The Charm of Minimalism

Exhibition with jewelry by Carl Dau in the Goldschmiedehaus Hanau.

Carl Dau, who was born in 1942, was a mariner before he started to train as a goldsmith when he was 23. Afterwards, he worked as a journeyman goldsmith, studied at the State Drawing Academy in Hanau and at Berlin University of the Arts, and then was an instructor for goldsmiths for several years. He subsequently set up his own jewelry company, and strongly influenced the jewelry culture in the 1980s and 1990s with his minimalist designs. His material of preference, stainless steel, tapped into the pulse of the era, and kindled design-minded people’s – including many men’s – interest in jewelry.

Carl Dau, Design Jewelry

Pendant weniger geht kaum 1, [less is hardly possible 1], 1998. 1 x 750 gold, 1 x steel, 925 silver.

Carl Dau, Design Jewelry

Ringe, weniger geht kaum 2 [less is hardly possible 2], 1988. 750 gold, stainless steel.

Carl Dau has always regarded himself as a designer who develops series. Accordingly, his pieces don’t have much in common with the traditional goldsmith’s craft. “I wasn’t interested in copying artisanal work, like some people thought.” His ideal was a kind of clarity that does not embellish or conceal anything but, quite the contrary, openly reveals the underlying concept. This results in “a different kind of value, i.e. of honest, clearly evident series-production work, which is mainly performed by special machines according to precise specifications.” Also, he has never been tempted to create jewelry tailored to customers’ requirements. The only thing that matters to him are, and have always been, his own ideas and their implementation, the designer explains.

Carl Dau, Objects

Object der reiz des minimalen, [The charm of Minimalism], 2002. Steel, Corian. 100 x 100 cm.

Knowing that there are people all over the world who have an affinity for minimalism, Carl Dau showcased his pieces at the major jewelry fairs in Munich and Basel, and won over discerning galleries and jewelry shops as retailers. After the turn of the millennium, he started to create, in addition to jewelry, large-format wall objects made of steel and lacquer or Corian. The two atelier buildings that the Berliner-by-choice built also reflect his way of seeing things. The exhibition entitled The Charm of Minimalism – Carl Dau. Jewelry. Objects is his second one in Hanau, and brings his oeuvre full circle because this is where it all began. The complete works are documented in an online catalog at: and on Youtube there is an interview with the designer.

  • Deutsches Goldschmiedehaus
    Altstädter Markt 6
    63450 Hanau
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