It’s not very often I have the chance to play in a jewellery shop. So when Georg Jensen invited me to visit their Melbourne store last month I was a little apprehensive.
Georg Jensen Collins St by Ms Polka Dot
The Georg Jensen Collins St store sits at the Paris end of Melbourne’s Collins St. Amid boutiques such as Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, I can safely say Georg Jensen holds its own with it’s beautiful design.
I was met by the delightful (and handsome) Richard, who I would proceed to gossip with and be entertained by, for the next two and half hours. Richard, the Collins St store manager introduced me to the beautiful design and rich history of Georg Jensen.
Born in 1866 in Denmark, Georg Jensen, the son of a knife grinder, began a goldsmith apprenticeship at age 14, before being accepted in to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts as a clay sculptor.
After graduating, Jensen continued to work for others creating beautiful ceramic sculptures. In 1904, Jensen took the leap and began working on his own.
It was then that he really began to flourish; Georg Jensen created jewels for the working girl who had her own sense of style. The rich wore diamonds while the Georg Jensen lady appreciated beautiful works in metal. The pieces were inspired by nature and used stones such as moonstones and amber. Each piece was handmade and led Jensen to almost immediate success. The brand began to collaborate with designers and led to the success worldwide of the Georg Jensen brand we know today.
Henning Koppel coffee pot with guaiacan handle by Ms Polka Dot
I’ve been a big fan of the Georg Jensen home wares range for a while. I love special pieces which are able to be used in everyday situations and that’s exactly what the brand inspires.
The silverware line in particular is beautiful. The pieces designed by Georg Jensen are typically more ornate and art deco than the more modern Living collections. The silverware pieces are set and then individually hammered by hand in Denmark. A teapot can take as many as 600 hours to achieve the perfect finish. The cutlery bears beautiful, subtle hammer marks, which have become a signature of the Georg Jensen line.
Acorn Carving Set by Ms Polka Dot
In 1905, Jensen collaborated with Johan Rohde to create the famous flatware design – Acorn, which is the most popular home ware design today.
Johan Rohde Acorn cutlery set
The Acorn cake knife is a brilliant and popular gift – using the knife to cut not only your wedding cake but perhaps your childrens’ christening cakes makes it a beautiful memento.
The Georg Jensen accessories line is also popular, with cufflinks, money clips and the bar ware making stylish gifts for groomsmen, while jewellery is popular for bridesmaids.
The Daisy range, created to mark the birth of Danish Queen Marguerite comes in a range of colours with new ones being added each year. Again the focus on function as design is the major influence in Georg Jensen pieces. Each home ware piece is simple and sleek in form but created to be used everyday.
Koppel Clock, Maria Bernsten Candelabra
The range extends to clocks, weather thermometers, office accessories, candelabras, weather stations and cutlery making perfect wedding gifts. As such, a wedding registry service is available at selected stores. The epitome of Scandinavian design in its purist form.
The Georg Jensen jewellery range is stunning in simplicity and beauty. I was fascinated to learn the history of Jensen designers such as Vivianna Torun and Henning Kopel.
Georg Jensen WHEELS by Ms Polka Dot
In 2008, “WHEELS”, the first ever Georg Jensen bike was released in conjunction with the opening of the Georg Jensen Lifestyle store concept in four locations around the world. A limited edition, it represents a nod to the Danish cycling culture and the eco friendly concept cycling brings.
Georg Jensen WHEELS by Ms Polka Dot
The bike is a collaboration between Georg Jensen and Dane Seren Songreni. It features a handmade sterling silver plated bell, the signature Georg Jensen hammer marks and leather handle grips and saddle made by Brooks, England.
Tomorrow I’ll share my favourite part of Georg Jensen– their jewels! I’ll also share what Richard taught me about the Georg Jensen philosophy!