Trained as a goldsmith, Ulrike Hamm's skills
are well honed and meticulous.
However this artist doesn't work in gold or
any type of metal;
instead she works with parchment.
And her jewelry is elaborate, intriguing and delicate.
Parchment is a durable material
made from the skin of an animal
(usually goat, calf, sheep or deer)
and was commonly used as a
writing paper up until medieval times.
While not as common today, its strong
and elastic nature does lend
itself to exploration and many creative
possibilities - including jewelry
that is translucent and delicate.
The artist explains her point of view
and methods on her website,
Parchment is not a common material . . . it is a stubborn, mysterious, vivid, precious and unpredictable material that wants to be explored and conquered. Its inspirational appearance and characteristics allow me to constantly discover new aspects and possibilities . . . . I develop three-dimensional forms out of the flat surface and test different dyeing or printing techniques on it. I dye the pre-cut parts in various stages in a colour bath, and while they are still elastic I shape and assemble them into jewellery.
Her explorations of this material lead to jewelry
that, as the artist says, "reward us with a
vitality of colour, graceful shapes
and a resilient lightness."
It's easy to love her floral-themed bracelets
We've shown another artist who also works
with animal skin in experimental ways,
Marta Mattson and her work is equally
The translucent quality of parchment
lends itself extremely well
to the delicacy and softness of
these handmade blossoms.
This one is a definite favorite of mine.
Unusual materials handled in unexpected ways
lead to exquisite pieces of jewelry
that can take one's breath away.
This artist creates floral pieces
with subtle colorations
and lifelike realism.
More information is available