15 December 2013
In 2005 Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum took its first steps in the fashion world. It was a modest start: a series of buttons and a hand-painted porcelain stopper for the highly stylised crystal orson + bodil perfume bottle. The company’s collaboration with the man behind the orson + bodil label, Alexander van Slobbe, gave us the appetite for more. The designer and the oldest company in the Netherlands joined forces in their shared passion for craftsmanship, history and quality.
Alexander van Slobbe and Jan Tichelaar have been inspired by the age-old symbolism of the pearl. Eternal, wisdom, immortality – these are all characteristics attributed to the pearl by various cultures. For the designer the pearl is in the first place a valuable gem that is perfectly suited to distinctive, contemporary jewellery where design and craftsmanship merge.
A shared passion for craft products
The designer: ‘My collaboration with Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum is motivated by our shared respect for craft techniques and products. The idea of the Pearls of Makkum appeared all of a sudden. One could say that the oyster opened as a result of a special chemistry. Personally I think they have turned out exceptionally fine, very tactile. They occupy a prominent position in our shop in Amsterdam. I associate some of the variants with Dutch folklore. That is what is so mysterious: Pearls of Makkum are made now, but they might just as easily have existed for a century. That is because they are made by hand using traditional processes. That makes each pearl a unique gem.’
Pearl necklaces made to measure
The first series of handmade faience pearls from Makkum, which appeared in 2006, were enthusiastically received. This refined collection was expanded with a new series in 2011, for which Alexander van Slobbe went back to the history of the costume jewellery of the 1960s and ‘70s. The Pearls of Makkum display a sumptuous range of colour combinations, varied glazes and decoration. The scale runs from ‘Old Dutch’ to ‘graphic-minimalist’. All the pearls are available individually, but also in the form of a necklace, with a handsome matching silken ribbon. Necklaces can be made up according to your personal taste.
Would you like to put together your own pearl necklace with the Pearls of Makkum?