Lectures at PREZIOSA 2017. Florence Jewellery Week

Lectures  /  Preziosa2017FJW  /  26 May 2017  -  27 May 2017
Published: 23.03.2017
Santo Spirito Church Cloister
Giò Carbone
DEADLINE: 25/05/2017
Martina Dempf. Ring: Untitled, 2015. Silver, wood.. Martina Dempf
Ring: Untitled, 2015
Silver, wood.
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Dialogue and the confrontation between tradition and contemporary research in jewellery are the focus of the FJW 2017 project. The lectures in the programme will follow the main thread of these hybrids, which can be explored in all directions without any prejudice.


11.00 - 13.00 h and 14.30 - 18.00 h


Lectures are free but seats are limited, therefore we suggest you to register to have your place reserved.
Simultaneous translation Italian-English-Italian is planned for all conferences.

26 May at 11.00 h

Inger Wästberg, Sweden. Transformation from craft to art.
Art's borders have expanded increasingly. Few would now say that "art" is limited to paintings and sculptures. Meanwhile, craft makes great leaps forward. Much of what used to be characterized as crafts are now clearly defined as art. Jewelry worn on the body are in themselves personal in a way that differs from most art forms. The wearer selects the jewellery and it communicates with the surroundings. Today's jewellery artists have questioned and challenged the established conventions. The jewellery is not made of precious stones, gold and silver. Many artists are experimenting with inexpensive materials. Jewelry is thus something else than passive status symbols. They often carry significance and comment on current social issues.
Short Bio:
Inger Wästberg is an art historian, has a master exam on contemporary jewellery. She has in different positions worked with information and advocacy. She has been a member of Stockholm city council, vice chairman of Stockholm University, senior advisor to the minister of Social Affairs and director general for the Office of the Disability Ombudsman. She is a member of The Global Leadership Council at The Museum of Arts and Design, New York and a member of the advisory board at Ädellab, University College of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm. Inger Wästberg has also written books on disability legislation and on New York.

26 May at 12.00 h

Martina Dempf, Germany. Jewellery and wood - an artistic challenge.
Lecture with Power Point ca. 35 min.
Wood has ever been a source of inspiration for artists and has a long history in art practice, including jewellery. The versatility of wood and the way in which it can be transformed is almost unlimited. However, wood working needs profound knowledge of the material and respect for its unique characteristics in order to maintain its dynamic and essential natural character.

The lecture will give an insight into the aesthetic potential of wood by presenting jewellery from the 70s through the present, highlighting the most interesting contemporary artists.
Short Bio:
Martina Dempf works as a jewellery designer (University of Design Pforzheim 1972-80) social anthropologist (Free University Berlin 1983-92) lecturer, design consultant and curator. Born in 1955 in Stuttgart, she lives and works in Berlin, where she runs her own studio and gallery. Her scientific studies focus especially on African ethnic jewellery and her creative work is fiercely interwoven with her findings. She is freely combining different materials and drawing from the aesthetics of diverse cultures. Her artistic work is shown at and collected by international museums, galleries and fairs over all continents.

26 May at 14.30 h

Kevin Murray, Australia. Global art jewellery.
A lecture about the expanding scene of art jewellery, which could include the following elements:
  • Buddhist uses of jewellery in Thailand, China and Taiwan
  • The workshop as author in art jewellery from South Asia
  • Bypassing modernism in art jewellery from Iran and Pakistan
  • Customary modernism in Māori art jewellery
  • The saint of contemporary jewellery in Mexico
The aim of this lecture will be to propose a common question that can underpin an increasingly diverse global field.

Short Bio:
Dr. Kevin Murray is an independent writer and curator, Adjunct Professor at RMIT University and Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Major current roles are managing editor for Garland Magazine and the Online Encyclopedia of Crafts in the Asia Pacific Region.  In 2000-2007 he was Director of Craft Victoria where he developed the Scarf Festival and the South Project, a four-year program of exchange involving Melbourne, Wellington, Santiago and Johannesburg.  He has curated many exhibitions, including 'Signs of Change: Jewellery Designed for a Better World';  'The World of Small Things'; 'Symmetry: Crafts Meet Kindred Trades and Professions'; 'Water Medicine: Precious Works for an Arid Continent'; 'Guild Unlimited: Ten Jewellers Make Insignia for Potential Guilds'; 'Seven Sisters: Fibre Works from the West';  'Common Goods: Cultures Meet through Craft' for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and Joyaviva: Live Jewellery Across the Pacific that toured Latin America.  

