Thursday, November 5, 2009


24-Karat Gold and Sterling Silver Two-Finger
with Quartz and Diamond
The view of Burghausen Castle perched atop a ridge in Bavaria, Germany is straight out of a modern-day fairy-tale.

Initial construction began on the fortress during the 6th century and since then the castle has undergone several expansions that include six, distinctive courtyards.

Germany is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Regine Schwarzer.

In some cases, German as well as other Central European designers tend to take what I think is a cerebral approach to jewelry design that leans more towards function. The design approach suggests that jewelry should blend with instead of accentuate the wearer.  I say this as an observation, not a criticism.

Unlike the very sleek, unembellished designs of some of her contemporaries, Schwarzer's designs highlight bold colored gemstones in bold cuts and equally distinctive manipulation of 24-karat gold and sterling silver.

Having lived in Australia for 16 years, she is clearly influenced by the continent's rustic beauty. She implements spirals, wavy lines as well as other geometric engravings and etchings that resemble aboriginal motifs and provide a tribal aesthetic.

"Living in Australia has profoundly influenced my work," she says. "I discovered my passion for rocks and minerals which occur in abundance here. Stones classified as minor quality, due to impurities, inspire me. I use them as a design element and feature them in a finished piece."

In the last 26 years, she has developed a bulk of skills that include silversmithing, goldsmithing, gem setting, engraving, and repoussé. She combines her skills with intuition, and keen imagination channeling this energy into her jewelry; creating a spiritual core to the beautiful, organic pieces.

The process of creation is one that she relishes. "I have been cutting and processing stones for a number of years. I like to work from the outside in, taking off layer by layer to discover the internal secret life suggestive of landscapes," she explains.

"My aim for each piece I make is for it to be beautiful, wearable and to leave room for interpretation by the wearer."
24-Karat Gold and Sterling Silver Shell Necklace
with Diamonds, Rubies and Emeralds

For 16 years, Schwarzer has exhibited her lovely, distinctive jewelry in Australia and Germany.

Her pieces are featured in the 2004 book "1,000 Rings," and in 2008, she wrote her own book entitled "Informing Facets."

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