The jury described the green brooch that Julia Maria Künnap from Estonia made from nephrite and gold and named “Why Is It All Overgrowing” as “a masterpiece of lapidary art.” In each new piece that she makes, Künnap strives “to cut the stone even more precisely, polish it even more transparently, achieve an even thinner material and a clearer concept.” Although the titles of her creations combine to form a poem, each one is an independent piece of jewelry, regardless of whether it looks like a broad blue brushstroke or a melting letter of the alphabet.
Gernot Leibold from Germany makes quadratic brooches which surprised the jury with their combinations of materials. His “Black Structure No. 6” combines ebony, plastics, silver and steel. With its colorful, diagonal, lateral edges, this piece seems like an open box inside of which a mysterious structure reveals itself.
“Delayed Reaction Series” is the title that Herbert Hofmann prizewinner Lin Cheung of Great Britain chose for her carved stone brooches. According to the jury, the “Non Plus” brooch describes events after the EU referendum and the ongoing debate about Great Britain’s future in relation to Europe. Other brooches in this series, the jurors opine, allude to political and social changes and the associated emotions. The jury says that Lin Cheung’s artworks are a political statement which is “exemplary for questions of our time and our relationship to its values.”
The prizes commemorate Dr. Herbert Hofmann, who initiated the Special Show in 1959. Over 900 international jewelry designers participated this year. The pieces are selected by an annually changing curator. This year’s curator is Hans Stofer, director of the jewelry class at Burg Giebichenstein in Halle.