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About the Artist
"... Many designs of the artist Vanessa Linden are modelled on nature and represent forms, which the sea and sand could have lent them. The technique with which she operates is called "reticulation", which means as much as the fusion of metals.
In the meantime Vanessa turned her creations to a new topic, the epoch of the Middle Ages. Her new jewellery refers to a period beginning with King Arthur and his knights up to the period of Queen Victoria. In some pieces of her new collection Vanessa Linden incorporates also antique buttons from the 19th century, which she acquired from London antique markets... " Munich Merkur, 7/23/98
Making bold statements
"It takes a certain kind of person to be a jewellery designer. Because of the solitary nature of the work, you have to enjoy your own company. A large dose of patience and substantial powers of concentration are also prerequisites - these qualities coupled with flair, self confidence and originality belong to Vanessa Linden.
The daughter of a German jeweller and Jersey mother, 29-year-old Vanessa Linden designs and makes original designer jewellery - the likes of which people who would like to make a statement search for in vain among the plethora of generally conservative jewellers in King Street. ...
More then mere accessories to clothes, her pieces of jewellery should be worn for what they are - works of art. "I like bold jewellery. If it is so small and you can't see it, there is no point in wearing it," she said. As well as crafting necklaces, she makes cuff links, rings for men and women, bracelets, shoulder pieces, all of which are made by melting the silver without casts.
The process begins with selecting a sheet of metal, cutting out the shape, filing it into shape, then fusing parts together with either a small or a more powerful blow torch, a technique called reticulation which creates a dimpled surface - an effect the designer likes because it reminds her of the muddy textured floor of a forest after rainfall. Indeed, much of her inspiration comes from nature - by happy coincidence, her workshop looks out onto briar-bordered paddocks containing recently weaned heifers learning how to graze. There is a penchant in Mrs Lindens work for pointed triangular shapes and clean forms. An ambitious craftswoman, Mrs Linden has set her sights not only within the confines of Jersey, but hopes to exhibit in Europe and London galleries...
Mrs Linden distinguishes between a jewellery designer (which she is) and a silversmith (which she isnt) A silversmith, she explains, works with large objects. Ms Linden enjoys working with various metals: "At the moment I am trying to get away from working with silver, but it is a matter of money," she said in her clipped accent. She does not like 9-carat gold because "it hardly contains any gold" and says that you can usually identify the carat by the colour - the deeper and richer the colour, the higher the quality. "I prefer working with 18-carat gold because it is fairly soft and it becomes very soft when you heat it up. If you saw through it, it's like going through butter. And it hardens as you work so it is satisfyingly hard by the end." She recently bought coloured diamonds from Antwerp, the Mecca of diamond cutting - including a rare pink specimen which is just crying out for a very special setting...
One particular silver necklace was inspired by a visit to a children's playground - although to look at it you would be hard pressed to make the connection. Ms Linden explained: "There was a strange swing with two tyre seats suspended at either end and the whole thing rotated. I used the hinge idea to design this necklace, totally changing it in the process. On the other hand, sometimes nothing comes out of an initial idea and you throw it in the bin and think, what a waste of time. Then it is a case of back to the drawing board ..."