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"Ted Noten" Tag

chewing gum became a jewellery

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I went to the design highlght exhibition of the Stedelijk Museum, there was a lot of design. For example, chairs, textiles, jewellery, lamps, graphics, books etc. Suddenly one small piece of jewellery made me stare for a while. It was Ted Noten’s work which was “Chew your own brooch” 1998. For me his work was visually intriguing compared to the others. Particularly as I’m interested myself in making different things. For instance, clothes that I don’t usually wear. I even collect recycled things in order to rework them. So it reminds me of my interests and that is the reason I’ve chosen his work.

Ted Noten is one of the most influential Dutch jewellery designers working in the Netherlands today [x]. He is known his solid acrylic handbags and a little mouse necklace and brooch which I’ve seen it. When I saw this brooch (chew your own brooch) I thought that it just represented a chewing gum. Unexpectedly, after I research his work, it wasn’t that what I expected. According to him “ I got fascinated by the stains on the streets made by chewing gum that has been spat out. People either look for holes in the pavement to get rid off their gum, or they approach a building and spit it out on the steps before entering. These are places where the density of stains clearly thickens. It made me consider the relevance of such observations to my work as a jewellery maker”.


I was quite impressed and shocked, how he was inspired by stains on the streets made by chewing gum and I simply thought that ideas are always close to your environment as he observed by street. Basically, the process is that he provided you with a piece [X] of gum and then you start out with a thin strip of chewing gum; you chew it into a ball and then the process of shaping and re-shaping starts until it ends.

X] would be delivered to you by post. It’s fantastic to see how the designs become a brooch and each has its own personality of the chewer. This project connects the designer’s role and the role given to the audience.

What is the chewing gum? Basically, Chewing gum is a type of gum made of chicle, a natural latex product, or synthetic rubber known as polyisobutylene. Most chewing gums are considered polymers and they have different types of tasty but after a certain time the tasty always disappears and than you rid off it from your mouth. In my perspective, the chewing gum reminds me of the disposable society and relationship situations. For example, when we need it we spend time with it and after when it no longer necessary we unsparingly abandon it. I was curious Ted Noten thinks the same way with those chewing gums. I read an article about him, which described Ted Noten’s design act as a critique on contemporary life and on the history of jewellery, as well as on the wider context of product design. An interesting part of his work is to challenge convention.

When I looked up other work which he is known for, acrylic cast featuring a little mouse, it reminds me of one of English conceptual artists Damien Hirst. He became famous with a series of artworks in which he presents dead animals. Actually I’ve seen his work in Tate modern in London.

He displayed “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” a 14-foot-long glass tank with a shark preserved in formaldehyde. Also he made “spin paintings” created on a spinning circular surface, which are randomly colored circles created by his assistants. It was a slightly different approach compare to Ted Noten. Hirst’s work investigates and challenges our contemporary belief systems. Even if they differ in  approach I found that Damien Hirst and Ted Noten are interacting with the audiences and both their work has a strong symbolic statement in it.

Ted Noten’s jewelry piece “A split before imploding”

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ted Noten (born in 1956) is a Dutch jewellery designer and conceptual artist. His is known for his work of making acrylic handbags containing various symbolic items like stuffed mouse, guns, and fishes.

I choose Ted Noten design, “A split before imploding ” which is one of 6 “jewelry bags” together called “limited edition” from 2007, from. “A split before imploding” is a 30-kilo trolley bag made out of solid acrylic and carries only one item, a trapped perfume bottle (named Flower bomb) made by two fashion designers Viktor and Rolf.

Ted Noten wants to deconstruct our preconceptions of jewelry and wanted to show how jewelry also can be implemented, without connecting it physical to the body. Ted Noten tells us that the trolley bag is a statement of “status and showing off” ….“The Fashion and jewelry worlds are absurd this bag’s 30 kilos -it would be ridiculous to carry”. The artist Marjan Boot also comments that the piece has a commentary toward predominant rise of wealth and the fear of robbery an it being in a trolley bag, tells something about the increased safety in airports and the fear for terror.

