Christel van der Laan
Sound of Then IV

Was there a significant moment when you decided to follow your path as a jewellery maker?

Yes, there was a very significant moment. I came across a book on contemporary jewellery in the public library one day and I knew in that moment that I wanted to become a maker. What kind of maker? That took a little longer to discover!


Can you tell us the process of making your pieces? What is the first thing you do?

I spend a lot of time thinking and exploring directly with materials. I find this so exciting. There also much to consider: the composition, form, colour, contrast, scale and ultimately resolving how the piece will be made. This takes a lot longer than the actual making. Often I have pieces sitting for a while on my bench because there something that I am not completely happy with.

Sound of Then IV
Sound of Then IV - recycled plastic, ceramic honeycomb, mother of pearl, oxidised silver, vintage glass, antique cut steel, plywood, 85x85x15 mm

Who’s your main inspiration for your work?

There is not one person, there are so many but I should mention that I love the works and also the words of Ramon Puig Cuyas: “I intend that one´s eyes can wander and travel along a subtle network of visual itineraries, exploring and discovering harmony and contrast in relationships between the different parts of the object, needing some time in order that the eyes can reach every nook of the composition.”
I would be very happy if my jewellery is able to take the viewer and wearer on such a journey.


What does jewellery represent for you?

There are so many ways to answer this question. Above all, for me a jewel is a unique and intimate object, a treasure. It should be beautiful, considered and have a touch of the unexpected.


How important is it to you that your pieces be worn?

When I began to make contemporary jewellery, the pleasure of contemplating ideas was more important than functionality, but over time I have come to realise that jewellery should be wearable. I am forever trying to find ways to make larger pieces that are light enough to wear. This is never-ending challenge as the ceramic material I work with is heavy.



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Photo credits
(Portraits and Gallery space)