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Sunday, 24 February 2019 10:57 am

Mind-bending jewellery by a metalworking master

KF8THE JEWELLERY Karl Fritsch makes sits on plain, narrow, plywood shelves hung at chest height.

Pushed into roughly moulded white clay balls, the rings, cufflinks and earrings are not displayed behind glass. Gallerist Hamish McKay and assistant Carey Young are security.

Fritsch exhibits internationally, especially in his home country Germany, as does his Kiwi wife and fellow jeweller Lisa Walker.

Both studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Munich, and Fritsch preceded that with traditional goldsmith training.

From his workshop in Island Bay Fritsch makes the jewellery out of gold, sterling silver and precious stones – but glass, nails and even plastic join the traditional materials too.

The blackened rings are actually oxidised gold or silver, but as they’re worn the oxidation scuffs off revealing the essential metal beneath.

KF10Abby Cunnane, curator at City Gallery Wellington, writes “they are gems that refuse to be just beautiful; they jostle with real life and what it means to be precious”.

In the exhibition catalogue, Fritsch says: “One moment, a ring wants to look a certain way, and the next, it wants to look like something quite different. Sometimes it even freaks out, is unruly, out of control.

“Sometimes a ring plays a joke on me, or it sits at the table like a good child, doing nothing. Then it’s about quickly soldering, casting, filing, setting stones.”

Fritsch’s jewellery is on show at the City Gallery in an exhibition entitled Scenes from the Munich Diamond Disaster from November 26.

Some Rings are Fuckwits by Karl Fritsch is on until December 9 at Hamish McKay gallery, Ghuznee St.

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is a student at Whitireia studying the National Diploma in Journalism (Multimedia).
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