Monday, August 19, 2013

VIBE HARSLOF

Sterling Silver and Gold Fly Necklaces
Second in height to Paris’ Eiffel Tower, the Odin Tower, located in Denmark’s third largest city Odense, is one of many landmarks to see.  

In addition, Odense has been the launching ground for many renowned people including Hans Christian Andersen.  

Denmark is also home to featured jewelry designer Vibe Harslof.

To me Harslof’s playfully expressive aesthetic reflects that creativity is a powerful motivator.  

It is a type of motivator that prompts her to allow any idea to come through her creative gateway while never letting commerce dominate her artistic vision. 

In turn, she asks the questions: What do I want to express?  How do I want to express it?  With such questions in place her creative expression gives life to a distinctive and clear visual language that once again proves any material has the potential to be great jewelry.

Though Harslof’s most recent collection Fools Gold is traditional in its simple, sleek outlines in gold and silver the inspiration for her designs, however, is linked to the controversial subculture of Japanese bondage known as kinbaku

“Kinbaku is a way to tie up the body with thin ropes in very intricate ways.  I wanted to do a simplified version in metal that both sweeps around and almost lock parts of the body at the same time,” explains the goldsmith.

In her Beige, Fly and Geometry collections she pairs statement making attributes with classicism.  Wooden cubes dangle from sterling silver chains in the Geometry series. 

Sterling Silver, Wood and Perspex Hand and Cloud Necklaces
Ethereal, cutout details of insect wings accentuate necklaces, cuff bracelets, and brooch pins from the Fly series; and simple, pretty gold chains are combined with cork balls in earrings, necklaces and rings from the Beige series.

Quirky, unconventional cutout forms of Perspex take center stage in her Hand Signs, Clouds, Ghost and Feather collections.  These child-like yet pretty designs are pure conversation pieces in their unbridled oddness.

The dusky, spiky crystalline renderings of Harslof’s Black Crystal Collection made me think of Ursa from Superman II in their bold, sizeable and seemingly aggressive outlines. 

Her alternately strange and sublime Facet Collection is straight out of a contemporary art piece playbook.  Wood is faceted into chunky, octagonal rings and believe it or not smoking pipes accentuate headbands and necklaces.

“The pipe items are a collaboration with an Old Danish pipe manufacturer.  The larger ones I use are functional—you can smoke with them.  The smaller ones are not.  They are for decoration only,” reveals the seasoned veteran.

“My design philosophy is simple: my intent is to create original jewelry.  The look is clean and pure but it challenges the established preconceptions of what constitutes an accessory.  I actually make all kinds of accessories but jewelry is my favorite.

As a matter of fact I collaborated with Jules Kim of Bijules that will be launched this year in New York.  We combined a bracelet from her new collection with a handbrace—my take on bracelets—from the Fools Gold Collection.  It’s a beautiful piece.  I am excited about the launch.”

Gold and Cork Beige Necklace
2013 Jewelry Trend AlertCork balls and wood cubes cover the year’s style trend of geometric patterns as well as found objects.  

Harslof’s one-of-a-kind design approach also includes trends of graphic layering, color pops and sterling silver.
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