Figure 1. Mieke Groot. Untitled
Photo: Ron Zijlstra


Dirk Schrijvers

Since the early history, glass has been incorporated in the design of jewelry. In Ancient Egypt, colored glass along with precious gems was used in conjunction with gold; in Mesopotamia, glass was used in amulets, ankle bracelets, and heavy multi-strand necklaces. Also in Roman and Merovingian culture, in the Middle ages and later periods, glass was used to mimic precious stones and as pearls.
In the midst 1900, glass was used in jewelry by fashion designers such as Coco Chanel, to replace precious stones and make jewelry affordable for a broad public. Since then, glass is a much-used material in rings, broaches and necklaces for mass production. 

Posted 27 October 2014

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Glass jewelry by glass artists working in the Netherlands
Since the studio glass movement, glass has become a material for artists to express themselves. Some of these artists have been using the material to create wearable jewelry, which reflects the spirit of their work.

Mieke Groot

Mieke Groot (°1949) studied from 1969 until 1974 at the Jewelry Department and from 1974 until 1976 at the Glass Department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The majority of her professional life, she worked on vessels to explore the possibilities of email applications, which constitutes the most important part of her work. From the 2000’s, she started also to produce jewels. First they were completely made out of glass (Figure 1), with or without the addition of email. Later on, she combined glass elements with semi-precious stones and tin beads, which she designs and are made in Senegal by craftsman Moussa Thiam (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Mieke Groot. Untitled
Photo: Ron Zijlstra

Simsa Cho

Figure 3. Simsa Cho. Akadama

Simsa Cho (°1962) works around 2 major themes: Japanese mythology and Shoe realism. Next to this work, he creates regularly glass jewelry that is based on these themes and is sometimes used in his performances. He considers glass as a resonant material, which can influence mental status. In his jewelry, he explores the interaction of this resonance and its healing and supporting qualities for the human body: crowns that guide a person wearing it into the energy of its symbol; healing babies, necklaces with the image of a small child that bring closeness; and mebae (wakening), made of polarilized glass (Figure 4) which can be put on the skin (Figure 5). 

Figure 4. Simsa Cho. Aodama

Figure 5. Simsa Cho. Mebae


Barbara Nanning

Barbara Nanning (°1957)’s oeuvre consists of ceramic and glass object referring to the cosmos and nature. She also makes small series of jewelry from glass beats (Figure 6). She also designed a jewelry collection via a jewelry platform “Jewelry & Sparkles” that puts designers and artists together with jewelry craftspeople. The pieces are customized with different precious gems depending on the clients’ desires (Figure 7). 

Figure 6. Barbara Nanning. Untitled

Figure 7. Barbara Nanning. Galaxy S


Sabine Lintzen

Figure 8. Sabine Lintzen. Beats

Sabine Lintzen (°1956) glass jewelry is based on her free work, which consists of transparent glass containers with addition of murrini and millefiori applications. She got inspired by the glass antenna’s on buildings and radio receivers and sees the glass as a source of energy. Her jewelry consists of beats with different names as Banda or Banda luce, both with different colors and shapes, which makes different combinations possible (Figure 8; Figure 9). 

Figure 9. Sabine Lintzen. Untitled


Although the creation of jewelry is only a small part of the work of these glass artists, they succeed to translate their thoughts and inspiration into small wearable objects that are affordable for many to be enjoyed.

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