Karl Fritsch

Ring can be a weapon

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An article that Karl Fritsch wrote in 2006:

“I noticed a few years ago that in my jewellery work I´m constantly reworking my own history. I did a traditional jewellery apprenticeship in Pforzheim and learnt all the classical jewellery making techniques. The real learning however, comes afterwards. Now I constantly have to work on how I can make the knowledge I learnt in my apprenticeship my own – how I can create my own statement with this. This involves alot of things – my physical abilities for example (like how I use my fingers to model the rings in wax). The basic physical conditions directly influence how a piece will look (the thickness of my finger or the power of my arm).

I keep finding out that my formal aesthetic resources come from way back, not only in objects but also in actions. For example how my family cooks – the way they chuck the dishes around or chop the carrots. or how they handle daily life things like organizing their compost, this has all been an influence on my jewellery.

 

During my studies at the Munich Acadamy I wanted to make disgusting looking jewellery. I wanted it to draw more attention than a pretty piece of jewellery would – this is afterall one of jewellery´s issues – attention and attraction. Now when I look at these pieces after 10 years I find them extremely subtle and beautiful. They are very well made and do not work within the ordinary formula of shape and colour you would expect to find in jewellery. I now am surprised that I had such a big fight with Hermann Jünger about this. I think it must have been more the idea attached to the piece that put him off, rather than the piece itself.

How does the ring wish to look? The gold and silver must be sick to be shaped in these variations of barocky and geometric shapes.

The ring can be a weapon.

 

My aunties fridge is also dangerous and I describe this in my jewellery. My rings are made from the same neccessity that prevents my aunties from buying a new fridge. They think it is still good enough even though it is completely busted – there´s hardly any shelves left inside, the freezer door is gone and any food stored too close to the freezer starts to freeze. It is out of control and only with alot of practice can you spread your butter just right. It is still a fridge but it´s also miles away from a fridge, and has turned into a thing with a whole new character.

 

It´s not really a weapon now, but close to it.

 

I like my jewellery to be like this – having an individual life with the people that wear it. Wearing and using things changes them.”

 

Karl Fritsch

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