Air time: Georg Jensen breathes new life into Nina Koppel’s Fusion design
Nina Koppel’s Fusion ring marked a key moment for Georg Jensen jewellery on its debut in 2000, signalling a departure from the Danish design house’s silver tradition for a first flirtation with gold. Stacking rings are a mainstay of contemporary jewellery design but Koppel was ahead of the game with Fusion – a modular jewellery system comprised of an undulating set of rings, in rose, yellow or white gold. Beautifully engineered to fit seamlessly together, Fusion presents a jigsaw of options for the wearer and in it an element of personalisation. It’s still one of Georg Jensen’s most popular designs.
Now, on the eve of its twentieth anniversary, an updated Fusion collection is launched – and it has grown, with bangles, pendants and earrings. This new incarnation also reminds us Koppel is one of the unseen greats of jewellery design.
After studying textile design at the Kunsthåndværkerskolen, Denmark’s School of Arts and Crafts, Koppel set up a workshop in central Copenhagen, where she collaborated with other designers, focusing on interior furnishings as well as textiles. Her 47-hue ‘Tonus’ design for Kvadrat, which she created for the textile specialist in the Sixties, was one of the first elastic-backed woollen fabrics. It was initially used on the Jørgen Rasmussen office chair.
There’s a strong sense of Koppel’s textile work in Fusion. ‘The core of the Fusion designs is the fluid lines that signify them,’ says Georg Jensen chief creative officer Nicholas Manville. ‘It was important to keep a strong sense of movement as the foundation on which to create the new pieces.’ The original designs were engineered as a locking system, and as such the silhouettes were rigid, with minimal space between the pieces to make a whole.
The new collection stays true to Koppel’s original design – which she devised in 1987 – with lighter, elongated lines. Rather than add something new, Manville and his team have toyed with the organic origins of Fusion. By creating spaces between the wave lines the focus is on the outlines themselves. Or, as Manville puts it: ‘The new pieces are almost an animation of what happens before the elements come together – or fuse.’ §