It’s baroque in its complexity but lifelike in the way it rests on a surface, its precious gemstone seeds begging to be plucked. The Pomegranate earrings are large, slender slices of gilded bronze, set with a constellation of garnet seeds with no metal behind them to appear like translucent drops of pink candy when lit from behind.
Harumi collaborates with Goossens
People tend to assume that jewellery designer Harumi Klossowska de Rola started off as a sculptor, but then moved to jewellery. The truth is that it was the other way around.
“The craftspeople who were making my designs were getting fed up with me asking them to make certain things,” she explained at the launch of her new collection of decorative pieces for Goossens, the heritage goldsmiths whose work with bronze, gilt and rock crystal is unparalleled.
“So, I wanted to learn how to sculpt myself, so I could better understand how the creation of the jewels worked.” For what is jewellery if not the smallest, most wearable form of sculpture?
The collection Klossowska de Rola has created with Goossens is a mix of decorative objects for the table and the body – ranging from exquisitely tactile boxes to metal branches to lay on a festive table to earrings that transform in the light.
The collection is succinct – just 12 pieces – but is divided into three themes; the pomegranate, representing resurrection and fertility, the fig, symbolic of generosity, and mistletoe, evocative of immortality and prosperity – and yuletide kissing.
What’s most intriguing about the collection is that the jewellery pieces are as sculptural as the decorative objects, and the decorative objects are jewel-like in their appearance. Take the pomegranate branch – a generously proportioned aged bronze branch with a gold-plated pomegranate half, inlaid with garnet seeds, and leaves punctuated with green crystals.
A dish of in the shape of fig leaves in aged bronze reveals a little caterpillar folded over its edge, set entirely with crystals, while a bracelet of mistletoe – its berries in polished rock crystal, its branch and leaves in 24-carat gold plated bronze – coils around the wrist like an oversized cuff.
The standout piece of the collection, however, was the pomegranate box – a whole bronze pomegranate with a lid that lifts off to reveal a second lid sporting a clutch of garnet seeds in 24-carat gold-plated bronze ‘pith’ – these seeds carved to mimic the elongated drops of a real pomegranate’s edible parts.
This second lid reveals the interior of the box in which to store treasures, although the box itself would be treasure enough for most people.