Marthe Holkestad explores the raw symbolism of Norwegian designer Nordli-Mathisen, Bjørg Jewellery.
The fashion industry is infamous for its conveyer belt of ‘emerging designers’. Those wishing to break out and remain relevant need to find a niche, a design that sets them apart from the millions of other wannabes. This is not an easy task, with many emerging designers falling short of the hurdle. However, there are a few new creatives that have broken through the industry’s tough barriers, one of them being Norwegian jewellery designer, Bjørg Nordli-Mathisen.
Mathisen was hit by a daughter’s worst nightmare: the possibility of loosing a parent prematurely, twice within a narrow time frame. Her parents were both in need of a transplant almost instantaneously. Sadly, only one survived; a horrid stroke of bad timing. Most people would express their feelings with tears and a few words, building walls and collapsing in on themselves. However, Nordli-Mathisen took inspiration from her loss, turning the tragedy into a positive. Taking the symbolism of human organs and re-interpreting them into her designs, they became something beautiful and intimate, something to be celebrated.
Mathisen founded her line Bjørg Jewellery in 2004, with the company’s popularity growing ever since. Her pieces are handmade, with her signature style encompassing rough stones and crafted metal textures. Two of her most well known creations are replicas of the human spine and heart, the latter being in its real form rather than the commercial ‘love symbol’.
I was first introduced to Bjørg Jewellery a couple of years ago and have since become obsessed with the rings and necklaces. I’m drawn to Mathisen’s designs for the ‘statement’ effect they resonate, jazzing up the dullest of outfits. A small, yet mesmerising rock encompassed my first Bjørg Jewellery ring, the name as gorgeous as the piece itself: the ‘Herkimer Crystal Diamond Ring.’ And no, it is not just any sparkly ring. The one I have, is simply divine. Dark grey claws holding a crystal diamond. The piece really does capture one’s attention and imagination.
‘The Anatomic Heart’ collection is one of the simpler collections Mathisen has created. It is also one of the most popular. Simplistic in form, the pieces are not as meaty as those from other collections. Nevertheless, the powerful meanings behind the pieces still resonate. The designs are beautiful in their own quirky way.
Nordli-Mathisen jewellery has a raw personality. Although the designs aren’t conventionally beautiful, they have an individual charm that would appeal to the Goldsmither, who isn’t afraid to make a statement.
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