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"New jewellery from Idar-Oberstein 5“ shows works in stone, jewellery and photography together with written statements on the subject of working with gemstones, from students of the Trier University of Applied Sciences Department of Gemstones and Jewellery in Idar-Oberstein.


Working with stones
Pornrudee Boonyapan (Thailand), M.F.A. 3rd sem. Stone lives for itself and people try to use it according to their needs. But stone is stone.

Katja Köditz (Germany), M.F.A. 2nd sem. In Idar-Oberstein stones are bound fast together with the history of the town and its inhabitants. For me, dealing with the social questions and phenomena of our time and visualising these with jewellery and using stones also means me devoting myself to Idar-Oberstein’s identity.

Petr Dvorak (Czech Republic), M.F.A. 4th sem. Stone is a part of jewellery. Jewellery without stone is almost unthinkable. Stone is jewellery. Stone is something beautiful, the only colour we have from the earth. A stone is beautiful in itself, but you give it a shape, which wasn’t there before. The question is, whether this is beautiful. That depends on the beholder and is usually only recognised a century later.

Stephie Morawetz (Austria), M.F.A. 1st sem. I find stones really beautiful, but I can’t find a way in. Perhaps because they exist in the present and my pieces in the future. It is difficult to create a connection between the material I work with and the stone. They live in two different universes, in two different times. Maybe that will change when I colour my stones myself, through a procedure that is no longer natural.

On the significance of gemstones and jewellery in art

The debate, well known within our field, about whether the creation of gemstones and jewellery should be classed as craft, design or art has significantly contributed, in the context of the Bologna Process, to raising the profile of our department. Answering this central question of professional identity is the focus of current research within our field and department. Reconsidering the assignment of gemstones and jewellery as it is interpreted and understood today steers us to an ever-clearer position, which defines itself, amongst other means, by examining its relationships with neighbouring fields;
– The creation of gemstones and jewellery is not a craft. Although there is an intersection with the crafts’ central tenet of specialst craftsmanship, the contemporary focus differs.

–  The creation of gemstones and jewellery is not design. Although there is an intersection with design’s central tenet of fashionable aestheticization and the successful marketing of this, the contemporary focus differs.

–  The creation of gemstones and jewellery is not liberal art. Although there is a certain intersection with the liberal arts’ central tenet of “existing outside of oneself”, the contemporary focus differs.

Establishing this position is not intended to draw or sharpen demarcation lines, but to rethink the identity of jewellery creators within a wider context than the pre-existing criteria of other specialties, which are insufficient for our field. 

Theo Smeets, 23. Juli 2014