11th Nov - 27th Jan 2008

Brooch - photo in enamel, silver, white gold, sapphires
1 2 3 4




About Us

Betina Speckner

While creating her work, Bettina Speckner uses pearls, corals and diamonds as well as plain coloured stones, sometimes marked by small faults, which however endow them with traits of their own. Quite often the artist employs even seemingly banal but peculiar every-day items, forging the sublime and the profane with great creative strength into a new poetic harmony.
In her work she is particularly fond of photographs. Sometimes they are old and show bygone places or people of former times, quite often however the jewelry artist uses photos she took herself of trunks, flowers, lonesome lanes or landscapes. Alienated by Bettina Speckner, these pictures turn into pieces of jewelry, surrounded by an air of ephemerality and faint melancholy.
To turn photos into gems, the motives are etched on small metal plates or burned on enamel. By this only they become part of an individual composition: precious metals, diamonds, coloured stones and objects found begin to lead lives of their own. Patterns and ornaments arise.
"I never work with the intention to decorate things or to make them look prettier", Bettina Speckner points out. "I try to discover the soul of an object or the essence of a photograph and want to shape something new which appeals to me and to other people far beyond the optical appearance."
Koru I, International Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition 2003, South Karelia Museum, Finland, S. 15.

About the photo techniques

For my photo-pieces I use three types of photo-techniques.

Photo-etching in zinc: I etch photos onto zinc plates. This technique stems from the early heliogravure printing technique. I do this myself (unfortunately no one does it anymore) and I mostly use photos I have taken myself. Sometimes I also take found pictures. For me it is important that my pictures are timeless, but the impression that I only use old, nostalgic images is deceptive.

Photo-enamelling: here I work with a very small company in Portugal, which still knows how to perform this process. Again I mostly use pictures I have taken myself, which they enamel for me in the cut I want.

Ferrotype: this is an old photo-technique, which cropped up in the US after the daguerreotype in the late nineteenth century. I find the old plates, or they were given to me, and I work on them to transform them into my jewellery.

At the same time I always produce pieces without using photography. They are just as important to me as the photo-pieces

Bettina Speckner

Biographical Details

Artists taking part in 'Refresh' are: Min-Ji Cho, Christine Kaltoft, Helga Mogensen, Momoko Kumai, Anna Deacon, Sian Anwyl Williams, Antonella Giomarelli, Jenny Llewellyn, Iris De La Torre.
Artists taking part in 'Collectable 4 Christmas' are Bettina Speckner, Germany; Poppy Dandiya, India/UK; Marianne Anderson, Scotland; Xavier Ines Monclus, Spain.