Friday, February 18, 2011

ASTRID PERAUER

A ceiling painting of Prince Eugene, by famed artist Martino Altamonte, and a Baroque sculpture by Balthasar Permoser are among the exquisite interior décor of Austria’s 18th century Belvedere Palace. Austria is also home to featured jewelry designer Astrid Perauer.


I don’t believe there is a jewelry artisan who has not said he or she is inspired by nature. I think this acknowledgment has become a mantra of sorts and for those studious, left-brain types who do not quite get that affirmation it can easily sound clichéd.

The reality of course is that nothing is truer as a designer’s selection of brilliant colored gemstones and the meticulous sculpting of 18-karat gold or sterling silver into organic forms with rustic textures and finishes is often informed by the delicate and robust beauty of the great outdoors.

A thirty-year veteran and graduate of Austria’s Technical School for Gold and Silversmith, Perauer is a seasoned goldsmith and silversmith with the palette of nature acting as her muse. Her sleek, modern jewelry of silver and gold rings, bangle bracelets, and pendant necklaces are a play of classic and contemporary ideas.

Based Perauer’s online gallery she creates interpretive rather than replicative designer jewelry that is characterized by nuanced textures reminiscent of nuts or the crinkled petals of a rose.

Her clean and simple gemstone rings that feature beautiful cabochon cuts of onyx, amethyst, sunstone and rubies are inspired by the moon, sun and tops. Other pieces like the stucco-like texture of a pair of 14-karat gold earrings, and the naturalistic hammered texture of a sterling silver necklace reflect the rigid beauty of drift ice in the Austrian Alps.

Perauer’s classically styled designer jewelry is unobtrusive yet wonderfully idiosyncratic proving once again that timeless jewelry does not have to be one-note and conventional. “Five years ago I spent some time working in the Austrian Alps. I went there during the fall and the calm and clear of autumn was interrupted by an overnight snow storm.

The following day, the clear air gave me the most impressive view on the high and wild mountains.

Rose blossoms, strata seeds, geometric form and the clarity and cold of winter cold are each a part of my collection. Therefore each design mirrors personality; each design is unique.”
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Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Pendant Necklace with Lapis from Mountain Series
Photo 2 (center): 14-Karat Gold Ruby Ring from Mountain Series
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Earrings with Green Nylon from Summer Grass Series
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