Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Once the residence of Queen Wilhelmina, the 17th century Het Loo Palace in the Netherlands is known for its sober Dutch Baroque architecture, and is presently a state museum. The Netherlands is also home to featured jewelry designer Nel Linssen.

Since beginning this blog, I have continually noted that Dutch designers have an incredibly unique perspective about jewelry design.

From what I gather, the signature of their design approach seems to be unwavering exploration of materials or themes.

Designers like Sasja Saptenno and Iris Eichenberg incorporate materials that normally are not considered decorative or aesthetically appealing. They study components such as bicycle tubing recognizing the material's creative potential.

Their process of study involves learning the properties of the materials finding out what it can do; and how it can look within the context of jewelry. Linssen definitely invokes this design approach.

A graduate of Arnhem's Academy of Fine Arts, Linssen designs sinuous bracelets and necklaces with various arrangements of clipped and folded reinforced paper, silicone tubing, nylon, elastic thread, and plastic coated paper.

She combines different colors of thread, and paper, which fade into the next hue. The simple structures of geometric circles belie the complexity of the jewelry's construction.

She builds circular forms in various ways from vertically stacked and layered to level positions that resemble old-fangled slideshow projectors and Bundt cakes. It is a striking, intricate play of repetitive form and I marvel at the time and patience required to create it.

"My work arises intuitively and in an empirical way," says the designer "I am continually trying to discover logical constructions, rhythms, and structures. I use paper as a means of expressing myself. It possesses tactile qualities that are useful in connection with wearable objects."

Linssen's unique paper jewelry has been exhibited around the world in the United Sates, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Scotland, Canada, Spain, and Portugal.
Photo 1 (top right): Blue Paper Bangle
Photo 2 (bottom left): Paper and Acrylic Bangles
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