Throughout the centuries, silverware has been a source of inspiration for many artists. Religious silverware raised the profession to unprecedented heights, but in the course of the 20th century commissions became scarce. More and more studios had to close their doors and monumental silverwork soon disappeared into the background. Gradually, training also left something to be desired. Father Rob and son Jaap Thalen’s dream is to make the very best again: objects, utensils and works of art in silver such as have been hard to find for a long time. Monumental creations for which both the old craftsmanship and the most advanced techniques are required. Their designs take shape in Francorchamps, Belgium, and are appreciated worldwide.
Danny Venlet (°1958, Victoria, Australia) is one of the world’s best and most promising designers; yet his work is a well-kept secret in the design world. This is partly due to the fact that Venlet has worked and lived in two different worlds (Australia and Belgium), but is also explained by the essence of his personality and work – modest, prone to understatement, and relaxed.
Dirk Wynants (°1964) is the founder and owner of the innovative Belgian furniture brand Extremis. He is also the main designer of the brand and the creator of the brilliant branding concept “Tools for Togetherness”.
Contemporary jewellery design is undoubtedly the result of thousands of years of craftsmanship, tradition and research. Contemporary jewellers still use the same precious metals and gemstones as their predecessors, but continue to experiment with techniques, innovate with new materials and create their own unique concepts.
Surrealism may be best known as a movement within literature and the fine arts, but the influence of this 20th-century artistic movement in other fields should not be underestimated. Even the world of design and contemporary design does not escape a healthy dose of surreal humour.