Q & A with Hendrike Barz-Meltzer
Location: St Albans, Hertfordshire
Please describe your creative process/practice:
I usually design one main collection per year and the design process is an integral part of my work. My designs often start with visits to museums or close observation of my surroundings. I sometimes take photos of these to serve as mental aides which then feed into my drawings, model-making, and test pieces, culminating in finished pieces of jewellery.
To avoid over-production I keep the production small and my pieces are often limited edition or one-off pieces. I sell my work through carefully selected galleries, an online shop and in-person at fairs.
I believe passionately in the value and appeal of the hand-made as well as in life-long learning. I am a keen believer in teaching crafts and have been teaching jewellery making classes for over five years.
BA (Hons) Jewellery Design, Central St Martins, 1994-1997
MA Modern History, Birkbeck College (UCL), 1998-2000
MA Human Rights, Institute of Commonwealth Studies (UCL), 2000-2002
1996 – First Prize in the Goldsmith’ Craft Council Craftsmanship & Design Awards, Junior Section, London
1996 – Winner of Goldsmith’ Craft Council Bursary Award, London
1997 – Encouragement Prize of 1997 JNWS International Jewellery Design Competition, Japan
Your influences and motivations:
I create jewellery which has a clear, understated and elegant aesthetic. I am fascinated by patterns, which may occur in other art forms or in nature. These find expression in my pieces through the application of gold patterns on silver backgrounds.
These patterns are applied in different techniques, such as the ancient Japanese technique of Keum-Boo or metal overlay and I like to challenge myself in learning new techniques to visualise my ideas.
Your sustainability / environmental credentials:
Environmental sustainability and an ethical working practice are paramount considerations in her practice and constitute an on-going process of reflection and improvement. These principles guide her selection of materials, chemicals and working practices.
I detail my efforts in this respect on my website, through my blog and in my section Vision, Values, Mission on my website. I was recently approached by GroundJewels Gallery in King’s Lynn, Norfolk – a gallery dedicated to jewellery which is environmentally sustainable – to exhibit my work.
Hendrike Barz-Meltzer, Silver 18ct Gold Earrings, 27x13mm, £460.
Hendrike Barz-Meltzer, Silver 18ct Gold Oval Link Necklace, Jewellery, 42cm long, £755.