About Georg Jensen Cuff Links [PART 2/3]
By Gene R. Klompus
Published by Adwin Ang With Gene’s Permission
Jensen opened a small shop in Copenhagen in 1904. The instant popularity of his designs suggested that he should provide entries at various European competitions including the prestigious Brussels. Exhibition of 1910. The recognition which followed, especially his Gold Medal win at Brussels, established Jensen as a promising, talented and highly original silversmith. Soon, increasing demand for his creations necessitaed the 1912 move to a larger worKsnop. This was followed by the purchase of his first factory building in 19D By then, the demand for Georg . Jensen pieces was universal.
Unlike, the customers of other silversmiths of the era, Jensen’s patrons were not content with a limited and traditional selection. Also unlike other silversmiths, he was able to profitably introduce modern designs. Continued success again required expansion and by 1935 Jensen’s extensive line of jewelry and flatware were available at his Lemon and New York branches and through independent retailers worldwide.
Although Jensen was originally schooled in the Art Nouveau style, various designs throughout his life confirm the influence of other movements upon him. Indeed, some of his most popular designs were in the Art Deco mode. But the overriding Jensen touch was his bent fer functionalism and simplicity.
Though known primarily for the precious metal . nedium, Jensen also perfected ways of crafting steel into impressive tableware and cutlery pieces. This adaptation for the previously considered “lowly” steel, created an entire new industry for the metal.
Another Jensen innovation arose out of his keen undersunding of metal and the oxidation process. He well understood the chemical properties of Patina and incorporated their predictability into his designs. Many of Jensen’s cuff link designs reflect the ability to blend his trademark simplicity with varying degrees of . patina. He employed deep ridges, recesses, swirls and valleys to achieve a shadow effect from patina.
Frequent use of amber, moonstones, green agates, onyx: and red carnelians were another Jensen technique to compliment his designs. The combination of these stones and his masterful silver creativity added to the demand for his products.
Jensen was always appreciative of his customers. This explains why he insisted on maintaining an “open stock” polity on the more than 3000 patterns in his fine silver and tableware lines. He also championed a liberal return and customer satisfaction policy.
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