Friday, May 14, 2010

KAREN KONZUK

We take a trip to Canada today visiting Halifax Nova Scotia and its longstanding landmark the Old Town Clock. Built by British clockmakers House of Vuilliamy in 1803, for two centuries the chronometer continues to provide a timekeeping source to the residents of Halifax. Canada is also the home of featured jewelry designer Karen Konzuk.


A material commonly used to erect building structures like the pinnacle of the Chrysler Building, appliances, hardware and surgical instruments, stainless steel has also found it way into the hands of jewelry designers.

A notoriously difficult substance to manipulate in jewelry making, designers like Roland Baldaulf of the Austria-based company Humphrey®, however, readily implements stainless steel into sleek, contemporary outlines.

Konzuk, who has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in jewelry design, preferred the inherent challenge of using the complex alloy as opposed to more traditional fare.

She sets out to create pieces that reflect strong influences of "industrial design and architecture" making clean lines, sharp angles and flowing curves central to the aesthetic.

Unlike Roland Baldaulf, who incorporates sapphires and diamonds into his collections, Konzuk uses very little to no gemstones keeping the canvas of stainless steel central.

She opts instead for photo engraving, carbon and powder coatings, and laser cutting to provide unique accents without overshadowing the clean structures.

Konzuk's attention to the man-made world such as architectural forms, and contemporary art gave form and life to her Set, and Embellished Collections. In other cases, however, the nuanced occurrences of a misplaced wedding band, or the glowing light from a film projector triggered her Eclipse, and Powered Coat Collections.

In these respective collections, she combines vivid colored powered enamel beneath stainless steel overlays, or photo engraves a vintage wallpaper pattern on a stainless steel sheet to fashion cuff bracelets, rings, and pendant necklaces.

Even though her design aesthetic is highly restrained and streamlined, Konzuk's concept of using materials associated with architecture, including the powder coatings she incorporates, really takes stainless steel jewelry to a new level of innovation.

Her modern and contemporary wares are sold worldwide in North America, China, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and Japan. She also designed the alumni ring for her alma mater, Nova Scotia College of Art.
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Photo 1 (top right): Stainless Steel and Diamond Stem Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Stainless Steel Cuff with Photo Engraved Surface Pattern

1 comment:

Erika said...

I am a follower of your blog and a jewelry designer myself. Karen Konzuk is a minimalist designer known all over the world. When she started working with new technologies and stainless steel, it became a fashion trend and everyone else followed. She is a big inspiration for jewelers who are yet starting.

In Canada, the Montreal jewelry stores are well known for introducing artistic and appealing jewelries and accessories. The country is really a home to gifted designers of jewelry. As a designer and consumer alike, I call on my fellow Montreal residents to promote the industry by patronizing (Montreal) jewelry stores.

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