Herbert Hofmann awards at Schmuck 2013

25 03 2013

It’s a little late, and you’re likely to know this already …
The winners of the Herbert Hofmann Award at Schmuck 2013 were announced on 9th March 2013.

  • Robert Baines of Australia
    ‘Parrot’ – that´s the title of one of the works by Robert Baines. This is not the only piece of jewellery in which this Australian designer makes use of animal motifs. In his round and oval brooches Robert Baines plays with the depiction of animals ranging from serpents to teddy bears. In a humorous and ironic way, commented the jury, he hints at the forms of historic jewellery. Indeed, history is his point of departure for creating an expressive style of jewellery that is superbly executed and entirely his own.

    image from Gallery Loupe facebook page; click on image for original source

    image from Gallery Loupe facebook page; click on image for original source

  • Fumiki Taguchi of Japan
    The works of Fumiki Taguchi of Japan are reminiscent of medals and decorative marks of distinction – but only at first glance. According to the jury, Taguchi´s brooches inventively confront the cliché in Japan that the value of a work of jewellery is often based on the size and the quality of the gems. Fascinated by the forms of historic jewellery and medals, he turns away from the traditional employment of precious stones, creating instead a trompe l’oeil effect of diamonds in silver. The piece called ‘Expression of White’, for example, imitates the luminance of precious stones, confounding the eye. Taguchi´s very different approach certainly appealed to the jury.
  • Helina Lehtinen of Finland
    The group of works by Helena Lehtinen of Finland consists of seven different pendants. The work with the title ‘Family’, a composition of simple, reduced forms such as bars and disks, has the character of a still life in which each part relates to the others. What stands out, too, is the quality of the craftsmanship. The jury were attracted to the “clear austerity of the individual form” and the “composition of the group in different materials and delicate colours”.

The above text is from the Handwerk & Design website announcement.

For more images, see this post by GioielloContemporaneo blog.
Also see this post by Bijou Contemporian blog.
And also this post by Amber.





Is it just me?

27 07 2012

The sculptural monument built for the London 2012 Olympics, ArcelorMittal Orbit (designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond) reminds me of Robert Baines‘s work.

image from Wiki; click on image for original source

I think it’s due to the red colouring and the open-wire construction.

Is it just me or do you think so too?

[There is a fabulous image here; and also check out the website of Anish Kapoor for amazing progress images]





Robert Baines ‘Frisches Fleisch – Fresh Meat‘ @ Pieces of Eight

21 10 2011

Sadly I missed Robert’s exhibition at the Glen Eira City Council [link], but I’m happy to have been able to find the time to see his latest exhibition ‘Frisches Fleisch – Fresh Meat‘ at Pieces of Eight.

photograph taken with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “His exhibition at Pieces of Eight Gallery sees Baines create a commentary on what he views to be the endangerment of the original idea and the practice of plagiarism in contemporary jewellery. Utilising the technique of casting, something not typically seen in his work, he furthers his case and punctuates his argument by the frequent inclusion in many of the pieces of the Rothschild Red Giraffe, itself an endangered species.

The endangerment of the original idea” … this body of work certainly does speak to this in its deliberate repetition of cup components, which (before reading the above) was at first a surprise to me.

photograph taken with gallery permission

The colouring of the pieces were also a surprise to me – many colours not previously seen in Robert’s work, purples and pale pinks.

The black, red and green have been seen before in his work. However while in most of his work the colour has been introduced by powder-coating, here the colour is applied with paint. Again, a departure from his previous work.

This is interesting … different components, colouring, materials … a ‘fresh’ group indeed.

photograph taken with gallery permission

As you can see to the left of the above image, a few of Robert’s “signature” (if I may) pieces of gold and red powder-coated pieces are included in the exhibition. I was initially perplexed, but noticed that there seems to be a kind of progression along the plinth – gold, red (same structure), similar triangular components mixed with the new cup components, gradual introduction of the giraffe in the “new” pieces.

Now onto the Rothschild Giraffe. Confusing. Though it seems this was initially because I thought Rothschild referred to the huge financial institution and could not remember that the giraffe was their logo. Well, it’s not.

The Rothschild Giraffe is an endangered species of the animal [see wiki] and “at risk of hybridisation”. That last point is likely where the iconography fits in with Robert’s commentary – that all unique work is in danger of hybridisation through deliberate and ‘accidental’ plagiarism in contemporary jewellery.

Without researching it though, I would never have known these layers of the work or the significance or reason for the animal.

photograph taken with gallery permission

Finally, the German title … perhaps a nod to his favourite contemporary jewellery country, home to the influential Hermann Junger and Karl Fritsch (both of whom observers may conclude Robert does have a special connection with).

Pieces of Eight has some images of the opening night and Robert will be speaking at the gallery on the evening on Tuesday 25th October.

Frisches Fleisch – Fresh Meat‘ is at Pieces of Eight Gallery until 12th November 2011.





In the press

24 01 2011

I’ve recently moved into a beautiful Art Deco home (hence the little spell of no posts this last week) and have been doing some reading in home design-type magazines for inspiration and ideas etc…

Funny thing is that in two of these magazines, jewellers have been featured!

1. Robert Baines featured in the January/February 2011 edition of Vogue Living; the article advertises his travelling exhibition “Robert Baines: Metal” … not too sure about the title of the piece though…

detail from scan of page 96, Vogue Living magazine, Jan/Feb 2011 edition

2. Lucy Folk had a full page in the February/March 2011 edition of Belle; the piece gives a bit of Lucy’s background and describes her new range ‘Taqueria’

scan of page 57, Belle magazine, Feb/Mar2011 edition

Perhaps I’m not well read, perhaps not imaginative enough, but I actually didn’t expect jewellery to be featured in home / styling magazines … but I think it’s great … perhaps the readership of such tomes are more likely to have surplus income to spend on such beautiful objects…