Ted Noten is a jewellery designer notorious for making work that can be deemed shocking, or, at the very least, non-traditional as far as even contemporary jewellery design goes. Even the designer’s home, the Netherlands, a country renowned for creative and, at times, quirky design tastes places Noten at the periphery of his discipline. Ted Noten is staunch in his stance on his practice. He is not an artist, not a sculptor, not an artisan. He is a jewellery designer. And one who, like many great artists, began by honing traditional craft skills. He is well-versed in the social, cultural, and economic influences on jewellery design, and familiar with its long history in different cultures. This rich foundation, combined with an undying curiosity and an enterprising spirit, makes has seen Noten through a career of over 25 years.
The designer is known for his acrylic works. There was Turbo Princess (1995), the infamous pearl-wearing mouse, cast in acrylic and tuned into a hefty pendant. Then followed an ongoing series of acrylic necklaces and bags. Noten’ creations often drift into the territory of object design, some times art. They are slippery category defiers. His work can appear to be merely attention grabbing, particularly when it comes to his love for guns. But this is not he case. The designer navigates conceptual intricacies, while trying to push the discipline’s boundaries to new scales, territories, and conversations with the complex nature of humanity. Humans have adorned ourselves for thousands of years. Contemporary jewellers like Noten ask what our relationship to jewellery can be, while examining the values and stories it can communicate in today’s messy world. Explore more of Ted Noten’s oeuvre here.