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Noovo Editions

Noovo Editions is an independent editorial project with online and paper editions. First of its kind in Spain from an unique and contemporary perspective on the international panorama,
Noovo seeks not only to be an aesthetic arbiter but also a cultural mediator at the juncture between Fashion, Photography & Jewellery.
A platform to show the highest level of creativity from around the world

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Interviews -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

 
-----.INTERVIEW WITH HERMAN HERMSEN
 


"Since I started as a designer the main challenge and item in my work is looking for new technical solutions within a contemporary interpretation of traditional values and crafts in combination with expressive and innovative design".





Born in 1953 in Nijmegen, Netherlands, Herman Hermsen studied from 1974 to 1979 at the ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design in Arnhem and, following an assistant professorship, began his career in teaching. Until 1990, he taught product design at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), after which time he returned to Arnhem to teach at the Academy as an assistant professor. Since 1992, Hermsen has been professor of product and jewellery design at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, Germany. He gives guest lectures at universities and academies throughout Europe, the United States, and Japan. Since 1998, he has been organising specialised symposia and has served as a juror for various competitions. Moreover, Herman Hermsen has been internationally awarded several times for his work in product and jewellery design, which is shown worldwide in solo and group exhibitions and held in collections of renowned museums, among them the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York, the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, and the Museum of Arts and Crafts, Kyoto. Without any doubt, he is one of the most prominent values in the Contemporary Jewellery field.





  Please, Could you introduce yourself?
Herman Hermsen, 1953 Nijmegen The Netherlands
Study at Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem, Netherlands from 1974-1979
Since 1979 I am working as a independent designer of jewellery and products.


How did you get started?
I studied product design and was always interested in jewellery, but didn't pay it that much attention during my study. In jewellery I am more or less an authodidactic.


What is your work about?
Since I started as a designer the main challenge and item in my work is looking for new concepts and new technical solutions within a contemporary interpretation of traditional values and crafts in combination with expressive and innovative design.


Is there a specific reason why you chose jewellery art design?
My product design concentrated very much on designing lamps. Lamps I always see as the jewellery piece in the interior. Concept, function and aesthetics in a good balance.
The step to jewellery was a very logical and easy new way for me to express my ideas and substansive statement related to the body with interesting communicative possibilities.


Is there anything specific that you feel makes you different from others in your work?
My background as product designer and not been educated in traditional craft, gave me the freedom to devellope my jewellery as one-off art pieces as well as serial reproducible designs. I still work and have my network in both fields; art jewellery and jewellery design, but most of my collegues are specialised only in one of those fields. Currently there is still very poor exchange between these professional specialities.


What do you consider the most innovative piece of your designs so far?
I selected a range of photographs out of a periode of almost 35 years. Each picture shows a concept with a specific statement. It is difficult to say which of my pieces is the most innovative. You have to see each in its time. Some of the pieces you could call avant-garde maybe; some only humoristic and others more technical. My concepts can be extrovert but also introvert into the technical tradition/habits of the profession.


Can you tell us something about the design process?
I am more a dreamer and try to image new steps in concept and form. Sitting in my car in a traffic jam gives me always a lot of "fantastic" time to think and to make notes. In my workshop I make tests and models to experience if the idea is interesting enough for devellopment and in which direction it can have its potention. Mostly I work on several concepts at the same time.


Can you identify a stage (or stages) during the creative process you find the most gratifying? and the least gratifying?
The moment I discover the potention of an idea, see the chalenge and have concentration to bring it to its essence, is a very satisfying feeling. The discovery that my vision shows to become an error is, of course, very frustrating but eventhough an instructive experience.


Could you name people you admire and/or played a part in your development as an artist? Are there any movements that influenced you?
Of course I can become very enthousiastic about work of collegues, artists, designers, architects and musisians. I enjoy watching and listening. The details make the poetry. The world in general offers me a lot to work with. The 70s were very important for me and I am still relating/reflecting a lot of my decisions to social relevance. Not as a dogma, but as a challenge.


If you had to choose just one color and one type of material to make an important piece, what would they be?
Material and colour is a medium for me and not often a starting point.


In our Noovo books, our aim is to show only truly interesting and original work that is created with artistic integrity. We want to show alternatives to the quick-consumption culture and over-commercialization.
Do you have any thoughts about this? how does affect you? or is it just a fact of life?

It affects me a lot and I hope you can see it in my work . As an adept of the 70s I have my worries. In the discussions with my students we always reflect actual processes and trends in the professional field itself and in our society.


What role does you work play in your life?
Together with my wife and children its my life.


Can you tell us something about how you see the current state of your profession in general? Is it a good time or not? Are there things happening you find interesting or that you fear? Is there interesting work coming from other parts of the world?
Since the 70s or 80s all bounderies within the jewellery profession related to technics and materials are opened. In my opinion this freedom gives all the possibilty to make nice things, although this freedom can be a boundery itself and quite difficult to break out in new interesting innovative developments. I see many work which can be defined as "neo conventional" within all posibilties which can be explored. Of course it is very difficult for young artist and designers to earn their daily living with their own free work. This brings them often to decisions to be not that innovative, because they think that the public does not get along with it. Absolute interesting is that a lot of students travel arround the world and use the exchange programs of the different universities. More and more there is a very variated setting of students together which offers them an easy international and creative network.


