Jewelry from the Magic Mountain

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By Axel HenselderMore from this author

If you follow the constantly ascending curving road in the picturesque Taunus mountain range from Kelkheim near Frankfurt am Main in the direction of the Magic Mountain, you encounter a historical and captivating little house that seems to sit in solitary splendor on the mountain. Built in 1898, it was originally used as the equipment house of a sanatorium. This is where Julia Koenig opened her goldsmith studio & gallery 107 years later.

Magic Mountain
Julia Koenig

When you for the first time visit the former sanatorium nestled in the Taunus mountain range north of Frankfurt am Main, it actually reminds you of the time Thomas Mann's novel the Magic Mountain is set in. In the middle of the forest with a magnificent view of the Rhine-Main plain, this complex of buildings from the 19th century has been reconstructed into a residential area. It seems to magically attract artists from all special areas. Here you can find painters, graphic artists, singers, designers and an art gallery of the young goldsmith Julia Koenig.

The goldsmith studio & gallery in the equipment house

The 29-year-old goldsmith told us "it was a risk to open a gallery for modern jewelry art in such a Romantic albeit remote area. But it paid off. Fans of jewelry from all over the Rhine-Main area have come to the Magic Mountain to get inspiration from the precious collections that are full of the ideas of contemporary designers". Julia Koenig completed her vocational training in 2000 at the Master's School for Craftspersons in Kaiserslautern, Germany. In the same year, she set up her own business with unique jewelry that she sold at craftspersons' and Christmas markets. There's no anonymous jewelry "off the rack", but exclusively jewelry collections by designers who have a passion for creating their small series collections themselves. Thomas Stoffel (Idar Oberstein), Eva Niemand (Berlin), Sonja Thiemann (Dusseldorf), Stefan Alt and Martin Steinhorst (Hanau) were among the guest designers who exhibited last year.

Necklace. Garnet, 18 karat gold, sterling silver
Two rings with navet stones. Aquamarine, 18 karat gold, sterling silver

Julia Koenig makes unique pieces and small series from simple to luxurious under her own Julia Koenig Jewelry label to create joi de vivre with beauty, quality, individuality and sustainability. Her pieces of jewelry come from her love of beautiful and high-quality materials. This isn't jewelry that can be adapted to any outfit in the wearer's wardrobe, that modestly subordinates itself or that is only conceived as an accessory. Julia Koenig says "my jewelry creations unfold their own aura. They have the intention of arousing emotions with a powerful crystal-clear and generous vernacular of colors and shapes. They create space for imagination; they inspire by appealing to people's inner self ". Of course, that doesn't work without the beholder being sensitive enough to scrutinize her or his relation to this jewel in the first few seconds. "I'm fascinated by watching people's reactions. When it sparkles, that's the beginning of an enduring love affair. After all, jewelry wants to be coveted, put on display and filled with stories - in good times and bad."

Navet necklace. Sterling silver, cultured pearls
Moon rings. 18 karat gold, sterling silver, cultured pearls
Necklace and pearl drops. 18 karat gold

Julia Koenig puts on culture theme events as often as three times a year on a small scale that shine with the exquisite skills of her trade. She wants all senses to be stimulated. Visitors can indulge in a potpourri of music, object art and jewelry design in a relaxed atmosphere. In September, the walls of the equipment house will be adorned with the works of the Berlin-based carpet designer Jürgen Dahlmanns. He's the only German IKEA designer and the Carpet Design Award Winner for 2006. He creates hand-knotted Tibetan carpets under the RugStar label that are sophisticated enough to be unique pieces. Their iconoclastic selection of motifs and colors dazzle the beholder. That will all be accompanied by jazz music. There will be an event in the pre-Christmas period that's iconic for indulging in chocolate to celebrate it as the most sophisticated culture achievement in the world. Julia Koenig has signed on the General Consulate of Venezuela in Frankfurt am Main as co-organizer since Venezuela is supposed to be the land where the most exquisite cocoa beans come from. Julia Koenig is looking forward to "Venezuelan art and music, chocolate and wine tasting and the chocolate jewelry collection from the young designer Katja Hunold. That all promises an enjoyable exhibition with many facets".

by Axel Henselder

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Axel Henselder

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