Friday, April 9, 2010


The 18th century, baroque-style Fredonsborg Palace is the spring and autumn home of Denmark's Royal Family and one of its highlights is the expansive gardens. Denmark is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Hanne Bernstein.

Jewelry rendered through wire wrapping techniques dates back thousands of years used in ancient Sumeria and Rome.

Depending on the malleability of the wire, wrapping gemstones or creating intricate loop patterns prove difficult to undo. With tools like flush cutters, and nose pliers designs can range from complex to simple and everywhere in-between.

Bernstein, who now resides in Massachusetts, builds her delicate wire wrap designs around a variety of gemstones including turquoise and amber.  In addition, Bernstein also includes the beautiful hues of sea glass, which is her signature.

The soft, opaque color of the sea glass, in particular, offset by the non-tarnish, silver-coated wire evoke an effortless sense of tranquility, ebbing tides, and the gentle roar of small waves.

The aesthetic is both understated and striking at the same time. I love the idea that a cast away, synthetic material is then groomed in a sense by nature undergoing a type of metamorphosis to return to man once again.

"I have always loved to create beautiful things and have worked with textile, yarn, beads, and wire," says the designer. "I take great pleasure in the endless possibilities of forming metal wire and letting it interact with the stone or sea glass."

In some of her sea glass designs, she implements accents of a single, white freshwater pearl set just above the wrapped glass and suspended from a beautiful sterling silver chain.

Here again, the aesthetic embodies a delicate, natural beauty that fits many situations from dinner at a posh restaurant to lounging on the beach to attending a backyard barbecue.

The organic, unhurried look of not only the sea glass shapes but also the overall designs adds to the jewelry's minimalist beauty.

In addition to her own website, Danish Jewelry Design, Bernstein shares a website, called Local Color Jewelry, with fellow designer Jennifer Yogel.
Photo 1 (top right): Crocheted Silver Wire Cuff with White Freshwater Pearls
Photo 2 (bottom left): Turquoise-Colored Sea Glass Wrapped in Non-Tarnish, Silver-Coated Wire
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