Contemporary Goldsmithery

MARCH 9 – 30, 2019

Galleri Sebastian Schildt is pleased to present Precious – a grand exposition of contemporary goldsmithery. Fourteen Swedish and international artists have challenged themselves both conceptually and technically for this occasion, and the resulting art jewellery defies any preconceived notions associated with the historically charged, precious metal gold. This is the absolute highlight in the goldsmithery of 2019!

Participating artists

Exhibition catalogue Precious

Download the catalogue


Bridal Crown, 23k gold.

Swedish goldsmith Helena Edman’s creative starting point is often the circle; a closed form both representing the finite and the infinite. Her favourite material to work in is 24k gold. The pure, butter yellow and soft gold is easier to work with but also more sensitive and less resistant. With time, this type of gold will have marks and clear traces of its wearer. Still, Edman does not compromise. She prefers the gold to be as thin and ethereal as possible in her works, almost thin enough to be dissolved. At the same time, Edman would like for her jewellery to be resistant enough for future generations to find it in archaeological excavations – perhaps a bit dented or wounded, but still there and forever in beautiful gold.


Bracelet, ”Spiral”, 18k gold.

If a married couple consists of two active silversmiths or goldsmiths, it is not uncommon for the pair to share a studio space. What is unusual about the couple and artistic duo Ulla and Martin Kaufmann is that they work so closely with one another that it is unclear who initiates each work and who finishes it; it is truly a seamless creative collaboration. The Kaufmanns are classically trained goldsmiths who have worked together since the 1970’s. Their creations are in a strictly modernist spirit, heavily inspired by the Bauhaus Design School. At the core of their work is the clean, golden spiral form which can be seen in their necklaces, bracelets and rings. Ulla + Martin Kaufmann’s works embody both an archaic heritage and have a contemporary expression in its elegant minimalism.


Necklace, 23k gold, emerald, enamel.

Beauty is of the utmost importance to Swedish gold- and silversmith Sebastian Schildt. Beauty has never been an area of conflict for him, or something that needs to be compromised in the creation of his works. Schildt is trained to perfection, and valuable jewels as well as colourful precious stones are his trademark. He enjoys creating large-scale jewellery that highlights the splendour of the jewels or precious stones that he is working with. The diversity of the classic tassel form has served as his inspiration for several years now. The tassel has a long and exciting multicultural history which to Schildt feels current and fresh, and he is motivated by accentuating the tassel form and giving it a contemporary appearance.


Ring, “Ribbon”, 23k gold.

With roots in Padua, Italy – known as the epicentre for ”fine jewellery” – jewellery artist Annamaria Zanella has found her own poetic design language far from the traditional teachings in Padua’s school for goldsmiths. Zanella’s playful jewellery explores the value of materials in a larger social context. When she is not working in gold, she actively chooses raw material of little value, such as sheet metal and scrap iron which she burns, perforates and etches. Zanella has been called an examiner of “poverty” and her jewellery is about deconstruction and the subsequent reconstruction of materials into micro sculptures. Her sculptural jewellery has its own lyrical and artistic expression.


Necklace, ”Crush Traditions”, 23k gold, silver, amethyst, tourmaline, rose quartz, carnelian, aquamarine, garnet, gravel.

Precious stones take centre stage in Maria Elmqvist’s jewellery. She often uses round or oval stones, which are clear in colour and framed in softly rounded settings. The different colours of her precious stones are reminiscent of a bag of sweets and they appear as if someone has already sucked on them. In this necklace, Elmqvist has mixed precious stones with actual pieces of yard gravel and the contrast between the two is striking. The necklace is rough and glossy, commonplace and rare, worthless and valuable all at once. It provokes the question: who decides what is worthy of adorning oneself with? Elmqvist has always been a gatherer and keen observer. She literally sees beautiful objects and materials all around.


Brooch, ”Gold Trap”, 23 k gold, gilded brass, stainless steel.

The playful title ”Gold Trap” of Hungarian jewellery artist Reka Lorincz’s brooch acts as a reminder of the status of gold, and the kind of desire that it evokes. Her gold ingot caught in a mousetrap is a prime example of the kind of wearable sculpture that instantly communicates with its environment. In her art jewellery, Lorincz is interested in social structures and skilfully uses recognizable objects with various cultural and symbolical meanings to grab the viewer’s attention. Allowing the viewer of her works to interpret their own meaning, her work is humorous and serious in equal measure.


