Benedikt Fischer (Fraham, 1984) has been making jewelry since he was a teenager. Although trained as a traditional goldsmith in his native Austria, Fischer soon realized that he held a more radical view of his craft. After seeing the work of alumni of Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academy in a local jewelry gallery, he relocated to Amsterdam to continue his studies. Both the Rietveld and Fischer’s traditional training have left a mark on him, as his work combines conventional goldsmithing techniques with a variety of uncommon materials, often “found objects” such as brightly colored plastic, mammoth bones, and mannequin parts.
For one series of brooches Fischer cut up discarded construction and ski helmets and worked the surface with utmost care and concentration, using instruments such as scalpels, carving burrs, and V-shaped engraving chisels to produce surfaces reminiscent of animal pelts and tree bark. The names of these finely textured pieces of jewelry—Abelii Abelii (orangutan) and Arctos Arctos (brown bear)—are Latin, and refer to the animal heads one instinctively recognizes. Expanding his first series, Fischer melted helmet plastic into brooches that resemble miniature snow-capped peaks (named Akka, for a mountain range in northern Sweden). In addition, he has reworked anonymous, mass-produced plastic utensils into a series of pendants (Monocoque).
The first piece of jewelry Fischer ever wore was a guardian angel charm. In fact, the jewelry he makes now may also be assigned this function. The helmet, originally for physical protection, becomes transformed into the symbolic protection of an amulet for the wearer.
Benedikt Fischer is one of the 26 designers and studios that are selected for the group show Dream Out Loud – Designing for Tomorrow’s Demands. The exhibition can be visited from 26 August 2016 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Read more about the exhibition or order tickets.
2011 – // plastic, remanium, (epoxy clay, paper)