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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

There are brands, which refrain from being harsh at any time. Their uniqueness stands in their dedication and philosophy, which you appreciate more and more as soon as you get closer to them. Hemmerle is certainly such jeweller to me.

The Munich-based German house is anything but conventional. It is family-run to this day, led by the fourth-generation Christian Hemmerle and his wife Yasmin in the same spirit as their predecessors, but with a contemporary twist. Last autumn I visited their workshop to discover where their imagination manifests in the unusual combination of stones, metal or even wood.

Hemmerle has been a long-standing partner of TEFAF – I met them in person for the first time in 2015 at the exhibition. Beyond the pieces they create, Hemmerle puts great effort in the setting where their jewellery meets admirers. Hemmerle’s stand at TEFAF in both 2016 and in 2017 featured a sculptural structure designed by the Dutch architect Tom Postma. The architecture, erected by approximately 3,000 intertwined walnut wood and 16,500 aluminium rods, seemed to float above the floor and it emphasized Hemmerle’s attraction to nature. The stand, which elevated the jewels even further, received the prestigious Red Dot Design Award (which dates back to 1955) in the Communication Design category.

Hemmerle booth at TEFAF designed by the Dutch architect Tom Postma

History, culture and nature greatly inspire Hemmerle. They go many times beyond just crafting jewels and create the world around the jewels. Just think of the “Delicious Jewels” recipe book project with British chef Tamasin Day-Lewis, or the “Nature’s Jewels” poetry collection with Greta Bellamacina.

Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country (the ancient unified kingdom was founded in c. 3150 BC by King Menes), with an amazing heritage and influence in the field of art, economy, science or politics.

The beautiful, vivid blue bangle presented at the fair was inspired by the temple of Karnak. This Temple Complex is one of the largest religious buildings ever constructed. It is located in the ancient Thebes, currently in the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. The Theban divine triad represents the god Amun, who is the chief god of Thebes, the goddess Mut and the god Khonsu.

The bangle is composed of sapphires, aquamarines and aluminium and presents motifs akin to the ornamentation seen on the capitals of columns in the ancient temple.

Bangle - sapphires, aquamarines and anodised aluminium

As Christian Hemmerle explains; “We are innovators who are prepared to take risks in the realm of one-of-a-kind contemporary jewellery design, whilst remaining utterly dedicated to craftsmanship and exceptional quality. The juxtaposition of materials such as everyday objects, artefacts or antiquity that we use gives our creations a vivacity that lends a different edge. We often blend the vocabulary of sculpture with the functional demands of design in contemporary society.”

Hemmerle often incorporates fragments of old jewellery into contemporary models. A fantastic example of this was the antique Javanese bronze necklace in 2015, or the earrings made of English delftware plates last year. A pair of rectangular earrings caught my eye this year, which are set with late a 19th century restored micro-mosaic. Having the fragments of the past incorporated in it gives the feeling of wearing bits of history in a brand new guise.

Earrings with late a 19th century restored micro-mosaic

Pioneering new techniques, Hemmerle showcased earrings with diamonds caught in a bronze wire hoop. The artist first set the diamonds in wax and wrapped it around with the bronze wire, like a nest. Then he melted the wax gently. The result is quintessentially Hemmerle.

The rings of the House also have a very recognisable design: in most cases, the very contemporary and simple lines frame a special stone. A new Hemmerle ring was made in anodized aluminium (anodizing is an electrochemical process that gives the metal surface a decorative and corrosion-resistant finish) and platinum with a gorgeous purple spinel. It not only looks amazing but you have a “barely there” feeling due to the properties of the aluminium net.

Would you like to see more?
From May 2-7 Hemmerle offers private viewing at Upper East Side in New York City and will participate in the Masterpiece London 2017 from 29 June – 5 July.

Bronze wire earring with diamonds
Anodised aluminium, platinum ring with a purple spinel


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