Necklace, ”Natura Morta: Speedwell”, 18k gold, diamonds, hand painted portfolio.

In fine jewellery, there is a ranking of what is considered valuable and what is not, and similar notions characterize the field of botany. British jeweller and artist Christopher Thompson-Royds celebrates the simple beauty of nature in his works and is inspired by modest wildflowers, often overlooked as they grow in roadsides, ditches, fields and lawns. Thompson-Royds picks these flowers and dries them before transferring the contours of their petals and stems to paper thin gold. He hand cuts them in layers and binds them together with fine gold wire. He also colours his naturalistic flower jewellery by hand and houses them in marbled folio boxes – an allusion to the Hans Sloane Herbarium at the Natural History Museum in London.


Necklace, 18k gold, enamel.


Ring, silver, niello, cubic zirconia. Ring, silver, aluminium, chrysoprase, cubic zirconia. 

Karl Fritsch has been called an ”enfant terrible” of contemporary art jewellery as he happily pushes the envelope in his work, often questioning traditional goldsmithing. In a peculiar combination of warm humour and contempt, Fritsch continues to create surprising works which seem to both detach himself from tradition yet also embrace it; in a way which would not be possible without his stellar craftsmanship. With a spiritual and childlike playfulness, Fritsch puts the jewels under the surface of the metal and creates grand and extravagant yet tender works.


Brooch, 18k gold, enamel.

Nature is a constant source of inspiration for British jewellery artist Jacqueline Ryan. She has been a keen observer of nature since childhood, perpetually fascinated by its infinite combinations of colour, form and structure. Ryan sketches what she sees in nature, then transfers these impressions to paper models before finally creating her art jewellery in gold. The final work is not a depiction of nature, rather an attempt to capture its marvellous essence. An important element of Ryan’s work is the articulated movement that enhances the tactile experience of the jewellery. 


Brooch, gold leaf, walnut, oxidized silver, agate druse, rose cut diamond.

Swedish goldsmith Hedvig Westermark’s intuitive and distinctive sense of colour, structure and materiality is instantly evident in her collage-like works consisting of carefully selected pieces of widely different materials. Her brooches appear as small microcosms based on life itself; where the precious sits next to the unvaluable, and that which is usually saved next to that which is usually thrown away. Everyday and randomly discovered pieces go hand in hand with the valuable and sought-after material. All of her materials receive the same careful treatment by Westermark and both extremes are equally important for her beautiful and confident compositions.


Necklace, “Diamond in a Box”, 18k gold, rough diamonds.


Necklace, 24 k gold, antique coral, silver, diamond, turquoise, cameo, enamel, sapphire, emerald, pearls, rough diamond.

Danish goldsmith Torben Hardenberg’s works are expressive and narrative to the point of him being called “the literary goldsmith”. His art jewellery appears rather like a play that takes place in front of the viewer’s eyes. Hardenberg’s materials are both precious and not, and represent a fantasy which he creates of silver, gold, precious stones, seashells and other unexpected objects. The red coral that was once worn in the belief that it would protect against diseases, is juxtaposed with other materials in unparalleled pieces of contemporary art jewellery. Hardenberg’s works can be seen as both baroque and surreal, much in the same way as a wonderful curiosity cabinet.  


Ring, 18k gold.

The soft round shape in gold with a brushed surface is a bit matte and coarse against the skin. The ring, which is intended for two fingers, consists of a sculpted face. It is archetypal, stylized and neutral with a reference to Cycladic art – both mysterious and ancient. In addition to the time she spends in her own goldsmithy, Swedish jewellery artist Margareth Sandström spends a period each year at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence to pursue classical painting. Once at home again, she creates models of her universal faces which are seen in her touching art jewellery.


Brooch, 18k gold, forty-nine diamonds.

Jewellery artist Peter de Wit stays true to his own distinct style which is characterized by the relationship between different geometric figures and a solid sense of dimensions and proportions. His expression is sparse and the construction details are visible. With roots in Holland, de Wit has inspired a whole generation of Swedish jewellery artists since settling in Sweden in the 1980’s. His rational design language has garnered much interest and followers who wanted to see it as typically Scandinavian. Unpretentious and ingenious in construction, his works are stunning in their matter-of-fact simplicity.


Pair of earrings, “Natura Morta: Forget Me Nots”, 18k gold, diamonds, hand-painted portfolio.


Necklace, “Blue Planets”, porcelain, titanium, Murano glass, ebony, acrylic.