26 May at 15.30 h

Roberta Bernabei, Italy/GB. Integrating traditional and high-tech goldsmithing techniques in wearables and jewellery that aid wellbeing.
The last decade has witnessed the increased integration of traditional goldsmith techniques and new digital technology in jewellery. This has been applied to the fitness market, but also in medical fields to help trigger memories and improve health. In this presentation, the integration of traditional goldsmith techniques and the use of CAD CAM technologies in digital devises will be analysed through case studies that investigate the following issues. To what extent has low and high technology been utilized in the last decade to create functional wearables? To what extent can traditional and CAD CAM technologies be employed in unison to create jewellery that aids wellbeing?
Short Bio:
Roberta Bernabei is a jewellery maker and historian whose work has been exhibited at various international venues, including Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Jewellery Museum Kofu, Japan and the Museums of Decorative Arts in Berlin and Turin. Bernabei's theoretical research into the history of contemporary jewellery has enabled the recent publication of her first book: Contemporary Jewellers: Interviews with European Artists in July 2011. Since 2004, she works and lives in England, where she is a lecturer in Critical Historical Studies and Contemporary Jewellery Theory and Practice at Loughborough University, School of the Arts, English and Drama (UK) and she has instigated the first online peer reviewed academic journal called the Journal of Jewellery Research.

26 May at 16.30 h

Robert Baines, Australia. Jewellery on the high wire.
Wire traps space, Line claims space, Line calibrates space, Line captures a face!
Endangered Pink, Fresh Meat, Gold from the Kosmos has a material cultural history for the goldsmith to investigate.  The new jewellery can be invented and illustrated with fictitious evidence.
Other jewellery structures enter historic locations and change history.  How can jewellery be a measure of a time?

Short Bio:
Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft, goldsmith and emeritus professor at RMIT University, Robert Baines has maintained a national and international profile with exhibitions, awards, lectures and publications for more than forty years.  His works are in prestigious public collections in Great Britain, Germany, France, Poland, USA, New Zealand, and Australia.  In the research areas of artist goldsmithing and archaeometallurgy he received a Winston Churchill Study grant (1979) and this was followed by Senior Fulbright and Senior Andrew Mellon Conservation Fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY. In 2004 he had an exhibition of his research, Entdecker der antiken Goldschmiedetechnik, at the prestigious Staatliche Antikensammlungen, München, Germany. In Germany he has received the Bayerischer Staatpreis gold medal (2005); Friedrich Becker Preis (2008), and Herbert Hofmann Preis(2013).  Most recent books published are Bracelet-Java-la-Grande (2006) and More Amazing Schmuck Stories by Robert Baines (2009) and Fabulous Follies Frauds and Fakes (2013).

27 May at 10.30 h
OMA, Osservatorio dei Mestieri d’Arte, Firenze. Presentation of the 4th edition of the “OmA Contest 2040".

27 May at 11.30 h

David Loepp, USA/Italy. Experimental Replication of a Granulated Gold Bead from an Ancient Tomb in Oman.
During recent excavations of a cairn monument in Oman dating back to the Umm-an-Nar culture that flourished between the III to II millennium BC, an unusual granulated bead came to light. The bead was constructed exclusively with granules, already rare in itself, all the more so for the period in question. As part of the archaeological project the author replicated the bead and presents the research.

Short Bio:
Creating one-of-a-kind pieces in collaboration with his clients, artisan jeweller David Loepp specializes in ancient and traditional goldsmith techniques that are quickly disappearing.

