The Wearable Fine Art

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Have you seen this head-turning piece of jewellery before?

Reveal secrets behind the Viennese enamel atelier

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 9:38am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 9:38am

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For more than 60 years, FREYWILLE has been setting new standards in jewellery design and enamelling processes. As a global leading jeweller of artistic enamel, it has paid homage to the most important artists of the 20th century such as Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt, Hundertwasser and Alphonse Mucha, attracting thousands of collectors who breathlessly awaited each creation and line. 

Over the decades, FREYWILLE’s designers have endeavoured to refine the intricate production process, making each piece of jewellery a precious work of art. “All of the manufacturing takes place in Vienna with an emphasis on quality and attention to detail. Although the process of designing and developing the final product may take several years of research and design, FREYWILLE is proud to offer numerous collections,” according to FREYWILLE’s CEO, Dr. Friedrich Wille.

Wearable Fine Art

Art is a precious part of FREYWILLE’s heritage. FREYWILLE designs often pay homage to renowned artists and ancient cultures. They are deeply symbolic and capture original elements of their inspiration.

Apart from the sought-after Hommage à Claude Monet collection, the collection Hommage à Gustav Klimt has remained a mainstay and become one of the company’s most treasured since it was first launched in 1998. “This is not only a tribute to the exceptional Austrian-born artist, but also to Vienna and its role in Art Nouveau.” says Dr. Wille.

FREYWILLE never merely duplicates great art, but rather brings a fusion between artistic verve and authentic, contemporary outlook. “We ensure our designs don’t simply copy, but actually interpret significant elements and bring them to a completely new life that honours this group of exceptional artists.” Dr. Wille says

Each new collection is preceded by continuous inspiration and original research in art history – each detail is the result of passionate design and careful analysis. “For instance, in the Hommage à Hundertwasser collection, every new design is created in cooperative work with the artist’s foundation. This is great as it gives us the immense opportunity to receive unpublished information about the artist and to examine the original artwork for our research. Every new design is approved by the foundation”, Dr. Wille added.

The spirit of craftsmanship

The journey from a glimmer of an idea to a new FREYWILLE collection is lengthy —taking 2-3 years. All of the company’s artists are given time not only for contemplation and research, but also for the exchange of thoughts and philosophies with other artists.

The production of FREYWILLE’s jewellery is no less complex than the detailed ornamentation within its designs. Every creation requires a minimum of 80-100 procedural steps, most of them manually executed, taking at least 5 days to complete an enamel piece.

It all begins with liquid glass. Enamel is melted glass with mineral additives. The pulverised glass and the mineral additives are ground in water by porcelain ball mills until an enamel “paste” is created.

Several layers of enamel paste are applied by hand and burned in a kiln at high temperatures above 800°C. Each layer is made by a different mixture of substances. In total the grounding, applying and firing requires a minimum of 100 steps and many of them are manually executed with high-precision control.

Each dazzling colour and 24kt gold powder is sequentially applied by hand and fused using a special procedure. The luminescent colours are created by mixing metal oxides augmented with quartz sand. Each colour has its own precise recipe, and each recipe is a well-guarded company secret.

The enamel plate is hand-mounted into a gold- or rhodium-plated setting and is finally ready to be worn by a patron of “Passionate Art.”

Ongoing Journey

This year, FREYWILLE has launched a new design, “Imperial”, to continue the world famous Hommage à Hundertwasser collection. The new design was inspired by the painting “Irina über dem Balkanland” and the overall philosophy of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

The designs emphasise the colouring and strong symbolism of Hundertwasser’s work, combined with signature Hundertwasser elements such as houses, water and fields with a golden background and energetic colours to produce designs symbolising freedom, adventure and light-heartedness.



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