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Svenja John

Spotlight on the artist...

Svenja John began making jewelery in 1994. In Berlin. For thirteen years she has used Makrolon®, a polycarbonate processed as foil. And right from the start her jewelery has been...pieced together. With ingenious techniques she invents form modules which she links up and suspends one within the other, forms nestling within forms, aggregation of shapes. In other words she creates semi-opaque clusters and structures evocative of scientific models, crystalline and organic structures. Perhaps the model of an atom? Or an attempt to represent the orbit of heavenly bodies. Stylized blossoms or allusions to polished precious stones?

There it is in all its inimitable freshness. New jewelery by Swenja John. The flat surface leitmotif has gone. And seems replaced by a focus on three dimensional forms and shapes. Plus sudden sounds. When you wear it, the jewelery softly rattles, gently clinks and chinks. And remarkably, even though the individual elements are now more fixed and immobile, the pieces as a whole seem more reactive, more mercurial, much more flexible. -

Ever since 1992 the jewelery designer Svenja john has employed the high-tech plastic Makralon® manufactured by Bayer Material Science AG as her artistic medium of choice. Makralon®i s a versatile polycarbonate with a range of key properties such as excellent transperency and high impact and fracture resistance. It is also extremely malleable. Makreon® is widely used in our everyday lives. A short list of only a few of the uses to which Makralon® is put includes such areas as data carriers for CDs,Cd-Rs and DVDs, sports eyewear, cycle helmets, automotive headlamps, golf tees, and solar panels. And as Makralon® sheets it is also used for large - scale roofing and glazing of which the Bay Arena in Leverkusen is an outstanding example.

For artists Makralon® provides a medium of almost unlimited potential. Svenja John also employs the particular qualities this polycarbonate offers to create jewelery with it's own highly disctinctive formal language.


Born in Duisburg, Germany in 1963. Studied archaeology at the Ruhr University, Bochum, 1985 - 89: goldsmith's school in Hanau, 1991 - 93: Master's Diploma as state - certified designer at the Zeichenakademie Hanau. Since 1994 own atelier in Berlin

Works in public collections

Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin. Grassi Museum, Leipzig. American craft museum, New York. Material ConneXion, New York. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg. Danner Stiftung, München. Hiko Mizuno Collection, Tokyo. Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim. Lotte Reimers-Stiftung, Deidesheim. Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, France.


1997 1. Prize " Lust am Lüster
1999 Landespreis Berlin
2000 Bayerischer Staatspreis, Munich
2004 Herbert-Hofmann-Preis, IHM, Munich
2006 Red dot, Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen
2007 Bayerischer Staatspreis, Munich