Location: Vancouver, BC
Member Since: 2015
For Jakob Bauer, creating jewelry transcends aesthetics – it's a way to preserve and expand the lost art of traditional jewelry making. Whereas modern jewelers rely on computer-generated designs and molds, Jakob takes an elemental approach to his work: each piece is forged by hand from start to finish. It's this dedication to his craft that breathes life into every piece he creates. The result? Jakob's one-of-a-kind creations seem as though they were pulled from the center of the earth itself, shaped with raw purpose and imagination.
Beauty in Chaos: A History of Jewelry Making Art has been a guiding force in Jakob's life from an early age. Growing up in Germany, he remembers graffiti scrawled on buildings and bridges, the flourishes of color and light splashed against the strict architecture of brick and concrete. It's in these unexpected images around the city that Jakob found the seeds of his own artistic impulses and longed to create something that combines pure expression with precision, dissonance with organic beauty.
So he began creating jewelry in 2003. For three and a half years, he was a gold and silversmith apprentice to Ralf Salzmann, a renowned jeweler in Germany. After his apprenticeship, Jakob worked throughout Germany as a jewelry designer before moving to Canada in 2008 to continue in the jewelry trade. Today, he works for the jewelry trade and in his own studio in East Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Creation Process Jakob's designs are the culmination of everything he's learned during his 12-year goldsmith career and his willingness to experiment. He believes in letting the metal guide his work, which helps him achieve the unique, natural shapes that define his style. Jakob takes a traditional approach to jewelry making and works only with precious metals: gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. He begins the process by melting down his chosen metal and creating his own precious metal alloys – he never uses mass-produced or prefabricated materials in his work. From there, every element of the design is fabricated by hand: he rolls his own wire, hammers the metal to harden it, and files and cuts the metal into shape. He bends, fuses, forges, solders, and polishes the metal, resulting in a high-quality, durable piece that outpaces and outlives jewelry made by casting. To complement his handcrafted metalwork, Jakob selects Canadian diamonds, precious gemstones, and hardwoods. Because of the handmade nature of his work, each piece is truly one of a kind and cannot be replicated.
Pushing atoms closer together