I don’t normally write about other jewelry designers, but I have to make an exception for one of the greats — the famed Swiss jeweler Otto Künzli. I can’t stop thinking about a well-known bracelet he made in 1980. It’s apparently at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, though not on display, so the closest I’ve gotten to it is a page in this book about 21st-century jewelry. (I don’t know how a 1980 piece sneaked into this book, but whatever!) I bought the book just for that page.
The bracelet, called “Gold Makes You Blind,” appeals to my aesthetics, sense of humor and love of mischief. It’s made of two of my favorite materials: black matte rubber and 18K gold. The rubber totally covers a small gold sphere. You have to have “blind” faith that the gold is really there.
My own jewelry line is full of hidden gems, secret functionality and historical symbolism. I get a thrill from offering more than immediately meets the eye. In my opinion, that’s a quality that takes jewelry from personal decoration to what Künzli calls “a form of educative art, like painting, sculpture, etc.” I hope I get to try on “Gold Makes You Blind” some day. You know how people have a celebrity “freebie 5 list“? Künzli’s bracelet and the Anne Boleyn locket ring belonging to Elizabeth I are definitely on my jewelry freebie 5. I’ve also got my eye on some of King Tutankhamun’s stuff. Hey, a girl can dream!
Wow, I loove that rubber around the gold. That is true art. It’s not an object; it’s a state of mind.
I figured you’d vibe with this one!
sulky kitten says
So, you like a little rubber? I love the Elizabeth locket ring, it’s beautiful.
You’re a naughty little kitten.
Susan Partlan says
It is a mischievous design. As a younger person, I would have been tempted to split the rubber and take a peek, kind of like the time I smashed the mad money charm on my silver charm bracelet (a gift from my grandmother) to take out the money, a $2 silver certificate. Being the idiot I was at the time, I spent it on a pack of cigarettes.
You know, Susan, I’m glad you did that just because it’s such a funny story.
In my opinion you are and will be one of the greats. Who else has hidden moving pieces in their designs, Queen themed jewelry not to mention quality quality quality. As for the “Gold makes you Blind” bracelet I’m not sure what to think of it.
Aw, thank you for such kind words. I feel all warm and fuzzy.
And yesterday, while I was writing this post, I was considering how some of my favorite things — in fashion and art, especially — are the ones that I don’t know what to think of at first. If I’m thinking, “Is this weird? Do I like it? Do I hate it?” I often end up loving it. There’s something appealing about a style that stirs up unusual emotions!
Be Inspired! says
Your line is the best!
One of my favorite modern pieces! Great to see you cover it. Have you seen the rings made of neoprene with pearls in them, worn against the finger out of sight? Love them.
Amber of Butane Anvil says
Deliciously smart secrets! The unseen matters – but when, to whom, and how much? So great.
Isn’t it romantic?
This bracelet is right up my alley. And I am a fan of hidden details — as Geoffrey Beene once said, “Clothes should be as interesting on the inside as on the outside. Even if you enjoy it totally alone, it’s important.”