Eighty years after its construction, Hungary's Eger Castle withstood the attack of 80,000 Turkish soldiers.
The 15th century structure presently houses several museums for wax creations and paintings. Hungary is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Zoltan Popovits.
Jewelry is more than decoration. It can signify an enduring bond of love, celebrate one's birth, or hold good fortune in a symbolic charm. Jewelry creators understand that wearing jewelry is as much an act of self-expression as creating it.
A 45-year veteran in the professions of sculptor and jewelry designer, Popovits builds curvaceous, fluid jewelry keeping in mind the significance of a specific item to a potential wearer.
"Design and form in jewelry offers the wearer the possibility of discovering echoes of his or her own thoughts and experiences," says Popovits. "Jewelry is an intimate object that evokes memories and emotions."
Popovits is among the international panel of designers who contributes work to Finland-based Lapponia Jewelry Oy (Lapponia). The architecture and art major, who studied at the University of Colorado, and the Kansas City Art Institute, traveled to Finland in 1965 to attend the Finnish Academy of Art.
Ten years later, after accepting a designing position with Lapponia, the artist's first creation for the company, a distinctive, sterling silver chess set, became a hugely admired product.
The designers' work is not exactly alike but they both adhere to sculptural, molten proportions. There is no doubt that straightforward, perfect structures are beautiful but Popovits' aesthetic incorporates skewed elements. His designs highlight crinkled, puckered, rough-hewn textures offset free form structures in sterling silver and 18-karat gold with minimal gemstones.
Beauty is a rather subjective topic, and Popovits' attention to irregularities is unique, inserting a distinctive visual dimension to the jewelry.
"Designing jewelry is similar to the process of solving a puzzle. This consists of technical, material, and intellectual elements and all these elements must fit harmoniously together.
The resulting pieces are a collection of thoughts that can be compared to a poem or a melody."
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Yellow Gold Atheras Pendant
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Nautilus Earrings with Mother of Pearl