By James Guthrie

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How to Create an Art Nouveau Inspired Piece of Jewellery

Art Nouveau was a reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers.

Art Nouveau is a style of design that was most popular between 1890 and 1910. Art Nouveau is reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers.

The Art Nouveau period brought a notable stylistic revolution to the jewellery industry, led largely by the major firms in Paris. For the previous two centuries, the emphasis in fine jewellery had been creating dramatic settings for diamonds. During the reign of Art Nouveau, diamonds usually played a supporting role.

When it comes to Art Nouveau Jewellery the most incredible designer was the artist René Lalique – we explore some of his designs below.

 

A Cabochon Gemstone Brooch by Rene Lalique

 

Pendant by Rene Lalique – themes of nature where very apparent in his work.

 

Philippe Wolfers, Rene Lalique’s contemporary was another name we could not go past when it comes to Art Nouveau. Philippe Wolfers was a Belgian silversmith and jeweller, and even though his self owned jewellery house was a much smaller operation than Rene Lalique’s he created some equally stunning pieces.

Although a fleeting era of style, Art Nouveau continues to inspire artists within the jewellery industry today where we see floral wreaths.

 

About the Author

Being a third generation member of the New Zealand jewellery industry James' has grown up around diamonds and other gemstones, and the craft of fabricating fine jewellery.

James is a Director at Guthrie's Jewellers and is the lead designer.

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