Wednesday, January 13, 2010


A considerable number of centuries-old, well-preserved Buddhist temples populate the country of Korea beautifying the country's already spectacular landscapes.

The over 400-year-old Beomeosa Temple is composed of several smaller buildings, which the country declared national treasures.

Korea is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer the late Aud Charlotte Ho Sook Sinding.

Not confined by convention, Sinding has left a legacy of unusual, striking jewelry pieces. Implementing materials like silicone, linoleum, and silver, she constructed daring brooches and rings of considerable scale.

For this reason, the figurine-like contemporary jewelry items are whimsical, attention getters reminiscent of Dutch designer Joke Schole's work. Like Schole's jewelry, on the surface Sinding's pieces seem giddily irreverent, but behind the playful exterior is a deeper somewhat darker message.

The animal-inspired brooch pins, for example, feature expertly crafted, linoleum-made cat heads, dogs, and rabbits mounted on a large, wood-like backing.

The image evokes a hunter's mount of larger, more ferocious game. To me, the pieces suggest our love for pets mingled with an underlying sense of misguided dominion over them.

"Pets evoke many emotions that in some ways are contradictory," says Sinding, "On my brooch pins the pet heads become like trophies, glazed and lifeless. With these pieces, I have played with the feelings of disgust and fascination when something is put into a new context."

The jewelry artist studied silversmithing, jewelry art, and design at Sweden's University of Göteberg graduating in 2001.  Sleepless nights were among Sinding's most vivid memories while attending the university.

"Before a deadline for different projects, I spent long days and nights in the workshop. I would fall asleep in the early morning hours, and the janitorial staff used to wake me up."

Always feeling secure with her unconventional aesthetic, Sinding offered encouragement to up-and-comers. "The time learning at school is like a gigantic mattress so block your fears of doing something wrong. Even if you jump from high heights your landing is relatively soft."

From 2001 to 2004, Sinding's unique jewelry has been exhibited in Sweden, Korea, Japan, Holland, Istanbul, and the United States.

In 2007, she taught jewelry design part-time at the University of Göteberg.  Just last year the jewelry artist unexpectedly passed away.
Photo 1 (top right): Silicon and Linoleum Rabbit Head Brooch
Photo 2 (left): Silicon, Linoleum and Silver Bird and Flower Ring
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