Bettina Speckner | A Rose is a Rose Is a Rose (Brooch), 2001. Photo etching in zinc, Red Gold, black diamonds

Selected Works

Bettina Speckner | a rose is a rose is a rose
October 15 – November 14, 2010

catalogue available

In my work I am particularly fond of photographs. Sometimes they are old and show bygone places or people of former times, quite often however I use photos I took myself of trunks, flowers, lonesome lanes or landscapes. These pictures turn into pieces of jewelry.

To turn photos into gems, the images are etched on small metal plates or burned on enamel. They become part of an individual composition: precious metals, diamonds, coloured stones and found objects begin to lead lives of their own. Patterns and ornaments arise. Often I employ seemingly banal but peculiar everyday items, forging the sublime and the profane into a new poetic harmony.

I do not work with the intention to decorate things or to make them look prettier. I search to discover the soul of an object or the essence of a photograph and to shape something new which appeals to me and to other people far beyond the optical appearance.

For this exhibition I used text for the first time, creating a group of pieces that draw upon the idea that simply using the name of a thing invokes the imagery and emotions associated with it. Some works came after the text choice and others used the text as catalyst. To ‘see’ the pieces it is not necessary to know the text, it is used as another layer, transparent yet substantive. — Bettina Speckner 2010

About the Artist

Bettina Speckner studied jewelry under Professor Herman Junger at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, receiving her diploma from Professor Otto Kunzli. Bettina has received many awards and accolades for her work, including the prestigious Herbert Hoffmann Prize, commendations for the Danner Prize, and The Prize of the State of Bavaria.

“Each piece is the record of a complex negotiation between the artist and the shifting elements of a visual conversation. Her tools are formalism, abstraction, and a strong sense of visual integrity…” –Kate Wagle, excerpts from Bettina Speckner, Deliberations and Negotiations, Metalsmith 26.2