Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I don’t normally write about other jewelry designers, but I have to make an exception for one of the greats — the famed Swiss jeweler Otto Künzli. I can’t stop thinking about a well-known bracelet he made in 1980. It’s apparently at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, though not on display, so the closest I’ve gotten to it is a page in this book about 21st-century jewelry. (I don’t know how a 1980 piece sneaked into this book, but whatever!) I bought the book just for that page.
The bracelet, called “Gold Makes You Blind,” appeals to my aesthetics, sense of humor and love of mischief. It’s made of two of my favorite materials: black matte rubber and 18K gold. The rubber totally covers a small gold sphere. You have to have “blind” faith that the gold is really there.
My own jewelry line is full of hidden gems, secret functionality and historical symbolism. I get a thrill from offering more than immediately meets the eye. In my opinion, that’s a quality that takes jewelry from personal decoration to what Künzli calls “a form of educative art, like painting, sculpture, etc.” I hope I get to try on “Gold Makes You Blind” some day. You know how people have a celebrity “freebie 5 list“? Künzli’s bracelet and the Anne Boleyn locket ring belonging to Elizabeth I are definitely on my jewelry freebie 5. I’ve also got my eye on some of King Tutankhamun’s stuff. Hey, a girl can dream!