Bird in Cage



The sheer amount of invention shown by a new
wave of New Zealand jewellery designers is
stunning. Here is the work of dedicated individuals
following their own paths of imagination, themes and
choices of materials.

One of the many trends to captivate designers is the
enjoyment of working on a small, almost microscopic
scale. These are the pieces of jewellery you get close
up to; they become the objects which carry the patina
of heirloom about them.

This delicious work, titled the Bird in Cage locket, is by
Rebecca Fargher and revels in minute execution. It is
modelled in sterling silver which has been oxidised, then
the surface highlights have been polished back to give
the gleam of silver. As a locket, it is a charming sphere
which opens to reveal a bird swinging from a collar against
a background of finely-etched trees.

For much of this jewellery, it has been the rise of specialist
dealer galleries offering featured artist exhibitions which have
allowed such works to be viewed and sought after by a
global public. In this case, the dealer gallery is Quoil of
Willis Street, Wellington.

Captivated by WOW

The World of Wearable Art as an event began as a fascinating idea in the mind of Nelson artist Suzie Moncrieff. It was an idea which took art from the walls and wrapped it around models. It was in 1987 that the original show was presented in a community hall with prize money donated by a local cafe owner. It soon became a fixture on the local calendar, then moved to Wellington where it has now become its own fabulous machine.

The show is now a brand, and an international event. It is a two-hour performance full of dreams, surrealism, humour, the macabre and the fantastic. Upwards of 170 creations are shown and a crew of 400 attends to all the details of lighting, sound, choreography and stage management.
It is seen live by 50,000 people, and a press contingent ensures the world can partake in the magic as entrants come from over twenty different countries including Germany, India, Israel, Korea, the UK and USA.

A Certain Brilliance

In 1892, young Czech entrepreneur Daniel Swarovski patented a machine for cutting and polishing lead crystal. While the machine vastly reduced the time taken to polish, it also allowed a precision control over faceting so that crystal could now really dazzle. The present-day heirs of the Swarovski founder still pursue this experiment-and-patent mindset, yielding a fantastic array of products – especially in their business of providing stones for jewellery designers. 

In 1985, Danish designers Gitte Dyrberg and Henning Kern established their jewellery design house DYRBERG/KERN in Copenhagen. Their particular attention to clean lines and quality, flawless construction have become absolute baselines from which their collections of jewellery, watches and eyewear emerge. Their sourcing of materials is global, as is their retail reach with outlets in more than forty countries including their concept store at 1 Grey Street, Wellington.