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The Danish Silversmith Georg Jensen

Updated on July 10, 2015

Georg Jensen Means High Quality Craftsmanship

Georg Jensen jewelry is artfully designed, making it unique both aesthetically and in the shape. He trained as a ceramic artist and sculpture and got his jewelry start training as a goldsmith. He is known for high quality jewelry made of silver combined with semi-precious stones or by itself.

A Danish Silversmith

Born on the thirty-first of August in 1866, Georg Arthur Jensen was a silversmith who was Danish. Born in the year eighteen sixty-six he was the son of a grinder of knives in Raadvad town just to Copenhagen’s north. He began his goldsmith training in Copenhagen at fourteen years of age. With the Guldsmed Andersen firm, his apprenticeship ended in eighteen eighty-four and this freed Georg to follow his interests in art. From the time he was a child, he longed to sculpt and began to study a course at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He found that making a living as a fine artists was not easy although his clay sculpture was well-received. He turned to applied arts at this point. First at Bing and Grondahl a factory for porcelain, he was a modeller starting in the year eighteen ninety-eight. He began with a workshop for pottery that he founded along with Christian Petersen, his partner. Again he got well-received work but to support himself, sales were just not strong enough. He had 2 small sons at this point and was a widower.

Abandoned Ceramics

In the year nineteen one, he started again as a silversmith, abandoning ceramics and designed with Mogens Ballin, the master. This led to a landmark decision made by Jensen when in the year nineteen four he opened his own silversmithy and risked what little capital he had at Copenhagen’s 36 Bredgade.

Love at First Sight

Six years later in nineteen seven, Georg Jensen met Johanne Nielsen and felt love at first sight with the minister’s daughter. Johanne and Jensen met when her youngest sister became a workshop apprentice where the supervisor was Jensen. This was a true love match as they fell in love at first sight. More than that, when they wed in the year nineteen seven, Jensen acquired important business collaborators as it grew from a Bredgade workshop to a Ragnagade large Silversmithy. Jensen was usually able to find good business partners and craftsmen some of whom became famous even after they left Jensen’s shop. One of the greatest strengths of Jensen was that he created a solidarity feeling even among personalities that were quite heterogenous, giving them inspiration to strive towards just one goal.

One Goal

At the silversmithy, there was no hierarchy and all the craftsmen followed one objective, striving to maintain the workshop’s reputation and standards. A personality who was inspiring, Jensen did go through some disagreements due to a quick temper. However, the atmosphere of friendliness returned quickly as his quick tempers were just passing storms. There were no machine sounds at the shop and every piece was handmade so that the individual, creative atmosphere was not spoiled. Later, he created a complete flatware set called the Continental which today remains to sell widely. In particular, service pieces became creative genius individual works.

Swedish Market

At one point, a new Swedish market opened which was fortunate. A lot of his work collections was purchased by Nils Wendel, a well-known dealer of art. Later, due to the need for producing more, Jensen moved to larger premises to a Knippelsbrogade workshop, opening at 21 Bredgade, a tiny shop for sales.

Catching the Public Eye

The training Jensen had as a metalsmith along with his fine arts education let him combine both discipline and revive the artist craftsman traditions. Not too long after, the fine quality and beauty of his creations of Art Nouveau caught the public eye, assuring his success. The quarters in Copenhagen were expanded greatly and before the time that the roaring twenties ended, he had opened outlets of retail shops as far ranging as Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, London and New York.

His Legacy: Excellence in Craftsmanship

He passed away in the year nineteen thirty five but the years preceding imbued his held ideal into the firm concerning both excellence in craftsmanship and artistry in design. This was one of the traditions he adhered to through the 20th century. Although he was an Art Nouveau style proponent, he had foresight and wisdom allowing his designers their own expressive freedom which expanding the firm’s production and scope of style, allowing it to evolve with the passage of time.

There was such a thing as the Georg Jensen style. Renowned in a group of craftsmen and artists who created their own silver works for the Georg Jensen company, the name also brings to mind a specific style of many faceted, high quality craftsmanship.


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