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X-Bones

Exhibition  /  03 Apr 2008  -  04 Jun 2008
Published: 09.05.2008
Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus Hanau
Svenja John. Brooch: Orel, 2007. Plastic. 11 x 10 x 2 cm. Svenja John
Brooch: Orel, 2007
Plastic
11 x 10 x 2 cm
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Intro
(...) In her most recent works, Svenja John has abandoned the voluminously interlocking modules. Now she is more interested in an additive fitting together – the so-called x-bone becomes the essential part of an airy construction. (...)
With the exhibition Svenja John – X-Bones, the German Goldsmiths’ House in Hanau is presenting an exceptional exhibition of jewelry made from plastic.

Since 1992, when the certified goldsmith Svenja John was made aware of plastics by Frank Bette during her studies at the Staatliche Zeichenakademie, she has been creating jewelry from the transparent plastic, Makrolon, a polycarbonate from the Bayer firm. This material is normally utilized for every-day items such as compact disks, car headlights, or electrical switches. Svenja John’s point is not to use the material as decoration or as a cheap substitute for precious materials. Instead, for her, plastic is a material with advantageous properties and an independent character.

Since 1998, Svenja John has also been working with Makrofol, a thin foil of Makrolon, with which she has succeeded in creating her jewelry as widely extending objects.

Through the special properties of Macrolon – transparency, lightness, and flexibility – Svenja John creates delicate and complex works of art that won’t fit into any jewelry box. They are more likely to be hung, unworn, on the wall by collectors.

Inspired by the beauty of nature, the artist builds airy, bizarre, and filigree-like art works that, like a frost-flowered window or a snow crystal, embody something mysterious. Elaborately formed pendants are reminiscent of umbellate blossoms, while colorless chains and brooches acquire charm through the additional use of stainless steel.

The plastic in foil form is sanded and hand-painted. The resulting color combinations underline the character of the individual pieces; plasticity and volume are emphasized. The color density of the works can be determined; the applied color penetrates the plastic and cannot be rubbed off. Intelligently assembled without rivets, screws, or any other mounting method, the delicate and ornamental foil lamellae result in transparent, floating constructions of extreme stability and astonishing flexibility. For an intricate pendant, there can be as many as 300 individual elements, while a bracelet can get along with 20 interlocking elements. Her works are given artful names such as Anillo, Pimpollo, or Semila.

In her most recent works, Svenja John has abandoned the voluminously interlocking modules. Now she is more interested in an additive fitting together – the so-called x-bone becomes the essential part of an airy construction. 

Since 1994, Svenja John has had her own studio in Berlin.
She has already won several competitions such as the Bavarian State Prize or the State Prize of Berlin. Previously, her works have been exhibited in Berlin, Washington, Providence, and Pforzheim, and are included in collections world-wide such as at the Grassi Musium in Leipzig, the American Craft Museum in New York, or the Hiko Mizuno Collection in Tokio, to name just a few. In addition, she outfitted the 1999/2000 haute-couture collection of fashion designer Christian Lacroix in Paris. 

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