An inspiring find!

How can a small perfume bottle become a special piece of jewellery?

This is an excit­ing ques­tion for Noa, a gold­smith appren­tice. Her cre­at­ive ideas and craft skills can be seen in this unique ring.

She draws out her first ideas in her sketch book  and then decides to design a pro­tect­ive space around the small flacon. Noa sets her­self the chal­lenge of also design­ing a func­tion­al use. The bottle is held in place with 2 hold­ers at the top and bottom of the thin silver con­struc­tion and can be pushed out from there. She has blackened the silver remin­is­cent of the indus­tri­al style of the 80s.

Where does your passion for goldsmithing come from?

'I was very cre­at­ive even when I was little. When I had an idea at night while I was already in bed, I would secretly get up and craft it out or draw it, only then could I hap­pily fall asleep.'

As the child of an archi­tect couple, Noa sees that manual dex­ter­ity and con­cen­tra­tion are also part of imple­ment­ing cre­at­ive ideas. She knows the value of archi­tec­tur­al models and draft draw­ings well. During her High­school years, she does an intern­ship with a gold­smith. She finds the pro­fes­sion excit­ing, but the very quiet nature of the gold­smith almost gives her the wrong impres­sion of every­day work - too boring and too lonely!

"After gradu­at­ing from high school, I did a 4-month intern­ship with Dianne McFar­lane, a New Zea­l­and jew­ellery artist in Cologne. That's when it really clicked! She showed me that fun in the every­day work tasks, an inspir­ing en'vironment and art con­ver­sa­tions with friends are all a part of the cre­at­ive pro­cess."

Noa now bene­fits from her past exper­i­ences while attend­ing the 3,5 years course at the gold­smith crafts col­lege 'Staat­liche Zeichenakademie Hanau'. The cur­riculum con­tains vari­ous artist­ic sub­jects such as draw­ing, art his­tory and 3-dimen­sion­al design and of course two thirds of the time is ded­ic­ated learn­ing the unique gold­smith craft skills such as filing, sawing, for­ging, and sol­der­ing, as well as using the vari­ous tech­nic­al equip­ment and machines. During these 3 days per week Noa prac­tices every step of a given work­piece task from scrap to per­fec­tion. All the detail, no matter how small, must fit and func­tion per­fectly togeth­er in a jew­ellery piece.

A technical school task jewellery piece

"This is a silver lame brooch. It weighs only 20 grams. Each lamella is sawn out of a sheet of silver. The lamel­lae must be placed on the bars at the per­fect spa­cing when they are lined up. I drew the pins and bars from silver myself. We were given a max­im­um of 4 days in the school work­shop for this task as there are many indi­vidu­al steps to be worked through. And we also have to take turns at the machines."

Improvisation a la Noa at Corona Lockdown!

The shut­down of all the activ­it­ies at the school hit the stu­dents unex­pec­tedly. They are over­whelmed by the situ­ation and no longer have a day-to-day routine. There are no work­shop les­sons, they lost their own work­place, no access to machines for grind­ing, firing, and cast­ing. They are not able to watch the master crafts­men demon­strat­ing the spe­cif­ic work steps or get­ting imme­di­ate help while exper­i­en­cing a prob­lem. For­tu­nately, every appren­tice needs to pur­chase their own tool­box with over 100 tool parts when they start their train­ing. Noa organ­ises an old work­shop table, a gas burner and a few other equip­ment parts. She cre­ated her own work­shop area in the living room of her mini apart­ment, a cre­at­ive island sur­roun­ded by her plants and inspir­ing objects.

This is like a pre­view of her desire to have her own studio and work­shop in the future. A space where she can devel­op and sell her design cre­ations. After her appren­tice­ship, Noa wants to than study Product design. She is also fas­cin­ated by other objects and wants to fur­ther deepen her design and artist­ic skills.

For now, her next step is to gradu­ate as a gold­smith at the end of 2022. Noa has to present her unique design and fully hand­made piece of jew­ellery to the ‘cham­ber of craft and trade’ com­mit­tee. The task is to fulfil all the his­tor­ic craft require­ments com­bined with a con­tem­por­ary design. This will be rewar­ded with the German craft qual­i­fic­a­tion cer­ti­fic­ate of call­ing her­self offi­cially a german gold­smith. We like to be very offi­cial in Ger­many!

A selection of Noa's first own designs and school task projects

Name: Noa Ter Horst

She makes:

a voca­tion­al train­ing to become a gold­smith

She likes:

a big 'cafe au lait' in the morn­ing, Greece and the East-Asian Museum in Cologne, Ger­many

She admires:

Diane McFar­lane - a jew­elry artist from New Zea­l­and, now living and work­ing in Cologne. She showed me how brave and strong women can be!

Her WIASOLA advice:

"Try everything your­self with DIY pro­jects - drilling, sawing, attach­ing a coat rack. You find out that you can do it. You don't need a man for this."

Her 5 favour­ite songs:

  •  Jake Houlsby  'Howl'
  • Little Simz  'Point and Kill'
  • Yael Naim  'Moment'
  • Dabeull  'You&I'
  • Johnossi  'Sum­mer­breeze'

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