After studying jewelery in Hanau, Düsseldorf and Amsterdam, Petra Brenner worked as a freelance jewelery designer and glass artist in Amsterdam. In 2006 she moved to Berlin. In autumn 2016 she opened a gallery-workshop in Goethestraße in Charlottenburg. Now her “Schmucke” represents 30 designers and is about to celebrate the third anniversary on 6thof September 2019. Questions to Petra Brenner.
Art Aurea There is contemporary jewelry and glass in your gallery workshop. How did you come up with the idea of combining the two areas?
Petra Brenner For me it was a logical consequence of my practice. Since I studied both jewelry design and glass art, I wanted to bring these two areas together. Right now my gallery program focus is clearly on contemporary jewelry, whereby (so far) three of the jewelry artists use glass as the main feature in the work presented.
Art Aurea How does the audience react to the concept? Are there any positive synergies? And what is the acceptance of artistic craftsmanship in Berlin?
Petra Brenner I think the acceptance is quite high – the Berlin audience is generally offered a lot in artistic and cultural terms. Of course, this also depends on the location. For example, SCHMUCKE lies in a street where you would not necessarily expect a gallery with international contemporary design. With new customers, I often experience a kind of incredulous or questioning amazement. Then I like to present them some details about the different pieces, for example that a brooch was lovingly made from rice grains. For me, it is always very nice to see how for the visitors initial timidity about these aspects turns into joy, while they become really open to the new ideas.
Art Aurea Every beginning is difficult, they say. How did you experience the first three years – or should I rather say got through them?
Petra Brenner In fact, one must say I have “survived”. Not in the least due to the 9-month house renovation in this already difficult start-up phase. It was very noticeable as the customers were making their way through the scaffolding. In retrospect, it felt even nicer to be congratulated by so many neighbors and customers at the end of the construction phase.
Art Aurea What are your key findings from these early years? What are you doing better today than at the beginning?
Petra Brenner One must never stop believing in what one does. If you have a construction site in front of the house even more so! I do not know if I’m doing something better today. It’s just that I know what I would like to do better have I had more time.
Art Aurea The world, which you find out daily in the news, is in transition. The buzzwords are housing shortages or expensive rents, climate change, species extinction and populism. The way in which we consume and use things does not remain unaffected. Is that an issue when someone buys a piece of jewelry or a glass object from you?
Petra Brenner Sometimes I talk to clients about these topics. I think for the people who buy a piece of jewelry or a glass object from me, it is important to find out something about the background of the piece. About its origins, how and where it was made. I believe then they will wear the piece with a different consciousness and be more attentive to it. Perhaps this will then also influence the consumption behavior of other products.
Art Aurea What is your feeling for the future?
Petra Brenner It is positive. I firmly believe that artistic quality and craftsmanship do prevail. In the details is not only the devil, but also the beauty and – coming backto your previous question: especially in a time of upheaval, there must also be beauty.
Galerie-Werkstatt für zeitgenössischen Schmuck und Glas
- 06 p.m.