Jewelry sketches - art of patience


When I recently started to make jewelry I discovered a vast and fruitful land of jewelry sketches. It is art, believe me! If I had any doubts in that all of them disappeared after I saw in Cadaques (Spain) at Dali Theatre-Museum sketches for his jewelry projects.

How is a piece of jewelry born? Imagine someone writing a book – how many corrections can he make? How many things are added and deleted in the process? The whole book is being born as a phoenix out of those corrections!

The jeweler does not have that luxury. Some materials, i.e. silver, can allow annealing several times, but, let’s say, not after soldering – it will simply melt! Even when the project is clear in the head, so many things in design, form and choice of the materials might change simply when you start putting all the initial ideas together. Even better, most likely they will change, because it is the playground of the artist, it is his creative process which is equally or sometimes even a more satisfying part of the creation than the final result.

So, that creational playground is moved on to the paper – it is again our dear old paper which will allow us so many mistakes and attempts on the way to the final piece. It is some kind of meditation and a miracle at the same time – slowly, step by step you overcome the whiteness of the paper sheet and create a jewelry piece which does not exist yet.

It is a pure art pleasure to watch the sketches made by famous jewelers and jewelry houses. This is how jewelry becomes art even before its existence – all the little details, materials are meticulously put into a drawing before the artist goes to his workshop.

I must admit, the jewelry sketches are something that I am not really good at (yet) and they got into my resolution list for the 2017. I want to get better not only at creating on paper but also at my patience skills – believe me, it is not the easiest thing for a vortex person to stay focused on little things for long time. Jewelry sketches – my dream and my challenge!

Meanwhile enjoy some great pieces.

Tiffany & Co. (circa 1900). Sketch for the Tiffany Iris Corsage Ornament. George Paulding Farnham

Watercolor on tracing paper

Chatelaine (1875). Design for a Chatelaine with Watch. Alexis Falize

Morgan (1913). Butterfly jewelry. Costumes Parisiens Fashion illustration No.88 from Journal des dames et des modes, supplement vol.2, June 10, 1913

Alexis Falize (1855). Design for a Gold and Cabochon Gem Brooch

These images were taken from the free-license sources, for the copyright issues I can’t publish many more that I would like to, but you can google it for yourself. Particularly, Chanel, Cartier and Tiffany are my favourites!

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  • Stefan Stern on

    Sorry but me English is very bad, I am German collector of jewellery sketches.
    First, I have to apologize, I’m not a goldsmith or an artist, I’m only a collector. But I try to preserve something and to preserve what is for you everyday and that will disappear through the PC and CAD. The hand drawn sketches of goldsmiths will die.
    I have been collecting the sketches of Goldsmiths (about 65000 pieces) From time to time, they are from 1700-2000 and 90% are the original drawings / sketches in ink, pencil or watercolour paints (up to about 1850) and 10% stitches (1850 to 1700)
    The designs are from eg.
    Alfred Daubree, Cartier, Bucheron, C.Ohresser, E.Fontenay (the original drawings for the book on antique and modern jewelery from Fontenay in 1887), A.Bottazzi, Chaumet, Weitmann, Cheva, Valcher, Dürr, Baumhauer , M.Riester, Viebig,‘Pievert, W.Ibbitt, Weiersberg, R.Kern, R. Conte, R.Schlotterbeck, M & E Goldbaum, Frankle, Jacobi, Harnisch, Schäfer, Scheel, F. L’Entre, E.Heidolph , Raymond Templier, Germain Stiches 1748, Bachruch Budapest, Briasson 1771 Stitches, Deprés,
    And much more.
    You are welcome to visit my page, to share it and make it known
    for more information click here for an interview with Klimt02…/graphic-collection-stern-jewellery-de…
    Best regards
    Stefan Stern

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