Tasso Mattar

Jewelry inspired by Nature

How starts jewelry?

One notice an object, takes it, attached it to his/her body or cloth in an original act of propriation. The body and the subject extends and the wearer as well.

For example a little girl. She takes a flower and attaches it to her hair. With many flowers she makes a chain of them and adorns herself like the girl with the daisy chain on the picture. It seems that she made a jewel only inspired by nature! But that is only the half of the story! We must not forget the symbol part of that little flower: Daisies are connected to the superstition, that the small plant has a growth-retarding quality, interesting for children, who will not become adult. And there is one meaning more: Daisies are the first oracle for children, plucking of the blossom leaves wile telling off like: .. loves me, loves me not, loves me....”

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Kevin Murray

Global Art Jewellery

A lecture about the expanding scene of art jewellery, which could include the following elements:

  • Buddhist uses of jewellery in Thailand, China and Taiwan
  • The workshop as author in art jewellery from South Asia
  • Bypassing modernism in art jewellery from Iran and Pakistan
  • Customary modernism in Māori art jewellery
  • The saint of contemporary jewellery in Mexico

The aim of this lecture will be to propose a common question that can underpin an increasingly diverse global field.

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Robert Baines

Jewellery on the High Wire

Wire traps space, Line claims space, Line calibrates space, Line captures a face! Endangered Pink, Fresh Meat, Gold from the Kosmos has a material cultural history for the goldsmith to investigate. The new jewellery can be invented and illustrated with fictitious evidence.

Other jewellery structures enter historic locations and change history. How can jewellery be a measure of a time?

Martina Dempf

Lecture: Jewellery and Wood - an Artistic Challenge

Wood has ever been a source of inspiration for artists and has a long history in art practice, including jewellery. The versatility of wood and the way in which it can be transformed is almost unlimited. However, wood working needs profound knowledge of the material and respect for its unique characteristics in order to maintain its dynamic and essential natural character.

The lecture will give an insight into the aesthetic potential of wood by presenting jewellery from the 70s through the present, highlighting the most interesting contemporary artists.

Martina Dempf works as a jewellery designer (University of Design Pforzheim 1972-80) social anthropologist (Free University Berlin 1983-92) lecturer, design consultant and curator. Born in 1955 in Stuttgart, she lives and works in Berlin, where she runs her own studio and gallery. Her scientific studies focus especially on African ethnic jewellery and her creative work is fiercely interwoven with her findings. She is freely combining different materials and drawing from the aesthetics of diverse cultures. Her artistic work is shown at and collected by international museums, galleries and fairs over all continents.

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Inger Wästberg


Art's borders have expanded increasingly. Few would now say that "art" is limited to paintings and sculptures. Meanwhile, craft makes great leaps forward. Much of what used to be characterized as crafts are now clearly defined as art.

Jewelry worn on the body are in themselves personal in a way that differs from most art forms. The wearer selects the jewelery and it communicates with the surroundings.

Today's jewelery artists have questioned and challenged the established conventions. The jewelery is not made of precious stones, gold and silver. Many artists are experimenting with inexpensive materials. Jewelry is thus something else than passive status symbols. They often carry significance and comment on current social issues.

Inger Wästberg is an art historian, has a masterexam on contemporary jewellery. She has in different positions worked with information and advocacy. She has been a member of Stockholm city council, vice chairman of Stockholm University, senior advisor to the minister of Social Affairs and director general for the Office of the Disability Ombudsman.

She is a member of The Global Leadership Council at The Museum of Arts and Design, New York and a member of the advisory board at Ädellab, University College of Arts, Craft and Design, Stockholm .

Inger Wästberg has also written books on disability legislation and on New York.

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Roberta Bernabei

LECTURE by Roberta Bernabei

Integrating traditional and high-tech goldsmithing techniques in wearables and jewellery that aid wellbeing.

The last decade has witnessed the increased integration of traditional goldsmith techniques and new digital technology in jewellery. This has been applied to the fitness market, but also in medical fields to help trigger memories and improve health.

