Danni Schwaag

Published: 27.10.2022
Danni Schwaag Danni Schwaag


Danni Schwaag is a German-based jewellery artist, living and working in Bremen. After being a trainee as a goldsmith she studied gemstone- and jewellery design at Campus Idar-Oberstein and did an Erasmus year in 2006 at the Escola Massana in Barcelona. Danni graduated in 2008. She participated in several group exhibitions in Europe, the United States, and Asia and had solo exhibitions in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, and Germany. In 2008 her work was awarded from the Bertha Heraeus und Kathinka Platzhoff Stiftung; Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus Hanau and 2013 with the Bremen advancement award for applied art for her collection "l'art pour l'art".

“I am fascinated by materials, their properties and haptics, and how they change while I work. I love to puzzle to find compositions and explore many possibilities.”


The “personal” in making jewellery, which sometimes rises from an inner impulse, seems to be the most valuable characteristic, and that’s what I want to find for my work. The original idea for a piece of jewellery can transform during the work into something completely unexpected. The process should always stay open. Where does it come from what am I doing? where will it go?
There is falling something into me, and that it can fall in, I have to be empty. Is it possible to be empty? Free from thoughts? from these factors and surprises during the work process, which I recognize as a gift, my work is developing.

About Foam
When I search for mother-of-pearl on the internet for my work, I enter words like a mother-of-pearl shell, seashell, or pearl oyster into the search engine. The results then show mother-of-pearl shells as decorative objects, e.g. for soap (sometimes also for jewellery). This is how I got the idea to work the soap like the mother of pearl. I carefully begin to grind and mill the soft material. I place the mother-of-pearl bowl and the soap opposite each other and enhance the soap bar by working out the pearly haptics. Then after a few hand washes the “pearls” are washed away. During earlier travels, I took the small hand soaps from the hotels and collected them. Then came corona, the end of travelling and the beginning of a lot of hand washing. That’s how soap became a “cult object” for me. During Munich Jewellery Week 2020 I offered it in the show at the gallery door as “pay what you can”, so everyone could wash their hands with a foamy-pearly unique piece. The pearl shell that once functioned as a “soap dish” and “decorative object” is now elaborated with a pearly feel, pearls that originally grow inside the shell. Now wearable as a necklace, it lies on the chest like an amulet. The surface structures look astonishingly similar, but the materiality with its characteristics is completely opposite.

About Mother of Pearls
mother of pearl / perl(en)mutter / perlinmouter / mater perlarum / madreperla perlemor / nacre / nakar... -so to speak- obsession for mother of pearl started during my studies in Idar-Oberstein when I was looking for a pearl necklace – not a classical one. I wanted to do one on my own. Visiting all the gemstone shops in Idar-Oberstein I found a beautiful shell: “Pinctada Maxima” – from which I developed a pearl necklace, a chain made out of many oval rings cutting out of the material. Since then I work my way through the material, so to speak.
I re-interpreted the theme of “pearl” by elaborating implied pearls but keeping them connected to the material.
What is the material doing with me? what do I discover while working?
What is happening? how nature is inspiring me? how human beings? how I?
Having questions in my mind and being curious, that's often my start, that keeps me going on... the process should always be open - then my work can develop...
Fascinated by the luster of the pearls, I analyze the pearl shell and create my own pearls out of the material, which is originally growing in the oyster.

About Organ
In the series “organ”, forms are shaped out of mother of pearl inspired by human organs. I mirrored a part of the piece, which is made out of Galalith, a milk stone, a material that has been used in the art deco era. I´m fascinated by the variety of the material; the mother of pearl with its luster, its hardness on one hand and its brittleness on the other; the Galalith with its sensitivity and softness; natural and artificial; complete and divided; healthy and destructed.

About to Stir
In this series, I put together relics from art production and transfer them from fine art into applied art. To Stir is a process of movement, transformation, and excitement - important elements to create art. a stirring staff, which was used for years to stir acrylic paint, is the main part of this work.
After having been just a stick of timber it is now covered with almost a kilo of acrylic paint mainly white, with fine streaks of other colours.
So what happens when cutting it into slices and looking into it?
A tool that was needed for creating a painting turns into a painting for the body.


