A Talk with Zita Jansen, Goldsmith, The Netherlands

January 26, 2010 | No Comments

“My way of working is like a rippling stream”.

Zita Jansen (1969) went to the craftsmen school “Vakschool Schoonhoven” by the age of 17. After graduating from goldsmithing she studied at the Academy of Art in Utrecht, training: 3D Design. One year later she got the opportunity to start a jewellery& goldsmith workshop with a friend and enjoyed that for 14 years. Since 3 years she has her own goldsmith workshop, so that the possibility was created to fully concentrate on her own designed pieces of jewellery.
The start for it was great; winning the national contest, by the Dutch Federation of Gold & Silver, for designing a piece of jewellery made of maximum 8 grams of silver. She created a necklace, made of leather and silver leaves. This necklace became the “give-a-way present” in every jewellery shop of the Netherlands! (For clients spending at least €125) From there onwards her own creations, designed with an incredible sensitive feeling for small details of nature, developed to become true little treasures. You can find her pieces of jewellery, that all carry a fantasy name, in galleries all-over The Netherlands and even abroad.

Zita Jansen, Dazzeld SwooZita Jansen, Hemel in tegenlicht, MariaZita Jansen, tulipán negro

Zita Jansen, Muonjang

Asking her “How does your work-process look like?” She answered: Hmmmm, that’s difficult to say. I’m always having ideas, I just start! I work very impulsively, no drawings or scrawls. Often I’ll start, I think, with a gemstone. I love gemstones, enamellings, colours, so mainly I use them in combination with a precious metal. Most of the times I work-out more pieces of jewellery at the same time, because I can’t choose which detail I would like to add and then I just want to do them all! It feels like a very natural process; like a rippling stream where new parts join the piece while floating and I know just when to go off. Directly followed by “The latest piece is always the one I like the most off all things I ever made…and I have to wear it!”

Because I know your collection quite well I would like to describe your style as “subtle, natural, detailed, designed for daily wear, feminine and modern”. Do you agree with that”?
Yes, although I always find it hard to describe my style. I’m inspired by nature and I love colours. For inspiration I use my daily surroundings, the garden, the woods, the prairie and even ideas that come along on holidays. It’s also important to me that a jewel is wearable, so my collection is always consisting of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings -studs, chain pendants, brooches etc. Besides my own collection I also make jewellery on demand for clients, but even then I need a lot of freedom of my own style.

What will become the challenges of this New Year?
I started to make some bigger silver things. It started with a demand of a client “to make something for his coming granddaughter who would be named Lillian, of Lily”. Such a sweet question, that I could only think of the beautiful Lily-of-the-valley. Somehow I got the idea of a silver cover (matching fork & spoon) with handles designed in the form of this charming flower. Off-course I work together with a Silversmith, because handling cutlery asks for special craftsmanship. Therefore I made this time precise drawings.
Another thing I am very busy with at the moment is making boxes for my jewels! So every piece gets its own personal box to keep it safe while not wearing it. There’s also an idea of working with glass and there are several exhibitions & events planned for this year, so never a dull moment!

List of upcoming exhibitions & events 2010:
30 January until 28 March 2010
Exposition in Gallery lÁrcu, Rockanje, The Netherlands

25 April 2010
Exposition in Tassenmuseum Hendrikje, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

4th until 7th November 2010
Sieraad! Art Fair, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I can tell you guys the cover Zita is talking about is so beautiful, although it’s not even finished. I will put a picture of it on my blog by the time it’s finished if Zita invites us to take a look at it.
Have a lot of pleasure at the Internet web-site of Zita Jansen, although it’s not in English. Enjoy it, her style is lovely…I enjoy it daily!

My last question: Do you have recommendations for the reader where to go looking for beautiful jewellery & inspiring jewellery books?
Yes, off-course! Let’s start by The Gulbékian Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. This museum contains the most beautiful collection of Rene Lalique jewels I have ever seen. His designs are so inspiring! His eye for detail mixed with his sensitive feeling for nature, fantasy, technically constructed in a great way. It’s impressive, it truly is!
Another great museum is The Salvador Dalí Museum in Fugueras, Spain, which contains of unique beautiful pieces of jewellery.

The book advice comes from Zita’s own library & is a true beauty!Tiffany flora fauna

“Tiffany Flora & Fauna”, By John Loring ISBN 0-8109-4573-8:  €55.

This article is published by the courtesy of Zita Jansen.


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Margriet Sopers

Margriet Sopers, FGA

Having a diploma in jewellery, FGA and a propaedeutic of the Academy of Art followed-up by interesting years as a jewellery expert at Sotheby's & Gemeentelijke Krediet Bank, as well as being a member for years of the Society of Jewellery Historians, I am glad to share with you today's world of jewellery.

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