Georg Jensen collaborates with Kelly Wearstler for new ‘boundless’ steel range
Take an exclusive tour of the six-piece collection ‘Frequency’ inside the LA-based designer’s home and studio
Spurred by an invitation to collaborate with Danish silver and steel makers Georg Jensen, LA-based designer Kelly Wearstler searched the brand’s archives for inspiration. Ironically, Wearstler found a muse for her larger-scale pieces in the small 1968 Möbius brooch – a silver jewellery design without beginning or end. The piece, and its spirit of boundlessness, informs the new ‘Frequency’ collection, a six-piece collaboration between Georg Jensen and Wearstler that uses wave motifs throughout. The line represents the brand’s first significant steel collaboration with an American designer, and a continued shift towards pieces outside of classic dinnerware.
‘We wanted to move into some other rooms of the house, to think of a collection that had more to do with architecture and furniture and to complement those types of worlds as opposed to setting a table,’ Nicholas Manville, senior vice president of design at Georg Jensen, said. ‘We thought of no other person for the job, really.’
Georg Jensen, founded in 1904, in Denmark, first arrived on American shores in 1915, long before it began working with steel in 1941. The Scandinavian designs were welcomed most significantly by the West Coast, Manville said, informing the choice of a distinctly Californian, forward-thinking designer for the collaboration. They immediately looked to Wearstler, whose idiosyncratic hotel projects (Viceroy, Proper, Case) as well as residential designs have helped define contemporary Californian eclecticism, with a maximalist interest in colour, pattern, and texture.
Wearstler, on her part, noted that the title of the collection and its distinctive pattern are meant to evoke ‘California and the movement of the ocean and the landscape, and also repetition which I use often in my designs.’ The collection pieces include ‘Hurricane’ candle holders, bowls, a tray and a vase – versatile pieces ranging from $100-$250 – all using a seamless, rippling effect.
‘They can go together, but each has its own voice,’ Wearstler said, adding that she designed them to be both ‘friendly and sculptural’ to complement any style of home. During a visit to Wearstler’s Los Angeles home, a roughly 100-year-old Georgian-style estate furnished with postmodern, Memphis, and contemporary design pieces, Wearstler displayed pieces from the collaboration; several were also on display in her offices, located in a classic 1960s Harold Levitt office building.
The collaboration will be ongoing. Wearstler mentioned ideas for other sorts of unconfirmed items, such as ice buckets, even at one point floating the thought of a coffee table – which would become the largest item by far in Georg Jensen’s catalogue, in yet another nod to the Californian sense of boundlessness. §