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Andrea Wippermann - Jewelry Artist


Texts: andrea wippermann


The cold beauty of winter is mesmerizing

The trees are bare, skeletal. On the bushes, white berries glisten as a final farewell from the past summer. Sparseness and melancholy. Sometimes life feels this way.

A favorite childhood activity was throwing these white berries, which we called "snapberries," onto the ground and stomping on them to make them pop.

When I see these bare bushes with their bright fruits, I am reminded of this.

Externally, everything seems cold and empty, but inside, the strength sleeps and waits for spring. The annually recurring change of seasons always affects me deeply.

For the winter decorations, I chose stainless steel. It appears cold, somewhat unapproachable, tough, and hard.

I worked the metal in such a way that, contrary to its usual technological appearance, it seems organic and warm. Combined with gently shimmering white Akoya pearls, Snowberries I+II evokes this winter feeling.

Snowberries with silver and Akoya pearls has a different effect. The 835 silver alloy contains more copper than the commonly used alloy today. When heated, the copper oxidizes into beautiful brown tones, giving the branches wrapped in silver strips a warm, natural touch. The delicate pearls emphasize this impression.


The necklace Vanitas is a tribute to the portraits of Lucas Cranach the Elder and the Younger. These portraits exude great beauty. Everything is ideal—the pose, the facial expression, the opulent clothing, the splendid jewelry. These individuals are captured at the peak of their vitality and preserved for eternity. The color palette is dominated by vibrant tones yet remains delicate.

The beautiful appearance is deceptive. Everything fades, just as these individuals have long since transitioned to another state of being. This notion is described in the sonnet "Es ist alles eitel" by the Baroque poet Andreas Gryphius from 1637:

Where’er you look, you see but vanity on Earth.
What one man builds today, another tears apart;
Where now stand towns, tomorrow will be meadows,
Upon which shepherds' children play with herds.

What blooms so splendidly today will soon be trampled.
What now stands proud and defiant will tomorrow be ash and bone.
Nothing lasts forever, not iron nor marble stone.
Today, fortune smiles at us; tomorrow, storms bring woe.

The fame of great deeds must vanish like a dream.
Can fleeting man outlast the passage of time?
Oh! What is all this that we regard as precious

But mere nothingness, shadows, dust, and wind,
Like a meadow flower that we cannot find again.
Yet no man heeds what is eternal!

I draw upon the rich and colorful palette of the master. I combine jewelry and industrial enamel to achieve as many color pairs as possible. Unlike the painter's delicate and refined palette, the color harmonies are not predominantly elegant. Some are unusual, some are jarring or even ugly, and some are truly beautiful—much like life itself.

In their interplay, the enameled discs achieve a unique beauty. This is disrupted by the added Vanitas symbol—the skull. At first glance, it appears to be an ivory-like pearl that crowns each pair of enamel discs. A closer look reveals its secret and reminds us of transience.

Beauty and impermanence are inherent in all things.

Ich beziehe mich auf die reiche und farbenfrohe Palette des Meisters. Ich kombiniere Schmuck- und Industrieemaille, um möglichst viele Farbpaare zu erhalten – die Farbklänge sind entgegen der Palette des Malers nicht vordergründig delikat und vornehm. Manche sind ungewohnt, manche schrill oder sogar hässlich, manche sind wirklich schön – so wie das Leben.

In ihrem Zusammenspiel erlangen die emaillierten Scheiben eine besondere Schönheit. Diese wird gebrochen durch das zugefügte Vanitas-Symbol – der Totenschädel. Auf den ersten Blick erscheint er wie eine beinerne Perle, die auf dem Scheitel jedes Emaillepaares trohnt. Der zweite Blick gibt das Geheimnis preis und erinnert uns an die Vergänglichkeit.
Schönheit und Vergänglichkeit sind allen Dingen immanent.

Strange Gardens

I love gardens – I love the promise they hold...
They are small, self-contained landscapes with their own unique, individual rules. Depending on the type, they can be places of longing or utility.
Gardens are as diverse and unique as the people who inhabit them: the farmer's garden, the vegetable garden, the pleasure garden, the allotment garden, the front yard, the Baroque garden, the overgrown garden, or the rooftop garden in the city...

But there is also the enchanted garden: white, bare, empty, with a cold gleam of ice.
The pond has run dry. The flowers have disappeared. The animals hide and wait...a white landscape.

