“Look, touch, wear”; the thought is somehow fascinating. The borders between sculpture and jewelry are transient. Many artists also work as designers of three-dimensional pieces in small and large formats.

different dimensions
Unique jewelry object “Light Breeze” by Gisela Seibert-Philippen
Pendant by Ralf Kellenberger. Blackened silver, acryl glass, agate, natural fiber cord
Brooch “Sculptor” by Björn Weckström. Sterling silver

Names such as Weckström, Bury or Skubic and the Munsteiners have long since reached world fame as sculptors and also as jewelry artists. Over the last few years, other designers have found many different ways of approaching the topic of jewelry as a sculpted work.

Ring “Gowron” by Monika Stöhr. Sterling silver, aquamarine raw crystal
Ring by Kim Yeonkyung. Mountain crystal, gold, silver

“An item of jewelry is a sculpture with the human being as an animated back ground…”, says Björn Weckström on the connections between goldsmiths and sculptors. Jewelry is manifest as sculptures in four different ways. First, there are the designers who see the bijoux as sculpted works in a miniature format. The message held in the pieces far exceeds the ornamental aspects of being worn. Even viewed simply as sculpted creations, they have the charisma that is inherent to all larger pendants. One attractive aspect of the numerous examples of figurative work is found in reducing the size of every day objects. Robbed of their context, very common domestic appliances somehow appear in a new light.

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Honorary ring by Giampaolo Babetto. White gold with niello, red pigment and methacrylate
Icon “Breakfast” by Jorünè Radziute. Rusty iron and copper, tombak, bones, coconut shell
Ring by Nathalie Cherrer. Silver, marble

The next stage is quite obvious: basic convictions of design and the artist’s own styles are created in both formats. It is most enchanting in this context to observe the similarities and differences in the design and its effects. It is quite frequently possible to comprehend how the goldsmith’s experience influences the sculptor and conversely how the results of the sculpting process flow into the goldsmith’s work.

Ring by Peter Scubic. Stainless steel, gold with chest for “Jewelry under the Skin”
Pair of earrings, also wearable as pendants, by Michael Zobel. Sterling silver, fine gold, coral
Object by Joaquim Capdevila

The sculpture or the image within which the jewelry is integrated as a part of the overall work and from which it can be removed for it to be worn combines various demands placed in art and jewelry. An object may hang on the wall as an elaborate eye catcher. From the center, gold, gemstones or other materials shine out over the viewers. This centerpiece can be removed and worn as a brooch. In this case, the jewelry is not damned to remain stuck in its box or in a safe and only to take effect on the occasions it is worn. It is instead present all the time.

Sculpture “Mediation” by Bernd Munsteiner. Citrine, gold, smoky quartz, silver
Halo and wings by Anoush Waddington. Plastic with silver inlay and stainless steel wire
Sculpture “In Thought” by Fritz M. G. Wilshaus for Philipp Becker. Garnet, ametrine
Relief “Pierrage” by Kurt Neukomm. Slate, leaf gold, with integrated, small brooch made of yellow gold and opal

A series of sculptures are also created because the material encourages the use, for example, of a large, extraordinary gemstone with all the special ways in which it can be designed or is consciously juxtaposed with a different material. The format may also be defined by the special properties of a mineral. The revolution driven forward by new materials such as plastics and other “non-precious” substances as basic ingredients opens up new dimensions to design, even leading to deliberate provocation. In many cases, these “portable symbols” do not satisfy the elementary human demand that they should be wearable in a traditional sense.

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Object “The Jumper” by Uwe Middel. Bronze, iron.
Torso by Gerhard Pauly. Calcedony
Rings by Rainer Schumann. Sterling silver, coral, cultured pearls, agate discs, zirconium
Pendant by Natasha Vereschako and Dima Zaharenkov
Ring by Ettore Sottsass. Yellow gold, lapis lazuli, coral
Hand jewelry by Natasha and Tatiana Tarasova
Pendant “Zehn kleine Negerlein” by Victoria Wittek. New silver, fine silver

The age in which jewelry was simply dangled from one’s body is over, appears to be the message put out by these innovative artists. Instead it should complement the body, tell stories and convey convictions. They may be romantic, witty or even scandalous, ironic, malevolent and messages that are socially critical, intended to hold a mirror up to our time. This is where the circle finally turns. In previous ages jewelry, had the function to emphasize social circumstances, to document power and to lend expression to the epoch s culture. This it did in small and large formats, as we can see in the work of earlier sculptors and goldsmiths that has been handed down.

Sculptures by Gabriela Kutschera. Forged iron
Jewelry object by Sonia Szatkowska
Sculpture “Core made of Six Equal Elements” by Max Bill. High-tech ceramics
Jewelry sculpture / brooch / pendant “Comrades” by Heide Kindelmann. Modeled in wax, cast in silver, gold-plated, hand-painted and glazed, Biwa and Tahiti pearls, opal
Sculpture “Eva” by Bruno Martinazzi. Travertin
Brooch/object “Babel Tower” by Filomeno Pereira de Sousa. Gold, cement, brass, copper, Japanese paint, eggshell