This week CLOG presents an interview with Anette Kortenhaus. Born in Germany, Anette has since relocated to Melbourne where she lives happily ever after with the love of her life in regional Victoria.
Inspired by nature, Anette's jewellery is delicately designed and embody an almost magical quality - rings that appear to defy the laws of physics sit snug on the wearer's hand. Such is the subtle yet striking design of Anette's work. As she eloquently writes:
I prefer simple forms with a clear expression. Nevertheless, the simplicity of a form determines that the details become more important. Often my pieces are quiet, fundamental and elementary, and many of my forms have a softness in look and feel.
Certain designs are allowed and even supposed to put people off. They want to question, to lead away from habit to show a new perspective and therefore to broaden views. Certain designs just want to please or make people smile...
CLOG is very proud to present this interview with the lovely lady, so without further ado, read away!
The transparent ring was part of my final work at university and certainly a work-changing process for me. I used to plan my pieces however this changed and I began to try and explore them in a more subtle way, often modeling in wax and feeling if the form was complete.
Inspiration comes from very different areas – or sometimes not at all. I think I go through phases where I am more inspired, and not at all at other times. So yes, it can take forever to come up with some details or no time at all. Sometimes you just sit down and it happens and afterwards I am just amazed where this came from!
I believe that jewellery is a mirror of the artist's emotions - of their personality, of their life experiences. I am convinced that nobody can create something without having experienced it before in some way.
My jewellery is an expression of my emotional being.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
As a goldsmith: I was very proud when the National Art Gallery of South Australia purchased one of my pieces.
As a person: I am proud of myself for what I have achieved in my life – how I coped with the move to Australia – learning the language – trying to understand the culture and fitting in. The hardest part was to settle in country Victoria.
What is your favourite thing that you've made so far?
That is a hard question and I am sure if you ask me again in a month, my answer will change: I love the together ring because it is great to wear – I like the double lily necklace because of it simplicity and I like the more sculptural forms for having volume.
What prompted the move from Germany to Melbourne in 2002?
I moved to Melbourne to marry the love of my life. I miss my family and friends and certainly the cultural background Europe can provide. The diversity especially in jewellery design is huge and although I always found that quite scary, it was also very inspiring.
But on the other side Australia is offering something which I couldn’t have in Germany: space and a fantastic way of life. I feel happier here and have more room for development. Australia offered me from the start a great opportunity within my work and also as an Individual.
What would your dream collaboration be?
I moved to Eppalock – country Victoria – 25km outside of Bendigo and one thing which is really missing here is an art precinct. I would love to be part of some kind of art community / house where everyone would have their own workshop under one roof perhaps with a café / restaurant in the center. So people could just walk in, see the artist working and also meet friends etc.
Having your own workshop but also being able to just walk next door and ask for advice, have a chat or get some inspiration would be fantastic. Any collaboration between artists is great – at the moment I get a lot of inspiration from a potter friend of mine.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Have a shower and a cup of coffee.
…and the last thing you do before bed?
And finally, one thing that you can't live without?
Stuff is not important to me. When you move half way around the world and unless you have lots of money you have to limit yourself in what you can bring. But I really got thinking about our consumer society when we moved into the bush - you have to think about the things you want to save when there is a bush fire. I think I would like to save my photos.
But to answer your question, I wouldn’t want to live without my husband, partner and best friend – the person who drew me to Australia and who is the centre of my life.
Together (done in papier-mâché )