What is "Vintage"?
Vintage Jewelry, bags, clothes, furniture, rings … this expression has become very popular and commonly used. We long for unknown relatives, bygone days, family estates, and family ties, which have been weakened. Vintage, is the style, which was in fashion from the 1920s to the 1980s. The style prior to vintage is “antique”. My creations are actually “retro” style. I design new engagement rings in the style of bygone days. My engagement ring isn’t a piece of vintage jewelry, but a new ring made in vintage style and therefore it is in actual fact a retro piece of jewelry. To be precise, my style is more antique, it is Victorian, Rococo or from the beginning of the 1920s, like the Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
Some of the engagement rings which I design look like family heirlooms from an inheritance or which were bought in the markets of England, France or Russia. I personally very much like antiques and I often attend auctions. I can tell you about myself that one of the reasons why I chose to become a jeweler was my desire to reconstruct pieces of jewelry which I remember seeing as a child, worn by ladies and aunts whose relationship to me, I couldn’t always recall. They would speak German and smelled of perfume and tobacco … something about them never failed to inspire my imagination. They wore rings set with “brilliants” (diamonds cut in the most popular style aimed at maximizing the reflection from the stone) in the style of “Diana”, emeralds and rubies, not mentioning the tweed suits and the handbags. They pinched my cheek but at least offered me chocolates.
What gives an engagement ring the vintage look?
A diamond cut in the old-fashioned style, red gold, unusual size, design full of details, white gold in its natural color without rhodium, unusual colorfulness, a pearl as the central stone, engravings with elements from nature (flowers, leaves, and the like). I would say a twist. Human warmth. The golden touch of a skilled jeweler. One of the things I particularly like in my work is encountering the treasure troves of families, and to see jewelry boxes with family heirlooms from the past handed down as an inheritance. One of my specializations as a jeweler, is repairing and restoring old jewelry and antiques; and when I start to repair an old ring I’m filled with awe, especially when I encounter a piece of jewelry with inspiring craftsmanship.
What I in actual fact am trying to do, is to take these traditions of the age-old craftsmanship, let myself be inspired by them and to become a connecting channel on the timeline and across the different periods of time. I fail to find a better way of describing my work. If I were to become a jeweler in one of these “Ateliers”, then nobody would be happier than me. Naturally, I would first need to be a male. I doubt that women would be employed in those periods, however during the vintage 1920s era there were already many women designers in all areas. In my opinion, this can be recognized in the designs. One sees more freedom, more humor, the use of different materials, softness, innovation, a new angle of a softer hand. I am thankful that I live in the modern world, which allows me to identify myself both with the men of the 17th century as well as with the pioneering women of the 1920s.