Contemporary Applied Arts from Hungary 2.


Despite having a colourful and varied profusion of form, the jewellery of Katalin Jermakov builds up to create a soothing harmony and communicate a clean and logical order. They suggest that the different fragments of life form together a rational and visually perceivable whole. Her artistic world creates a balance between the opposing qualities, built upon the base symbols that harken back to ancient natural forms. The basic shapes she uses are almost always the circle, the square, the triangle or the spiral, from which she composes her very own style: contemporary 3D objects that cannot be mistaken for anyone else’s. Her jewellery containing leaves makes the eternal value of nature’s fl eeting beauty visual and tangible. With her feather rings that sit perfectly but unusually between the fi ngers she also created pieces using a mortal part of the organic world which usually cannot be worn as a ring. The interlocking twin rings and the complementary ring pairs, which all maintain the renaissance traditions, emphasize the formal and symbolic contrast of the circle and the square, and their obvious unity all at once. The spectacular necklaces composed of soft textile and hard metal fade into the clothes yet also provide a strong contrast. Her inscribed rings were inspired by objects of bygone days that carried messages and their chosen inscriptions fl owed from their very form. The spatial forms offer unexpected views and encourage us to keep changing our viewpoint while making the form and text infi nite. The objects of Katalin Jermakov review the standardization and equalisation of the opposites. Black and white, wood and metal, concave and convex, all are responding to each other in her works, though the distance between extremes is tamed down. The elegant forms, the severe, no-frills way of thinking, the contemporary design based on traditions are all that make her work beautiful and loveable to the people of today. In the Philippines they believe that certain objects have souls, they become a part of us by their special magnetism and aura. This spiritual surplus is called Mana by the Polynesians, Katalin Jermakov is on a mission to create objects with this signifi cance.

Katalin Spengler

In spite of being striking, jewellery is not only one of our most personal possessions but also one of our most intimate. These days it doesn’t represent our social status but embodies our intimate moods. Apart from aesthetic requirements, its primary goal is to be expressive. This role is initiated by a certain signal system. Katalin Jermakov’s work manifests this expectation. Carefully contemplating her bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces, we come across miracles. Miracles of the coherence and harmony it brings, even though the artist build all her pieces on strong contrasts. It is similar to the second theme of Bartok’s famous work, the music of the Nocturne, where the violin and the clarinet stand out symmetrically like each other’s refl ection. The characteristically strong yet still delicately soft and structurally built silvers of hers are the perfect example of how visual language is more effective than any other communication when it comes to mediate our feelings and thoughts. Her pieces are not important for themselves, but for the messages they all carry within. Good examples are the twin rings that are originally a medieval invention but became popular during the Renaissance. Still, her creations are totally different to their 15th and 16th Century predecessors. They are more imaginative and playful, and like her other jewellery, they become a creative companion to their owners by being variable according to their wishes. Her rings with texts also rephrase examples of ancient times. The circle - just like in mythology, or in the mandalas drawn by Tibetan monks, or in the early astronomers’ theories – always refers to the most basic relation to life and to its fi nal completeness. Jermakov’s written circles wish to inspire what their predecessors did before, despite addressing today. Remarkable also are the pieces belonging to each other but having nothing to do with traditional sets. The pair of earrings or the bracelet that belong to the ring each carry individual messages with their own thematical and formal harmony, but wearing them together will result in carrying a totally different message. The contrasts also have emphasised roles. Positive/negative forms, surfaces and colours, the decorating motifs made of vertical and horizontal lines and the playful combinations of black ebony and white silver never represent art for art’s sake. All refer to the classical relationship between man and woman, the polarity of the world and the unity and balance between extremes. If we wish to own a piece of Jermakov’s jewellery, we think that it is us who makes the choice, but the truth is that the object chooses us. That is how it becomes a part of us, fusing with our personality and informing others of our inner selves.

Tamás Zoltán

Text by: Katalin Spengler, Tamás Zoltán, Borbála Cseh
Layout: Katalin Jermakov
Content: 60 + 4 pages, with 48 colour-plates
No. of Issues: 1000
Date of Publication: 2006