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Born on a remote Swedish island in 1927, Vivianna Torun was the first female silversmith to gain international recognition for her designs and jewellery. From an artistic family with her sculptor mother and creative siblings, Torun began making jewellery as a teenager, later attending the Stockholm University of Arts, Crafts and Design.
She staged her first exhibition at the age of 21 before travelling to Paris and Cannes where she met with Picasso, Matisse and Georges Braque. A few years later she opened her own studio and in doing so became the first female silversmith in Sweden to have her own workshop. Torun was keen to design and make jewellery that was ‘anti status jewellery’, pieces that were not for the wives of wealthy men to be kept locked up in private. She stated that ‘A piece of jewellery should be a symbol of love. It should enhance and move with the body so that it blends with you. It must not overwhelm, but enhance you’.Torun’s jewellery was inspired by natural shapes such as flowers, leaves, swirls and the flow of water. It is described as sober, minimalist and simple. Torun has been praised for her ability to shape solid materials into seemingly flexible forms, so that metal flows like water around the wearer’s neck and shoulders. She did not use valuable stones, preferring instead pebbles, granite, rock crystal, moonstone and quartz.
In 1955 she created the stunning Georg Jensen Dew drop neck ring, a feminine, striking piece with sleek lines that can take a drop pendant with a variety of stones to suit different moods and styles.
This was then followed four years later by the Mobius necklace and both these pieces together with the ‘Forget me knot’ range are still available today, as current in their design as they were 60 years ago. She is the second most famous designer for Georg Jensen, after Jensen himself and in 1992 she was awarded the Prince Eugen medal by King Carl Gustaf of Sweden for outstanding artistic achievement.
Probably the piece that Torun is most famous for is the bangle style watch with the mirror dial that was designed in 1962 for an exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and this item became the first wristwatch to be produced by Georg Jensen. Stunning yet simple and totally different to anything being designed at the time, Torun explained the open bangle and mirrored dial as being a reminder that the wearer should live in the moment.
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