When the Gods are happy, even the last days of autumn can be rather charming in London. The latest presentation of Hemmerle’s spirited creations received the full support of the Heavens and in spite of being November, London’s Mayfair bathed in yolk-yellow sunshine.
Hemmerle has an inimitable sense for depicting the shapes and colours of Mother Nature – I experienced it when meeting them at TEFAF and we were hit again this time at the private viewing in London. The jeweller’s love of nature, its’ devotion for the materials coupled with the skilful techniques form something totally unique, blindly characteristic of Hemmerle. A wide range of materials, colours, surfaces and unusual combinations have become their signature since 1995 when Stefan Hemmerle wedded diamond with textured iron instead of gold or platinum. Reversely set spiky diamonds or aluminium paired with corals stagger the audience and grow an enthusiastic and stylish fan club.
The colours, scents and flavours of the brand have been truly captured by the book entitled Nature’s Jewels published by Hemmerle in association with MACK. The limited edition volume was conceived and designed by Christian and Yasmin Hemmerle, Michael Mack and Duncan Whyte and it contains poems from various times and cultures in the original language, selected by Greta Bellamacina. It is decorated by the manufacrure’s Nature’s Jewels jewellery collection. Choosing this form of presentation is rather unusual these days, but this manifestation of self-expression is absolutely spot-on.
The Nature’s Jewels collection is comprised of twelve brooches, two pairs of earrings, a necklace and a ring that were all inspired by fruits, seeds, leaves and trees. Every piece in the collection resembles the essence of the real thing. The jewels are created again by using different combinations of material and fused together with the emblematic Hemmerle craftwork.
The pieces shown at the viewing have introduced another perspective of how nature’s offerings can be paired together with German precisionist craftsmanship and design to shake the jewellery scene.
Humans are said to be longing for the symmetry when appointing beauty – I am rather on the opinion that asymmetry can be at least as beautiful and emotionally even more evocative. Hemmerle’s earrings or paired jewellery are often non-identical in colour – as it is very unusual to find two pearls with the exact same colour. This reflects the human face’s non-symmetrical imperfection, too. The paired pieces are perfect in their own right and their difference makes them outstanding.
Hemmerle twists this around by fearlessly uniting extraordinary surfaces like melo melo pearls or fossils with traditional everyday materials such as a miniature pair of English delftware plates (see the earrings on the first picture with sapphires, porcelain, gold, copper) and non-precious metals like aluminium, copper or bronze – even within a single pair of earrings. These maintain constant attention as the mind cannot rest on any one piece of the pair, but keeps on wondering between the two, back and forth.
One of the rarest materials Hemmerle is using is Melo Melo pearls. Pearls of the earrings exhibited at the preview had a fantastic smoothness and its entire being had some kind of radiation. The markings on both looked like the atmosphere of faraway planets, and it seemed to be one level under the surface – something you can see, but not touch.
Melo-melo pearls are non-nacreous pearls produced by the gastropod mollusc commonly known as the melo-melo sea snail. The colours of melo-melo pearls are related to the colour of the shells. The shell colour varies from beige to orange and brown. An interesting feature is the perfectly round or spherical shape. The hardness of melo-melo pearls is approximately 5 on the Mohs scale (the scale of mineral hardness is a qualitative ordinal scale that characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material), that compares with a hardness of 2.5 to 4.5 for natural nacreous pearls. The size of melo-melo pearls varies according to age and is closely related to the size of the shell from which it was derived. Usually, the larger shells that are older produce larger pearls.
Beyond their exceptional talent, the fourth generation family-run house is known for working with a finite number of craftsmen that add up to the values that Hemmerle represents. Man hours put in every art work can take up to 500 hours and to find the matching stone can last for years. Hemmerle produces less than 300 off-beat artworks a year.
Nature does its wonders and so does Hemmerle.
Photo credits: Hemmerle.
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