CV      View / hide description

Events      View / hide events

Exhibition  02 Nov 2023 - 31 Mar 2024  Brooches in Dialogue between Past and Avantgarde.
Exhibition  19 Aug 2023 - 16 Sep 2023  Something for the Ear.
Exhibition  29 Jun 2023 - 09 Jul 2023  Carry me. Galerie Door at Stevenskerk Nijmegen.
Exhibition  01 Oct 2022 - 13 Nov 2022  FOAM & SOLO/- MOVEMENT at ATTA gallery.
Exhibition  06 Jul 2022 - 10 Jul 2022  Buckle up. Galerie Door guest at Seidlvilla.
Exhibition  29 Apr 2022 - 28 May 2022  FOAM & FUEL by Danni Schwaag and Nelly van Oost.
Fair  13 Apr 2022 - 18 Apr 2022  KunstRAI Amsterdam.
Presented by Galerie Door, Amsterdam (NL)
Exhibition  08 Mar 2022 - 14 Apr 2022  Faces.
Exhibition  30 Oct 2021 - 13 Mar 2022  Koru 7 International contemporary jewellery exhibition.
Workshop  09 Aug 2021 - 13 Aug 2021  CANCELED / Enamel, vitreous surfaces with Danni Schwaag 2021.
Exhibition  09 Mar 2021 - 01 May 2021  ProChaine.
Exhibition  02 Dec 2020 - 22 Jan 2021  Hope. A Ruler in Blue.
Exhibition  13 Jun 2020 - 05 Sep 2020  Door is Open Again.
Exhibition  21 Feb 2020 - 20 Mar 2020  Gogoisme 2 in Lisbon.
Exhibition  09 Oct 2019 - 02 Nov 2019  Gogoisme 2.
Workshop  19 Aug 2019 - 23 Aug 2019  Enamel, vitreous surfaces with Danni Schwaag.
Exhibition  13 Mar 2019 - 17 Mar 2019  Door is Open.
Exhibition  17 Nov 2018 - 24 Dec 2018  Christmas exhibition Ho!Ho!Ho!.
Exhibition  03 Oct 2018 - 10 Nov 2018  Inside The Mountain & Enmarcamos Pinctada.
Workshop  13 Aug 2018 - 17 Aug 2018  International Summer Academy 2018 at the Campus Idar-Oberstein.
Exhibition  25 Nov 2017 - 10 Jan 2018  Pearls Upside Down.
Exhibition  11 Dec 2016 - 13 Jan 2017  Idem. Mùltiplos de Autor.
Workshop  01 Aug 2016 - 12 Aug 2016  International Summer Academy 2016 at the Campus Idar-Oberstein.
Workshop  08 Apr 2016 - 13 Apr 2016  Experimental Enamel Workshop by Danni Schwaag.
Exhibition  28 Nov 2015 - 15 Jan 2016  Snapshot.
Exhibition  07 Nov 2015 - 24 Dec 2015  Happy! 25 Years of Friends of Carlotta.
Exhibition  05 Nov 2015 - 28 Nov 2015  To Stir by Danni Schwaag.
Exhibition  25 Sep 2015 - 02 Oct 2015  Sperk Stret.
Workshop  16 Aug 2015 - 29 Aug 2015  International Summer Academy 2015 at the Campus Idar-Oberstein.
Exhibition  12 Mar 2015 - 16 Mar 2015  Zeitgenössischer Schmuck.
Fair  11 Mar 2015 - 17 Mar 2015  Schmuck 2015.
Exhibition  06 Dec 2014 - 23 Dec 2014  What Matters.
Exhibition  29 Nov 2014 - 23 Jan 2015  Spectrum: Christmas group show.
Exhibition  06 Sep 2013 - 06 Oct 2013  Play for Display.
Exhibition  24 Jul 2013 - 24 Aug 2013  Lisa Kröber, Deborah Rudolph, Danni Schwaag: Summer Time Out.
Exhibition  15 Mar 2013 - 11 Apr 2013  
L'art pour l'art by Danni Schwaag.
Exhibition  20 Jan 2013 - 14 Apr 2013  Play of Form and Color - New Directions in Enameled Jewelry.
Exhibition  01 Dec 2012 - 27 Jan 2013  Allegro Moderato.
Exhibition  03 Nov 2012 - 22 Dec 2012  Emaille Enamel.
Exhibition  21 Jun 2012 - 21 Jul 2012  Solstice.

Publications      View / hide publications

Book:  Eureka! Schmucke Geistesblitze. Flashes of Genuis. Friends of CarlottaFriends of Carlotta:  Zürich,  2021
Book:  New Necklaces: 400+ Contemporary Designs. Nicolas EstradaPromopress:  United Kingdom,  2016