What is vulgar to you? and what is elegant?
I don't like jewellery that is only based on material value and glamour with the claim of contemporary art. Unfortunately there is a lot camouflaged kitsch. which pretents to be an art piece.; also made by wellknown collegues. Elegant for me is when the piece shows poetry and some modesty (I don't mean small in size; it can really be expressive) .


What does beauty means for you?
Beauty for me is more than a nice form only. It has to communicate content and relation to a context. The context can be the society, but also the profession itself; the confrontation with dogmas and habits. This kind of beauty last long.










HERMAN HERMSEN
Weverstraat 114
NL 6862 DS Oosterbeek
mobile: +31 651617839

mail: hermanhermsen@planet.nl











Education
Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten Arnhem NL 1974-1979
Born: Nijmegen NL. 1953


Professional practice
Since 1979 independent designer of jewellery and serial products.
from 1985-1990 teacher for product design at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht NL. from 1990-1991 teacher for product- and jewellery design at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Arnhem NL.
Since 1991 professor for product- and jewellery design at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Guestteacher/speaker at different schools, institutes and symposiums in The Netherlands, Germany, England, Belgium, Japan and USA.
Jury member for several design contests in The Netherland, Germany, Finland, Japan Poland.
External examiner Sir John Cass College London GB, Karel de Grote Hogeschool in Antwerp B, MAD-Faculty in Hasselt B.
Organiser jewellery symposium Haldenhof in Germany 1988 and 1993
Organiser jewellery symposium Zimmerhof in Germany 2000 and 2009



Exhibitions
Several solo- and group exhibitions for jewellery in The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium,
Switserland, Spain, Italy, Great Brittain,Japan, USA, Finland, Poland, Irland, Portugal, Canada, France and Czech-Republic
Several solo- and group exhibitions for product design in The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, USA, Japan, Italy, and Great Brittain.



Jewellery or products in museum colletions
Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Rijksdienst Beeldende Kunst NL, Coda Museum Apeldoorn, Museum Booymans van Beuningen Rotterdam, Haags Gemeente Museum Den Haag, Museum Moderne Kunst ’s Hertogenbosch, ./Centraal Museum
Utrecht NL. Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim BRD./Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln BRD. Bauhaus Archiv Berlin BRD/Neue Sammlung Münich BRD.
Museum für Kunsthandwerk Hamburg BRD./Museum for Kunsthandverk Oslo N. Museum Trondheim N./Cleveland Contemporary Jewellery Collection GB. Victoria and Albert Museum London GB./Museum des Arts Decoratifs Montreal Canada. Cooper Hewitt Museum New York USA./ Museum Turnov. Cz./Angermuseum Erfurt BRD. Pinakotek der Moderne Münich Germany.



Prices and honarable mentions
Rotterdamse Designprijs 1993. honarable mentions for paperknife "Fontana" Red Dot Design Award 1998 Design Zentrum NRW Essen, Price for high design quality "Meander rings" by Niessing. D. Red Dot Design Award 2001 Design Zentrum NRW, „best of the best“ for floorlamp „Charis“ by Classicon Münich D. IF Design Award 2002 for floorlamp "Charis“ by Classicon Münich D.



Contests:
1993 Rotterdam Designprice, honourable mention for the letteropener „Fontana“ produced by Designum NL
1998 Design Innovations, Design Centre NRW Germany, award for „High Design Quality“ of the ringdesigns „Mäander“ produced by Niessing BRD.
2001 Reddot Design Award, Design Centre NRW, „reddot: best of the best“ for the floorlamp Charis produced by ClassiCon Munich BRD.
2002 IF designaward 2002 for floorlamp Charis by ClassiCon



Designs in productions:
Artimeta (1), Designum (8), Indoor (2), Auping (1), Niessing (1), ClassiCon (1)



Own productions:
Limited editions of business gifts for KPN Telecom, Post and others.
Different designs of lamps, furniture, vitrines, dishes and gif-aways in limited editions.
All jewellery designs, in limited editions or unique pieces

Herman Hermsen

Glass ring 1986/87 ( stone with drilled hole to fix the T shape construction to wear between two fingers. Stone is important part of the construction; no stone = no ring )
Photo: Thanh-Khoa Tran

Rockcrystal ring 1989 ( stone is ring )
Photo: Thanh-Khoa Tran

Halo for a securalised Madonna. 1989 ( glass stones vaccuum formed into PVC, all stones setted at once )
Photo: Thanh-Khoa Tran

Sawcuts 1991 ( sawcuts in silver dictate the shape)
Photo: Thanh-Khoa Tran

Meander rings 1995 ( CNC spinned lines in a gold ring. 2 loose parts which cannot be   separated but have sace to play. Wedding ring)
Photo: Herman Hermsen

Upon Reflection ring 2002 ( 2 ½ cut brilliant shaped stones reflected in high polished white gold makes an extra rich feeling )
Photo: Gallery Deux Poissons

Brooche Associative Wood 2009 ( pine wood ith zirkonia)
Photo: Herman Hermsen

"Oh my God"  november 2011 ( Stainless Steel pendant with laser engraved Christ, who has enough seen in the world to worry about)
Photo: Herman Hermsen

Brooche "The nipple" 2009 ( associative photo with pearls)
Brooche Associative wood 2009 ( pine with zirkonia ) Photos: Herman Hermsen

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