27 May at 12.15 h
Maria Laura La Mantia, Italy. The moon,the sky and the way up stars. A short digression about the use of celestial symbols through the item or gems in jewellery, between the 18th and the 20th century.
The title is inspired by the conclusive sentence of Dante Alighieri’s “Paradiso- Divina Commedia”. In the collective consciousness the sky and the stars, the moon and the sun represented, in the past , the way to read the human destiny yet. People found natural to transform those elements in gods, or to believe that wearing the elements as ornaments could give them fortune and protection. Furthermore, the sun, the moon and the planets received their precious amulets. The jewels could use this language during the centuries, transforming every elements’ characteristic in small masterpieces.

The lecture talks shortly about materials, symbols, styles, manufacturing through the images of small masterpieces.

Short Bio:
Maria Laura La Mantia, born in 1961 and graduate at the “Accademia di Moda e Costume” in Rome in 1986  with a dissertation about artistical ornaments  in the Etruscan culture. She moved to Naples in 1987, and she started jewels projecting and then enameling for high jewellery. She was going on studying historical jewellery and in 2001 she started to teach “jewellery History” at the school in “Tarì” goldsmithing district until June 2016. Her professional experience counts many collaborations with goldsmithing companies and clocks as designer and with also collaboration as lecturer about art and goldsmithing. She is working on divulgation by web of jewellery culture and technique with a dedicated Facebook page “Metal manufacturing”.

27 May at 14.30 h

Maria Cristina Bergesio, Italy. Alice nel Paese del gioiello contemporaneo.
This lecture wants to be a path inside the creative reality of the jewellery as artistic research to highlight its particular ontological status, between decoration and art.

Short Bio:
Maria Cristina Bergesio is an art historian specializing in the history of modern and contemporary jewelry. From 2002 to 2008 she taught at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Florence. She now teaches contemporary jewelry at Le Arti Orafe Jewelry School in Florence.

27 May at 15.30 h

Shruti Agrawal, Italy/India. Body adornments, body paintings. Permanent and semi permanent markings.
India boasts of an unbroken heritage of jewellery design spanning at least 5000 years. It’s rich spiritual legacy is believed by many to have it’s origins beyond human history, a vibrant legacy that continues to pulsate in the daily life of its people till today. We embark on a fascinating journey to explore how earth and ash the very substances of the Earth to which all humanity returns; nature's most abundant materials like grass, flowers, seeds etc; become the very materials to create deeply symbolic spiritual body adornments for man and his beast. Transforming the ordinary being into the supernatural.

Short Bio:
After several years of formal training and awards at her Fashion and Jewellery design schools, Shruti chose to pursue a career as a Jewellery designer. At the age of 23, in 2003 she set up this jewellery firm, dedicated to creating customized, one off  fine jewellery pieces. She was soon joined by her sister Gunjan. Currently, they work out of Florence and Mumbai respectively, as Private Jewellers for a discerning clientele.

27 May at 16.30 h

Tasso Mattar, Spain/Germany. Jewelry inspired by nature.
How starts jewelry?
One notice an object, takes it, attached it to his/her body or cloth in an original act of propriation. The body and the subject extends and the wearer as well. For example, a little girl. She takes a flower and attaches it to her hair. With many flowers she makes a chain of them and adorns herself like the girl with the daisy chain on the picture. It seems that she made a jewel only inspired by nature! But that is only the half of the story! We must not forget the symbol part of that little flower: Daisies are connected to the superstition, that the small plant has a growth-retarding quality, interesting for children, who will not become adult. And there is one meaning more: Daisies are the first oracle for children, plucking of the blossom leaves wile telling off like: .. loves me, loves me not, loves me....

Short Bio:

Tasso Mattar studied sociology at the University of Cologne (1969-75) and jewellery design at the University of Applied Arts at Pforzheim (1975- 79). He was well noted for his thematical exhibitions. We remember his bone exhibition "jewellery in a butchers" 1986, which became a legendary jewellery event. This presentation of the "precious" in the "trivial world" is a model of Mattars special aesthetical approach which includes everyday objects as well as everyday life. His artwork from bone, concrete, soapstone, amber, granite etc. are collected by museums and private collections. He directed workshops in Singapore, Israel, Finland, France, Switzerland,  Germany and Luxembourg. He lives and works in a small village in Spain : Artà/Mallorca.


Closing speech by Petra Holscher, Curator of Die Neue Sammlung, The Design Museum at Pinakothek der Moderne. München, Germany.