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.
Vision was designed in 1986 by Pierre Mazairac and Karel Boonzaaijer based on the philosophy that a cabinet, as a composition, should be part of the architecture. Partly due to its maximum flexibility of use and extremely modest design, this design was very successful from the outset with the Dutch manufacturer Pastoe. 25 years later, the compositional possibilities remain unlimited: from a three-dimensional relief to a graphic grid of lines and planes, from a series of sideboards to an architectural landscape of volumes. The book Vision – Room for imagination sketches the story of this young classic.
The work of self-proclaimed ex-designer Martí Guixé (°1964) can aptly be described as ‘beyond design’. Creating new objects he finds rather ‘superfluous’ and ‘boring’; he prefers to concentrate on ideas, systems and living matter such as food and human behaviour. As a ‘global designer’, Guixé constantly travels back and forth between Berlin and his native Barcelona, analyses situations, rituals and movements and proposes radical solutions with a minimum of ergonomics – simple, immaterial, humorous and often iconoclastic.
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.