Meesterlijk, 2011

fair for design and applied arts, Amsterdam

Pauline Barendse, "Me and Myself"

review by Maja Houtman

Meesterlijk presents over a hundred designers and craftsmen, 35 of them showing handmade contemporary jewelry ranging from rubber with pearls to welded and enameled titanium to silver and gold.


Jan Matthesius and Pauline Barendse: Dubbelop

Dubbelop can be translated as "Doubling up."  It is a powerful collaboration between Jan Matthesius and Pauline Barendse.

Jan was first educated as a fine mechanic, but after a few years in that trade he decided to study goldsmithing at the school in Schoonhoven. This combination of skills is the basis of his total ouvre. As long as I have know his work, Jan has used tools in other ways than that for which they were made.











 Jan Matthesius, Bracelet " 2-Fold," Anodized Aluminum
and "3-Fold," Anodized Aluminum,

Big changes were happening in jewelry making in the Netherlands at the time Jan began his career; non-precious metals were becoming more popular than silver or gold.  He began working in anodized aluminum and his bendable  brooches and turnable bracelets, available in a multitude of colors, have been bestsellers for the last 25 years.

 Jan Matthesius, Brooch "Accident," Anodized Aluminum

Jan Matthesius, "Down in the Basement"

Throughout his career, Jan has always been interested in new techniques such as lasercutting, laserwelding, hydroforming and has found ways to use them in his work.

He also uses electroforming to create large silver pieces.

The work of Jan Matthesius is playful and colorful with clean lines and is always technically perfect.









Jan Matthesius, Object, "Treasure of New Life"

Jan Matthesius, "Illusion"








Jan Matthesius, Bonbonniere, "Striptease," Silver

Pauline Barendse
is a goldsmith-designer who makes storytelling jewelry. Behind every design is a personal story. She, too, loves to experiment with materials--her newest work is a titianium ring with welded gold lines combined with a beautifull pink pearl.  For the last two years she has worked with enamelling on titanium, creating  jewelry with very sleek lines, but also a "wild look" because of the rough enamel.










Pauline Barendse, "Sunray"










Pauline Barendse, Titanium and Enamel Rings

Pauline Barendse, "Jugum 1"

Pauline Barendse, "Jugum Detail"














Pauline Barendse, Ring

Her memory keepers are also wonderful. Designed as art related to the mourning process and funerals, most are little ash containers. Not to be recognized as such, the piece can be a ring with precious stones or a beautifull gold and silver pendant. I really like the folding cross (every box has its cross). When you buy it, you have a perforated silver cross. You can make it a “keeper” by folding it and putting something inside--now you have a silver box as pendant!














Pauline Barendse, "Kant en Klaar"

Hollowware from their workshop is never “usual”--either the technique or the design is different from anything you’ve seen before.  It is no wonder they win prizes and their work is bought by museums! The classy but very practical milk jug made of anodised aluminum--a silver milkjug in phototransfer-- is made to fit a coffee-milk carton.

The speleology-inspired work of Pauline gives us never-before-seen work, such as  "Jugum" and "Me and Myself"-- a cup and candlestick so you can throw your own party!  (see title picture above)

They challenge themselves to find the limit of possibilities. Their quirky studio objects and jewelry are made with gold, silver, titanium, tantalum, aluminum, glass, enamel, precious stones, silicone, textile and rubber.



Hector Lasso 

As always, I search for jewelry made with special technical skills. Therefore, I was struck by the work of Hector Làsso.  He was born in 1976, in Colombia, but now lives and works in Germany. He was goldsmith in Bogotá, Paris, Strasbourg and Amsterdam and is currently taking a Master in Jewelry design course in Idar-Oberstein, a city known in Europe for precious stonecutting.

Hector experiments with casting silver in ossa sepia (the white “bone” of a cuttlefish). This material is easy to file and cut and is often used to cast silver and gold. With two bones you can make a mould for one piece. When the metal is poured in, the cuttlefish bone burns--it is a one-time mould. Hector developed this technique so he can cast hollow objects by assembling up to seven piece moulds.

I found myself wondering how his rings are made and Hector was kind enough to explain that they are big but light because of the thin walls, only 0.3mm!

Hector Lasso, "Big Wave"

Since June 2011,  Hector has been cutting stones. He likes to keep them as large as possible compared to the original, rough stone.  He measures the results of his cutting with a 3-D scanner, designs the ring around the stone, and then casts the ring in the bone of the cuttlefish. The result is a modern cut stone in a very natural looking mounting--wonderful work, this combination of craftsmanship and computer design!









Hector Lasso, Laser

Hector Lasso, Cut Stone









Hector Lasso, Drawing

Hector Lasso, "Smokey Quartz 178" 

When you have some time, please look at the interesting websites of Henk de Leeuw den Bouter:; Zigt sieraden: and Persis van Schaik:

 Amsterdam, RAI 24 september-2 oktober 2011



Photographs courtesy of Jan Matthesius and Pauline Barendse and Rob Glastra

Review by Maja Houtman

Web Design by Marbeth Schon

© copyright MODERN SILVER magazine, 2012