Klaus Stenzhorn: I am talking to you through the medium of jewellery
How to build a dream, you may ask, and with a strong foundation? Some people use cement and bricks in doing so, someone may use clay and marble or paints and canvas. Klaus Stenzhorn makes use of precious stones.
Over the course of 37 years Klaus Stenzhorn, the founder of Stenzhorn House of jewellery, has been channeling his passion for creation of precious jewellery, which excite women all over the world. Europe, Asia, Middle East, America ... What do they have in common? All those women sincerely admire Stenzhorn!
Today, Stenzhorn is represented across the world. The royal family, celebrities, businesswomen, mothers and wives appreciate Stenzhorn for German quality; craftsmanship and enthusiasm in designing that emphasize woman's beauty and personality. Every piece of jewellery by Stenzhorn sings ode to a Woman and worships her beauty!
It all started from a dream.
There was a boy, who was born in small German town Boppard on the Rhine. From an early age he loved water, he used to sit on the riverbank, watching boats floating away into the open sea. He wished he would sail away someday just the same.
His father used to say to him: "Whatever you do, make it the best you can, and the good results will come".
One day a magic happened – a friend invited him to work on the sea. Therefore, Klaus’s dream came true and at the age of 18, he sailed to a new life on a cruise ship. He had been travelling for seven years and visited more than 120 countries.
– What are the main ideas you have got out from the sea life, which later became useful to you in jewellery?
– Travelling through more than 120 countries, I learned about different cultures and traditions, and I remain fascinated discovering that in jewellery it is not different. Design, symbols and style change and evolve in every culture. If you want to sell across the world, you have to see the world first
– Is there anyone who influenced your life greatly and made it change?
– A dear friend, who made me join him working on the first ship. The moment that changed my life forever.
– What do you appreciate in friendship most of all?
Traveling the world, Klaus Stenzhorn always remained delighted with many aspects and vast variety of nature. Red African sunsets and green expanse of Amazon rainforest filled his soul with bright colors. Fascinated by animals, he fell in love with savage creatures populating savannah and elegant wild felines...Thus, nature with its unique colors and the world of wild animals would forever become major subjects of his creative work.
It was 1976, a usual Columbian hot summer afternoon when Klaus was invited to visit an emerald mine. Bewitched by the treasures he saw, Klaus started studying and collecting precious stones around the world. Deep blue sapphires of Sri Lanka, fiery rubies of Burma, Colombian emeralds – Klaus thought nothing would better represent the preciousness of his exciting travels than gems - the keepers of our secrets.
When back at home, full of enthusiasm to tell the family and the world about his discoveries and feelings he experienced when traveling, Klaus already knew what would soon become the greatest adventure of his lifetime. In winter 1979 Stenzhorn House of jewelry was born!
– What is so special about precious stones, which makes your heart (skip) a beat? Why do you love them?
– If you know how rare most of the precious stones are and you have the chance to hold one of the very special species in your hands, then you can appreciate that moment.
– What are your favorite colours?
– Blue and green.
– You have decided to create a jewellery house. Who helped you? Inspired you? What was the most difficult and cherished thing?
– After all, like most of others, jewellery business is a family affair, and that is the easiest, and at the same time the most difficult way to work.
– Do you remember how the first jewellery was born? Who bought it?
– The first piece of jewellery we made was a set of letters with a small diamond dangling on each letter. My mother was our first customer; she bought letter L for Lilly, which was her first name.
– What did you learn about gems and jewellery that really surprised you?
– People always remember where and why they bought their jewellery pieces, and they keep and treasure them forever.
– What is your favorite country, city? Why?
– My favorite city is Madrid. I love its architecture, art, and, of course, food.
– Who are your favorite painters?
– Van Gogh has always been my favorite painter. I once tried to paint myself, but I ended up laughing at the result and myself.
Unique design, original technique of stone setting and workmanship are the three pillars, on which Stenzhorn brand lean for many years.