I find Ted Noten’s “A split before imploding” interesting because of the visual design itself and the concept of the perfume bottle. This aesthetic of sealed beauty locked-in forever by impervious walls, tells a story about an idea of perfect beauty never to be introduced to the spotted and imperfect world.

Limited edition

The trolley bag is accompany by 5 others jewelry bag in the series Limited edition. They all bear the same “inaccessible” construction of an item being behind a thick layer of acrylic. (a gun, fish etc.)

In Ted Noten’s work you often find some form of rebelliousness when it comes to him and his costumes. I find in his work “Pig bracelet” he made a golden bracelet with a small pig figure wearing a necklace. Giving the nature of this, being jewelry and highly expensive. one must assume that his costumers must have a reasonably good income. Having this in mind and seeing a pig wearing a necklace could indicate an ironic commentary toward his buyers as “rich greedy old woman” who are looking for beauty in all the wrong places.

I would refer this statement also with the trolley. People buying a 30-kilo jewelry trolley with no practical means, could tell a story about the absurdity Ted Noten is trying to reveal.

It seems that Ted Noten is often trying to bring forward the ugliness of mankind and then beautifully wrapping it in cellophane. You can see it in several of his works,  like “Be nice to her, buy her a ring” a project in which clients to the red light district could buy a ring for 2.50 to give to a prostitutes and then hopefully a more respectable relationship between client and prostitute could be established.
This is also seen in “limited edition” where one of the jewelry bags is a real gun inserted in acrylic and the cast like a schoolbag.
This lethal gun represents the dark side of mankind’s destructive behavior and selfish power. But when covered in clear acrylic it distances itself from the lethal projection and becomes a symbol of raw power.

His solid acrylic bag resembles a work I did a couple of years ago. I made out of 500 kg ballistic gel, 2 square boxes containing a flower and a number of bullets shoot in from the side.

In my ballistic gel art piece. I’m trying to show the true competition that takes place during human conception. This is the competition for life. More the over 100.000 sperm fight for their ability to live on, but only one is allowed in, to fertilizer the egg.

The gel is a tissue that to some extends resembles the soft environment that this conception is surrender of, but the gel creates an unbreakable and time free zone where nothing is allowed in.

Also in Ted Noten’s work where this perfume bottles is captured in time and out of reach for anybody outside the hard visible box. I see him as an artist trying to tell a story of his surroundings either if it’s a mouse with a pearl necklace (Turbo princess 1995) or a giant bottle of perfume locked in acrylic. There is always of story about how we human most live with ugliness and beauty side by side.

Louis Vuitton and Golden Earrings

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ted Noten thinks these days the function of jewelry is quite not necessary in the western culture. In his opinion we have forgotten what it means. He asks himself the question; What is jewelry? And; Why do we keep it?”
He wants to make jewelry people can afford, and that’s a funny thing because his way of working is to pack things into acrylic material, so he actiully makes a distance between object and public.
And the fact that he don’t want to make art for the elite people. But – if you make jewelry that goes into the art field, it’s only the elite who can buy it.

That’s also my question; What’s the use of this ‘useless jewelry’?

Pdf-icon  research on_Ted_Noten

Do Romance and Prostitution Mix?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

During ExperimentaDesign 2008, 7 jewelry designer were given a chance to work and live in the Red Light District. The project was called “Red Light Design”. RedLightDesigner Ted Noten designed red rings and sold them in the imfamous Red Light District in Amsterdam City. What caught my eye, the first time I saw Ted Noten’s display, was the way he presented his work. The rings were sold in a 24-hour vending-machine placed in a window where a former ‘working woman’ used to conduct her business.

“Be nice to a girl, buy her a ring” was his motto.

Basically he wants to add a little romance to the surrounding; the prostitutes, the men and woman that visit the area. Interesting in the way Ted presented his work is the interaction that takes place between the tourist and other people that pass this display; curiousity is aroused in almost everyone that walks by. But I started to wonder and question the work; does this designers work fullfill its purpose? Does the rings reach their intended destination? And do romance and prostitution mix? What would happen if we asked a prostitute her opinion? What would she think? So I asked a ‘lady of the night’, right around the corner to find out what she had to say.
This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.

posting by Dana Jansen

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