Wednesday, May 12, 2010

POUL HAVGAARD

Situated in the square of Denmark's Amalienborg Palace is an equestrian statue of King Frederich V. Built in the late 18th century the regal structure is an annual gathering place for Danes to celebrate the queen's birthday. Denmark is also home to featured jewelry designer Poul Havgaard.


Havgaard, a former blacksmith and mural painter, is the last of six designers I have featured that contribute exceptional items to Finnish brand Lapponia Jewelry (Lapponia).
In 2008, however, after 37 years with the company, Havgaard announced his retirement but his pieces remain a part of the company's iconic collections.

Natural, somewhat irregular forms and minimal gemstones characterize Lapponia's renowned aesthetic. Though forms are often accented with fissures, folds, crinkles, or concaves, the overall design is uniquely classic and timeless.

Havgaard's contributions maintain Lapponia's style while also highlighting his own distinctive design approach. Working with sterling silver--one of his favorite materials--he fashions clean, fluid items without etchings or many surface textures.
There is a bracelet and necklace, however, where portions of the metal appear segmented as if they were cut or sliced and then placed side-by-side creating one, uniform shape.

The distinguishing stylistic element that sets his jewelry apart from the other Lapponia artists is his use of round, faceted amber. A dollop of deep, orange-brown peeking from beneath a dome of molten silver, smooth facets linked to silver in a bracelet, or cupped in a ring setting.

Often referred to as "the gold of the North," amber resin, it turns out, is plentiful in Denmark as amber trees once populated the region. Due to the warm, humid climate millions of years ago, the trees literally sweated resin globs that were ultimately swept up by rivers and washed into the sea for a future unearthing.

If my memory serves me, thus far aside from Polish designer Marcin Zaremeski, I have not seen many designers incorporate amber into their pieces.
I think Havgaard's placement and arrangment of the amber is nicely done. He implements it in such a way where it seems like an extension or outgrowth of the silver. Its smooth contours complement the smoothn curvatures of the sterling silver.

"An essential principle of my design aesthetic is the creation of tension. I achieve this by letting two interesting forms communicate with each other," says the designer.
Havgaard continues jewelry making in his Denmark-based studio, as well as sculptures of iron and steel.
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Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver and Amber Fearless Pendant
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver and Amber Dawn Bracelet
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