual jewelry material with precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds or sapphires. Unique in its appearance, ceramics combine the highest standards of quality w fascinating properties. The material is among the hardest known; for example, it is substantially harder than any precious metal. The ceramic jewelry is therefore scratchproof and suitable for everyday use. Ceramics as jewelry materials also set entirely new standards with regard to anti-allergic properties and haptics, i.e. comfort – a true new discovery. www.cerico.de * cete

Dutch Design Price for “Collier Elisabeth”

During the fourth large-scale annual design event “Dutch Design Week” in Eindhoven (October 15 through October 23) the jury donated the Dutch Design Price to the “Collier Elisabeth” by the German designer Constanze Schreiber. The jury reports: “The lead-filled fur necklace has a modest yet sensual appearance. The ‘heaviness’ of its contents is only apparent when the user lifts the necklace or puts it on. Both the look and the application of fur in the context of fashion are very contemporary. The collar is decidedly a new design, but at the same time seems as if it had always existed. The jury was charmed by the idea, the appearance, the material, the execution and the presentation. Everything makes sense in this well-balanced design.” The theme of this year’s Dutch Design Week was ‘Design in Progress’. Both established designers and newcomers show their work and introduce their ideas to the public. www.constanze-schreiber.net www.dutchdesignweek.nl * cete

Galleria Maurer Zilioli – dialog between the artists

Galleria Maurer Zilioli in Desenzano del Garda on the southern tape of Lake Garda opened its doors on October 8. The new gallery is housed in a former chapel in the side section of the cathedral complex. Dr. Ellen Maurer Zilioli and her husband, the renowned gallery owner Claudio Zilioli, will manage this new place of pilgrimage for art enthusiasts. Dr. Ellen Maurer-Zilioli is a well-known figure in the jewelry industry due to her many years as curator of the New Collection in the State Museum for Applied Art in Munich. Her special interest was always targeted at author’s jewelry from the 20th and 21st centuries, among others. She intends in this new gallery to initiate dialog between the various disciplines of art. To mark the opening, she exhibited work by the architectural photographer Oliver C. Haas, juxtaposing it with jewelry objects by Peter Bauhuis. This will be followed by presentations featuring international jewelry designers, including Annamaria Zanella, Jacqueline Ryan, Giovanni Corvaja, Mari Ishikawa and Karl Fritsch. www.maurezilioli.com * ahe

Oliver C. Haas
Peter Bauhuis