Shaping the Change

Sophisticated (art) works move us and hold the potential for change. This is shown in the new Art Aurea, Issue No. 51, Spring 2023.

Around 50 to 60 years ago, fundamental changes took place in all areas of arts and crafts, which are often referred to as “applied arts.” We have reported extensively on the protagonists of the new, artistic jewelry and modern jewelry design of that era, both nationally and internationally. Changes and current developments in artisanal ceramics and other fields of arts and crafts have likewise been a recurring theme of Art Aurea in portraits, obituaries and discussions of exhibitions.

In her recently reissued book, Seeing Things – Collected Writing on Art, Craft and Design, which has been expanded to include the 2010s, Alison Britton discusses seminal exhibitions, explores the relationship between art and craft, and questions whether thinking in terms of disciplines is still relevant and in which traditions her own oeuvre fits. This is particularly interesting because a historical shift in all areas of craft has been underway since the 1970s. The Dutch art historian, author and curator Thimo te Duits elaborates on essential aspects of this for Art Aurea.

In 1980, Alison Britton began her book project Seeing Things – Collected Writing on Art, Craft and Design. In 2022, the new edition was published by Occasional papers. Photo Sam Bakewell.

The portrait of Eva Maisch also reveals a change whose significance goes far beyond arts and crafts. Supported by her husband Walter Jäckl, this Franconian gallery owner and goldsmith has exhibited works by contemporary artists from almost every field in Würzburg’s Sterngasse since 2004. With the exception of a few goldsmiths’ workshops, the cathedral city on the Main River had previously been a blank spot on the map for artistic craftsmanship. The couple invited their now well-informed clientele to the nearby winegrowing village of Lindelbach for the first time in 2019. Julie Metzdorf’s text and Ulrike Myrzik’s photographs document the transformation from a former farmstead to an oasis and meeting place for sophisticated arts and crafts.

A life for and with art, craft and design. Gallery owner and goldsmith Eva Maisch in her home in Lindelbach. Photo Ulrike Myrzik.

Alide and Dieter Amick are in the process of reclaiming a piece of industrial culture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It all began at a flea market in Munich, where the Amicks were irresistibly tempted to acquire an old three-legged Rowac stool. Brought to our attention by gallery owner André Kirbach, the couple told us a remarkable story, which reveals that it is indeed possible to swim against the current of rapid change, which blindly sweeps away even good things. 

Preparing the revival of a design classic: Alide and Dieter Amick here in their apartment in Leipzig.

Other Topics in Art Aurea, Issue No. 51, Spring 2023

We present four designers in our “Arts Crafts World” section:

Gigi Mariani. Constant research has enabled this goldsmith from Modena to develop the historic technique of niello to a new maturity.

Mareike Lienau. The Berlin-based designer found a traditional manufactory in Nepal, where her rug designs are crafted in the highest handmade quality.

Dagmar Christina Gerke. Photos as inspiration for dimensions, proportions and colors. Two cultures encounter each other in these glass bowls and cylinders.

Matthias Gschwendtner. The precisely milled surfaces of Gschwendtner’s chairs contrast with the tree’s bark and form the interface between nature and technology.

Review – Important Exhibitions and Competitions

20th International Silver Triennale 2022. The Works of the Winners.

Teximus Four. Triennial of Textile Art in Zug, Switzerland.

In Bergen schön [Beautiful in Heaps] is the name of this work, which Regula Weber is showing at Teximus Vier. Graphite on mount board, 110 × 105 cm. In memory of her mother, who suffered from dementia and clung to familiar movements while knitting. Photo Felix Streuli.

Craft & Design 2023. The special exhibitions of the International Craft Fair Munich, IHM.

Jewelry as a Pure Art Form. The Schmuck exhibition sets the standards.

Jewelry Design 2023. Simple but noble.

The Good Modernity. Exhibition at the Grassi Museum for Applied Art, Leipzig.

Seladon aus Longquan. Celadon from Longquan. Marianne Heller presents works by Chinese masters.

Kamazawa 2022. Japanese glass art exhibition as a global showcase for contemporary glass.

Art Aurea, Issue No. 51, Spring 2023, has 92 pages including its cover and is available in leading galleries and specialty stores for 12 euros (EU 14 euros) and by subscription. To order the magazine, send an email to or go to