Make your own Art Jewels with open art

A selection of the designs that we’re seeing in the Art Jewels design contest created by SMK Open and Shapeways

Imagine if you could wear your favourite artworks as jewels? If you could boast a Hammershøi necklace, a pair of Cranach earrings, or a Gijsbrechts bracelet?

This is the concept of the design contest Art Jewels created in a collaboration between SMK Open and the Dutch-American 3D print community Shapeways.com

Curators at SMK have hand-picked six ‘jewels’ from the museum’s collection of old master paintings. Now, we’re calling on all creatives to draw inspiration from the multitude of detail and invention in the motifs and create new art jewels — this time in the literal sense! With the aid of Shapeways’ state-of-the-art 3D printing technology, the winner and four runners up will have their designs printed and featured at SMK and on Shapeways’ online marketplace.

The six artworks are presented in their full splendour on the contest website. But we couldn’t resist plunging into the beautiful and peculiar motifs and cherry-pick some of the details that fascinate us and get our creative minds brewing. In this post, we’ll zoom in on two pieces — the strange depiction of Melancholia by Cranach the Elder, and a portrait of the artist Købke’s sister clad in beautiful harmonic colours. The next couple of posts will highlight details from the remaining four seleceted pieces by Hammershøi, Jerichau Baumann, Ring, and Gijsbrechts, so stay tuned!

Lucas Cranach t.E., Melancholia (1532)

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Melancholy, 1532, Statens Museum for Kunst. Public domain
Detail of Melancholy (1532) by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The female figure personifying melancholy is splitting a stick with a small, sharp knife. The delicate curls of the bark being separated from the wood are mirrored in the fine black ornaments on her blouse, and in the curvacious lines of her brilliant orange dress.

Detail of Melancholy (1532) by Lucas Cranach the Elder

This enigmatic scene with three small boys trying to move what looks like quite a heavy ball, is full of lovely rounded shapes — from the sphere itself to the boy’s fat cheeks, arms, and thighs.

Detail of Melancholy (1532) by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Notice this detail in the upper left corner. It’s been interpreted as a gang of witches riding on demonic beasts that look like they could have been cast in silver.

Christen Købke, The artist’s sister (1835)

Christen Købke, Portrait of the Artist’s Sister, Cecilie Margrethe Petersen, 1835, Statens Museum for Kunst. Public domain
Detail of Portrait of the Artist’s Sister, Cecilie Margrethe Petersen (1835) by Christen Købke

While the hairdo of Købke’s sister would be a remarkable sight on the street today, we wouldn’t be surprised to find her earrings in a contemporary jewelry shop. Funny how some things never go out of fashion. Interesting also how unaware she seems to be of her own posture and expression while being captured in paint.

Detail of Portrait of the Artist’s Sister, Cecilie Margrethe Petersen (1835) by Christen Købke

The hues and shapes in the lower part of the painting play out beautifully against each other.

What are your favourite details? What sparks your creativity when you look at these marvelous paintings? We can’t wait to receive your designs and elect the finalists. Explore the artworks and zoom in on more details here, and get busy creating your own jewelry designs!

Deadline for submissions is 16 June 2017. https://www.shapeways.com/contests/smk-open-jewelry

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