“During one of my travels, I saw a butterfly. A huge one ...You can never see the like in Europe. It was flapping its wings, and their color was changing in the sun. "I want to catch the color - I thought. - It is like in a kaleidoscope: you can see many colors and they are changing all the time. How can all the colors be rendered in one jewellery? I wanted to keep this moment."- Klaus Stenzhorn told us.
That is the way a new technique and the new Illusion collection came up. These jewellery change colour depending on visual angle, a sort of optical illusion. First, there were butterflies with only two changing colors, for example, from black to white. Today, four colors are changing in Stenzhorn jewellery: if you turn the butterfly left to right - the colors change, for example, from green to blue, and if you turn it up-and-down - from pink to red, for example. This sophisticated technology requires proper and laborious gems' color selection to get the desired effect. Thus, to coincide with the world-famous exhibition Baselword 2017 the jewellery brand has promised to please us with a new masterpiece, created in this technique.
Stenzhorn is also famous for its invisible setting, which is the DNA of the brand. One of the latest Stenzhorn High Jewellery collections, The Noble Ones, is dedicated to this technique. The collection, which, I believe, reveals the spirit of the brand. First and foremost is the love for invisible setting, and secondly, the collection is dedicated to nature and inspired by ancient Chinese characters The Four Gentlemen (? ??), or The Four Noble Ones. In Chinese culture, the name means four flowers: orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and peony. Each one of them reveals different human virtues and symbolizes a certain season of the year.
Klaus Stenzhorn believes that there should be a story behind each jewellery. It is not enough just to create a jewellery. There should be something deep and meaningful behind it. It is the way to establish a better relationship between a jewellery and a woman. A jewellery is something very personal, and it is with you for long, there should be a connection. A jewellery should tell you something.
Unlike other jewellery houses that use invisible setting mostly in unique and classic pieces, Stenzhorn jewellers went so far as to create Candy collection. It presents wearable and stylish jewellery, say, fashion-jewellery with application of invisible setting. Let more people join the beauty!
– Most probably, you love all the jewellery, but, perhaps there is one special for you. Why exactly is it special for you?
– Few years ago, for the opening of Basel show, we presented the miniature of three polar bears, struggling melting ice and asking for help. It is part of our DNA and tradition to create unique jewellery with a special story behind the making, which will evoke an emotion able to touch people’s hearts.
What particularly touches me is the fact that Stenzhorn is not limited to creation of jewellery and declaring love for nature. The love is translated into actions - part of the jewellery sales revenue Stenzhorn transfers to the International Wildlife Fund to support the project protecting polar bears, who are threatened by global warming.
To love often means just "To take care»...
One of the earliest Stenzhorn collections, Wild Life, is dedicated to love for wildlife. After traveling through Africa, inspired by grace, elegance, power and freedom of panthers and other wildlife species, Klaus Stenzhorn and his team immediately started drawing sketches of jewellery. The main task the jewellers set for themselves was the most realistic reproduction of animals' movements, their plasticity and grace. If it is a tiger, it must look exactly like a real tiger. Movements of a lion must be the same as in reality. The collection went round the world in less than no time and was a great success.
– What do you appreciate in women as you create jewellery for them?
– Our jewellery are for passionate and adventurous women. For all those women who feel independent and are aware of their real beauty. We like to call them Goddesses.
Thus, a new Stenzhorn collection 2NDSKIN Goddess came into the world. All the jewellery of the collection are flexible, gentle, flowing, accurately fitting the curves of the body to become a second skin.
With his combination of traditional craftsmanship and innovative techniques, Stenzhorn creates unique masterpieces that emphasize femininity and individuality.
–We create extraordinary jewellery with strong character and unique techniques. This is something will always represent us. I learned the importance of presenting items with the best quality, and special attention to details, cause unlike shoes and clothes, jewellery could come back to you even after years, for refitting and eventual repair. We are always happy to welcome our customers, and accomplish any special request they have.
– Describe your life in some words
– Be honest, be humble and enjoy
– What is the thing you can’t live without?
–Sadly, my smart phone
– What is your favorite saying about life, jewellery?
– Momento mori, carpe diem. The art of jewellery is my way to unveil the secrecy behind the beauty of nature.
Main photo© Reinhold Schroers, www.schroers.com