In 1962 I was born into a family of gold-and silversmiths, watch-makers and jewellery enthusiasts in fifth generation. My father is Swiss, my mother German and I have grandparents from Austria too. Founded in 1832, the business my mother took over from her parents when I was about 10, sold fine watches, exclusive jewels and hand made silverware in the city centre of Lubeck in the very north of Germany. Above my mothers’ business, my dad ran the busy workshop inbued of Bauhaus and Scandinavian Modernism. He turned 82 this year and still smiths new silver beakers, tablets and bowls and runs his own gallery where he also shows paintings, photography, metal and ceramic sculptures by other artist makers. 

In Scandinavia and many northern countries, the bark of the birch tree has a long tradition of being used as an insulating and packaging material. Soaked in water, it is easy to bend. Once dried in the sun, it is durable and surprisingly light. The bark wrist pieces acknowledge both, the beauty of the naturally grown and the machine-made packaging material – bubble wrap. As we move towards a more sustainable future, we must perform a balancing act that may start by re-discovering qualities.

Christoph Zellweger (2022)