Today we find ourselves captivated by the beauty of South African vineyards located north of Cape Town. We stop in Stellenbosch, one of the country's oldest villages, to visit the Village Museum as well as sample some wine and great food. South Africa is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer, Michael Berger.
The term kinetic, as defined in the study of physics, is dynamic energy created through the forced movement of objects. Mechanics is an important element of Berger's innovative designs, an aspect that adds a "fourth dimension."
In 1987, Berger relocated to Münster, Germany to begin an apprenticeship as a goldsmith. Five years later, he accepted a position in Düsseldorf, Germany as Workshop Supervisor for renowned goldsmith Friedrich Becker who became Berger's mentor and invented what is known as kinetic jewelry; jewelry with moving parts. By 1999, Berger, now a master goldsmith, established his own company, Michael Berger Goldsmith, in Düsseldorf.
Highly influenced by his mentor, Berger actively explored creating wearable kinetic forms. Implementing stainless steel, and 18-karat white and yellow gold, Berger specializes in sculptural, modern ring designs with clean, sleek lines.
The hidden surprise lies within the structure of imperceptible bearings located at the top section of the rings. When the wearer moves his or her hand, the bearings engage causing the top section to move. "There is certainly a playfulness involved in designing kinetic jewelry," he says.
Berger also designs "static" rings without moving parts incorporating beautiful gemstones like citrine, peridot, tourmaline, pearls, and diamonds. Both his static and kinetic creations are designed to stand upright on a flat surface.
In 2004, Berger received the North-Rhine Westphalia's jewelry prize, and one year later received the Bochum Design Prize. In 2007 and 2008, Berger's jewelry for men was honored with the Tahitian Pearl Trophy.
Click here to see a display of one of Berger's kinetic rings in action!
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Yellow and White Gold Kinetic Ring
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Yellow Gold Ring with Tahitian and Akoya Pearls from the Static Jewelry Collection