Spotlight on: Catherine Mannheim
We have great expectations for this summer! With fashions full of sunny colours in exuberant combinations, we think Catherine Mannheim's colourful gems in understated settings are the perfect match. But don't just take our word for it - have look for yourself!
Catherine Mannheim has been building her international reputation for innovative jewellery since the 1970's. She started her training as a jeweller at the Central School of Art and later the Werkunstschule, Dusseldorf. She went on to set up her first independent workshop in London in 1970 and now works from Cockpit Arts studios in Holborn, where she is in the good company of another DesignYard favourite Sarah Herriot.
Her distinctive use of different coloured golds and precise restrained use of fine gemstones and beads, place her at the forefront of British jewellers. You'll find her jewellery in the collections of the British Crafts Council, the V&A, The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the West Midlands jewellery collections, as well as private collectors around the world.
“My jewellery is made to be worn. It does not seek to challenge society or to wreck or subvert the conventions of jewellery making. Rather, working with the medium, largely silver and gold, to make pieces satisfying to myself and that will adorn and become integral to the life of the wearer.”
Her often sculptural work is characterised by use of basic geometric shapes, harmonious colours, natural textures, and repetition of geometric elements. Catherine uses a variety of coloured gems in rich earthy tones to bring life to her truly distinctive engagement rings, earrings and necklaces. She chooses gently sloping smooth cabochon cut gems that emphasize form and colour, and fit seamlessly into her abstract minimalist aesthetic. Everything works on a three-dimensional level, she says about her work, nothing is ever flat.
She fondly talks of her experiences of training with renowned and unorthodox jeweller, Friedrich Becker. His extremely precise and ground-breaking kinetic works instilled in her a focus on precision workmanship, experimentalism, and love of simplicity.
"The work is found in the process of making. The imperfect geometry not fixed by design from the outset but evolving, changing bit by bit the balance, the correct proportion or variety of colour or surface, to realise any single piece by slow organic intuitive development."
Catherine Mannheim is well known for her creative use of precious metals, experimenting with different colours of gold to generate designs for unique engagement rings and wedding bands. She uses a range of tools to make different marks and patterns on the metal surfaces, so that each piece is individual in its design. The rich colours and matte finishes of the gold she uses in her designs along with the her play of surface textures, shapes and gemstone colours, really emphasize an almost rustic, Old World feeling across all of her jewellery.
Catherine's range of sophisticated and highly wearable pieces, exude an air of elegance and style. It comes as little surprise to us that her work has become a firm favourite with DesignYard customers. Book your appointment to view the Catherine Mannheim collection at DesignYard in person.