Rock Stars. Jewellery from Idar-Oberstein
Exhibition / 09 Nov 2017 - 12 Nov 2017
It does not happen very often that we organize an exposition at SIERAAD that we already know will be talked about a great deal. The main exhibition of SIERAAD 2017 will show a survey of 15 years of groundbreaking work by an international group of students (Bachelor and Master) of the faculty of Jewellery and Gems of the Idar-Oberstein campus of Trier University, Germany.
Idar-Oberstein has a reputation to uphold. In the end of 14th century rockcrystal, jaspis, amethyst and agate were found here, raw materials that would become the basis of a lucrative gemstone industry. Add to this the Nahe River and you have a cheap and permanent source of energy supplying the hydropower necessary to make Idar-Oberstein into a great gem-processing industry.
In the 18th century the Gemstone industrie had its first heyday. Around 1834 the fist Agate from Brazil were shipped to Idar-Oberstein and around 1870 the imported stones brought more profit, that the mining industry in Idar-Oberstein was reduced to a minimum.
The traditional way in which gemstones are worked and processed puts them in the category of classical jewellery. The methods used by the students of the Idar-Oberstein campus may therefore safely be called revolutionary. For example, gems are literally pulverized and then built up again in order to give them a different form and content. Perhaps breaking radically with the past is the only way to give faded glory a new lustre.
This renaissance of (gem)stones in contemporary jewellery design may, to a large extent, be attributed to the university in Idar-Oberstein. The team around Ute Eitzenhöfer and Theo Smeets has steadily been working on building up an innovative campus of international importance.
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