Inger Blix Kvammen and Lilian Busch at Electrum Gallery London
This is a marvellous opportunity to come and see the truly original and enjoyable jewellery by two remarkable women. They are both Scandinavian but never met, partially because Inger Blix Kvammen lives in the far north-eastern corner of Norway and Lilian Busch some 1400 miles south-east in Denmark, roughly the same distance as from London to the southern tip of Sicily. Nonetheless, besides a common cultural heritage, they also share an enviable enthusiasm and strive continuously to find new, exciting ways to broaden the range for their jewellery.
The format of their jewellery is large and makes a strong impact — a classic and much admired aspect of Scandinavian jewellery throughout the 20th century. But from hereon, Inger and Lilian have a distinctly different, entirely original and individual slant coming into play. The combined use of gold and silver is much more pronounced and the overall lines are softer.
Inger`s jewellery is constructed with amazing intricacy employing textile techniques, with most of her pieces either woven or crocheted, often incorporating complex patterns exploiting the contrast between the metal colours. It is a developement of her earlier training in the traditional crafts as practised in her native area of Norway, techniques she adapted later to working with silver and gold wire.
Lilian, also, has used a certain amount of textile techniques with precious metal wire to construct softer and flexible neckpieces, like the one illustrated on the front of this folder, but predominatly works with solid metal, also combining gold with silver but frequently adding either tiny diamonds or pearls to great effect.
Both came to Jewellery-making comparatively late, Inger`s first interest turned to other faculties for some years, and Lilian started at colleges in the UK in 1989. In some ways this proved to their advantage over younger students — they were more focused, they knew what technical skills they needed to accuire so as to express their concepts for jewellery, which would help to turn their creative and imaginative ideas into tangible pieces. An intrepid traveller, the determined pursuit of learning more and better technical processes has led Inger to seek help and advice in many different countries and workshops, although she was already quite accomplished when still mostly self-taught.
Lilian lives partly in Denmark and partly in the UK, where she received most of her training. In the last decade, she has participated in many exhibitions at home and abroad, and her work has been much admired by regular visitors to Electrum over the last five years. Inger also shows regularly at Electrum since the mid-nineties and had a highly seccessful solo exhibition in 1998.