Tuesday, March 16, 2010


At nearly 500 years old, Austria's Porcia Castle is one of the country's most important historical structures with its blend of Italian and baroque architectural styles. Austria is also the home of featured jewelry designer Peter Skubic.

I will admit that upon viewing Skubic's angular, and boxy stainless steel jewelry pieces they seemed indiscriminate from each other.

The abstract structures resemble partially folded pieces of mirror-like metal accented with randomly placed, protruding metal wires and occasional splashes of color. However, careful thought goes into these seemingly arbitrary forms.

"The process always starts with drawings but after I finish the piece it becomes a continuum," he says. "My mirror pieces have a form but you cannot see the form. I think about the dimensions of my pieces, the positions of the angles, and cutting the stainless steel plates.

Depending on the time of day, these pieces reflect the light and the piece becomes one hundred different pieces. Sometimes you see colors behind the shiny stainless steel plates or just the shiny plate. The effect is you think you see glass, not a mirror."

A goldsmith for more than 30 years, Skubic's design approach, and choice of materials also reflect a pointed intent to challenge ideas of quality in jewelry, and perceptions of jewelry as art.

"I want to find a personal sign of quality in jewelry, not only brilliance and commercial aspects. For example, I like to use color in my pieces, but without the use of big gemstones," he explains.

"I put color on the back of the shiny plates and, of course, the stainless steel plates are not diamonds but for me the plates are more attractive than diamonds.

To me jewelry can be art, but it is always a question of quality, and quality to me is not something definable, it is something you feel."
Photo 1 (top right): Stainless Steel Mirror Brooch
Photo 2 (bottom left): Stainless Steel Ring with Blue Acrylic
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