“A Talk with Ted Noten”, Dutch Jewellery designer

May 21, 2010 | No Comments

“It’s not only about creating something beautiful, it has to tricker as well”

Well, where shall I start…there’s so much to tell! My goodness what an impressive, talented, highly professional, active & funny atelier!

Just back from his exhibition at SODA, Istanbul, and already finished his latest exhibition in Gent & meanwhile finishing the boxes of the “Be nice to a girl, buy her a ring jewels” for the Amsterdam Historisch Museum exhibition. At the same time there’s in the other room of the studio a huge table totally filled with new projects…True wanna have’s, on their way! Amongst others a limited edition for PARC to celebrate their 20th anniversary at Art Amsterdam; The ultimate symbol of love and seduction…the apple! Crowned with an 18ct golden stalk-brooch. Next to a fruit bowl in the shape of a flock of spermatozoids, swimming in a circle with an Yves Klein-blue apple in the middle with a black diamond on top  of  the gold stalk-brooch…a romantic tableau in 3D printing technique!

Let’s up-date you:
In 2008 the city of Amsterdam started a project to change the destination of a part of the red light district in the old city centre. The idea was to create an area for craftsmen, art and designers. So Ted was offered a whole building for free for one year! Off-course his reaction was ” How can I refuse?”. He created a showroom, a studio & guest-rooms for national and international jewellery design students in it. Next to this he started a project to add something for the neighbourhood prostitutes. This became the so-called “Be nice to a girl, buy her a ring-project”. The idea behind it was “Let’s create an opportunity for the clients of the prostitutes to be nice to them, instead of only using them”. Therefore he created, like a slot machine for snacks, a slot machine filled with red rings where you could buy for only €2.50 a real red Ted Noten ring…for her! Hoping that the clients and prostitutes would become aware and more respected.
Please take a look at the whole slide-show to view the opening of the “Be nice to a girl, buy her a ring-project”. Right now the project in the Red light district is finished.
The  Amsterdams Historisch Museum, which has on display right now the exhibition of “Hoerengracht” (translated “The Whores Canal”) until 29 august 2010, installed the slot machine of Ted next to the installation of  Edward and Nancy Kienholz.
The red rings of the “Be nice to a girl, buy her a ring” collection can now be bought, cased & numbered in a limited edition, as true art objects for €295 each. That’s exactly the difference between real daily life and Art!

In 2009 the “Ted meets Joost Lyppens” project started, where Ted created a collection for the famous Amsterdam Lyppens Jeweller. This collection, containing diamonds moulded in Ted’s transparent acrylics, became a renewing vision to classic jewellery and this process is still being developed. Basically this was the start of a new idea, which Ted is still building on.
Lately Ted had an exhibition in “Villa de Bondt”, in Gent (Belgium), where Gert Staal (Co-writer of the book) gave a lecture looking for owners of safe deposits who’d like Ted to set about it! So that a new design jewel can be created. Are you interested? Surprise him…
Straight away I asked Ted if he is planning to sign those items in a special way, like Cartier did in earlier times when the client added own stones when a jewel on demand was created. He was surprised. Saying “Add this information to your article! I didn’t know it, it’s impressive & I have to think about it”. -So, by this Ted especially for you!-

Tired of creating always new themes Ted started, impressed and inspired by a card of Japanese artist Hokusai Katsushika (1760-1849), his “Haunted by 36 women”-project. Ted, who’s always impressed by women, found 450 archetypes of women in the Dutch dictionary and from all these archetypes he chose 36 of them to create them. Like Hokusai who created 36 drawings from the mountain he loved.
So far Ted has created “The Muse”, “The Career Woman”, “The Iron Lady”, “La Femme Fatale”, “The battle-axe/Virago”, “The Macha”, “Avondvlinder” (translated “The Evening butterfly”, another expression for prostitute) and don’t forget “The Ice-cream girl”! In this project his way of working is very unique; first making a life-size sculpture which is going to be transformed into a “ring-size” 3D-printed technique object, made out of different materials like plastics, steel or gold. If you like to view some of them click here.
There’s so much more to tell about Ted Noten and to see the work he made, so please visit the web-site of  Ted Noten. Please, also take a look at the jury report the committee wrote when electing Ted for The Françoise van Den Bosch-prize in 2008, which is an “oeuvre stimulating prize”. And in case that’s still not enough; Read his own book “CH2=C(CH3)C(=O)OCH3 and other TN’s+other subjects”, ISBN 978-906450553, which is partly written in English, though it’s still only available as a collector’s item meantime.  Off-course this is also his book recommendation.
Ted’s museum tip-off; The Kremlin Armory Museum in Moscow & Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (Germany).

…Perhaps I’d better could have been started this article by saying;  “Thank you all  from the Ted Noten Atelier for that glimpse behind scenes & the “Evening Butterfly ring” Ted! Cathelijne, Marcel & Phillip thanks for everything. I enjoyed it a lot!

This article is published by the courtesy of Ted Noten.


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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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