In this presentation, the integration of traditional goldsmith techniques and the use of CAD CAM technologies in digital devises will be analysed through case studies that investigate the following issues. To what extent has low and high technology been utilized in the last decade to create functional wearables? To what extent can traditional and CAD CAM technologies be employed in unison to create jewellery that aids wellbeing?

Roberta Bernabei is a jewellery maker and historian whose work has been exhibited at various international venues, including Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Jewellery Museum Kofu, Japan and the Museums of Decorative Arts in Berlin and Turin. Bernabei's theoretical research into the history of contemporary jewellery has enabled the recent publication of her first book: Contemporary Jewellers: Interviews with European Artists in July 2011.

Since 2004, she works and lives in England, where she is a lecturer in Critical Historical Studies and Contemporary Jewellery Theory and Practice at Loughborough University, School of the Arts, English and Drama (UK) and she has instigated the first online peer reviewed academic journal called the Journal of Jewellery Research.

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Maria Cristina Bergesio

“This lecture wants to be a path inside the creative reality of the jewellery as artistic research to highlight its particular ontological status, between decoration and art.”

Lecturer: Maria Cristina Bergesio

Maria Cristina Bergesio is an art historian specializing in the history of modern and contemporary jewelry. From 2002 to 2008 she taught at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Florence. She now teaches contemporary jewelry at Le Arti Orafe Jewelry School in Florence.

Shruti Agrawal

Transforming the ordinary into the supernatural: Spirituality and Body adornments in India

India boasts of an unbroken heritage of jewellery design spanning at least 5000 years. It’s rich spiritual legacy is believed by many to have it’s origins beyond human history, a vibrant legacy that continues to pulsate in the daily life of its people till today

We embark on a fascinating journey to explore how earth and ash the very substances of the Earth to which all humanity returns; nature's most abundant materials like grass, flowers, seeds etc; become the very materials to create deeply symbolic spiritual body adornments for man and his beast. Transforming the ordinary being into the supernatural”

Lecturer: Shruti Agrawal

After several years of formal training and awards at her Fashion and Jewellery design schools, Shruti chose to pursue a career as a Jewellery designer. At the age of 23, in 2003 she set up this jewellery firm, dedicated to creating customized, one off fine jewellery pieces. She was soon joined by her sister Gunjan. Currently, they work out of Florence and Mumbai respectively, as Private Jewellers for a discerning clientele

Maria Laura La Mantia

The moon,the sky and the way up stars. A short digression about the use of celestial symbols through the item or gems in jewellery, between the 18th and the 20th century

“The title is inspired by the conclusive sentence of Dante Alighieri’s “Paradiso- Divina Commedia”.

In the collective consciousness the sky and the stars, the moon and the sun represented, in the past , the way to read the human destiny yet. People found natural to transform those elements in gods, or to believe that wearing the elements as ornaments could give them fortune and protection. Furthermore, the sun, the moon and the planets received their precious amulets. The jewels could use this language during the centuries, transforming every elements’ characteristic in small masterpieces. The lecture talks shortly about materials, symbols, styles, manufacturing through the images of small masterpieces.“

Maria Laura La Mantia, born in 1961 and graduate at the “Accademia di Moda e Costume” in Rome in 1986 with a dissertation about artistical ornaments in the Etruscan culture. She moved to Naples in 1987, and she started jewels projecting and then enameling for high jewellery. She was going on studying historical jewellery and in 2001 she started to teach “jewellery History” at the school in “Tarì” goldsmithing district until June 2016. Her professional experience counts many collaborations with goldsmithing companies and clocks as designer and with also collaboration as lecturer about art and goldsmithing. She is working on divulgation by web of jewellery culture and technique with a dedicated Facebook page “Lavorazione del metallo” (Metal manufacturing).

David Loepp

Experimental Replication of a Granulated Gold Bead from an Ancient Tomb in Oman

During recent excavations of a cairn monument in Oman dating back to the Umm-an-Nar culture that flourished between the III to II millennium BC, an unusual granulated bead came to light. The bead was constructed exclusively with granules, already rare in itself, all the more so for the period in question. As part of the archaeological project the author replicated the bead and presents the research.