I stroll through a magnificent garden full of colors. My unbridled palette of pure colors – orange, yellow, light blue, medium blue, steel blue, green, red...this is my colorful cottage garden, all color! 

City Landscapes

Pink Garden
In the midst of stone, concrete, and city noise, there are these small artificial oases: balconies, rooftop terraces, window sills with delicate pink and green.

Black Tulips
Light-devouring diamonds – I bought black tulip bulbs from Amsterdam for my little front yard, planted them in the soil, and waited, impatiently! Nothing ever came of them.

Blue Garden
Blue lapis lazuli.
I would love to have a bright blue pond in my garden, surrounded by green and red in June. (2007_Blauer)

Fish on Water Lily Leaves
Water lily leaves over which golden fish leap. A brief flash of the shining fish bodies, cold eyes sparkling like diamonds. Only a fleeting moment. In the depths, the predator lurks, forcing the fish to their limits.


Play with proportions, balance and materiality

The beauty of butterflies, moths, and locusts makes them coveted objects for collections. Pinned in display cases, they are preserved in the moment of death and perfect beauty and vitality. Behind the glass, they are unapproachable.

My metallic flyers, inspired by the praying mantis, hawk moth, and butterfly, are meant to fly. This is intended metaphorically rather than literally. The design of these metallic insects demands a lightness reminiscent of folded paper airplanes.

Vibrant, spring-hard rolled stainless steel supports magnificent, wing-like forms made from various metals, which tremble at the slightest touch. These rigid forms begin to "live" and become approachable.

My focus is not on the morphology of the insects but on the metamorphosis of technoid parts into insect-like pendants.


Memories of a lost culture recovered from the depths, stripped of all meaning and strung together.

The enigmatic objects are materialized reflections, are forms from nature and technology, are stories made of titanium, gold, silver, sheet iron, stone and gemstones.
Fragments are collected, lined up and protected like a collector does.
Where they come from or what they want to be is unimportant.
The idea of protection and secrecy was important to me.
Legend has it: About 1000 years ago, the wealthy and powerful city on the Baltic Sea coast called Vineta was swallowed up by the sea... as a kind of punishment for wastefulness and arrogance. To date, no one has been able to find the remains of the city.
I wonder: What mysterious parts of the sunken city could be found at the bottom of the sea?


I look for the unconscious, chance. I want to discover and let it happen.

I like working with wax. I use thin, fragile sheets of wax that allow me to work quickly and spontaneously. I sketch the first shapes and ideas as if I were using a pencil or brush on paper. In this way, hollow structures are created, which I change as I progress. I separate them, cut them open, partially destroy them, put them back together in a different context.
I'm going on a search. I'm driven by curiosity.
I cast my wax models using the so-called “lost mold” technique with an ancient hand-held slingshot, not out of sentimentality or because I reject modern casting techniques. The casting and air channels, as well as the casting heads, are an important part of my molds. And of course I love the risk that comes with success. I have to use my full physical effort to hurl these glowing cuvettes so that the molten metal replaces the wax mold, so that my wax sketch becomes a durable object.
The results are not entirely perfect, but very surprising. That makes the pieces expressive and interesting for me.


Animals in the city. They are reclaiming the territory.

The animal acts as a medium through which humans illuminate, question and relate their existence to other life forms and the cosmos.
My hybrid creatures oscillate between living beings and technology, between alienation and recognition.

Text: Barbara Maas

Metal Metamorphoses

In Art Nouveau, the lush blooms of the red poppy were favored motifs in jewelry, appreciated for their captivating colors and rich symbolism. Composed of enamel or red gemstones, the poppies of the turn of the century were, in harmony with the Symbolist literature's appreciation of their narcotic effect, metaphors for sleep and ecstatic forgetfulness. As Rilke poetically described, these poppies, “fringed chalices unfolding feverishly around the poppy pod,” are sensual and ambivalent.

In Andrea Wippermann's work, the opulent poppy blooms grouped in threes to form an impressive necklace show no hint of red. They bloom in bright silver. This may initially seem disconcerting, but it becomes less so when one recalls the legend that the poppy flower sprang from the tears of Aphrodite over the death of her beloved Adonis—and tears in fairy tales are known to be silver.

Wippermann masterfully captures the crinkled, fringed delicacy of the fragile poppy petals in thin silver sheets. The treatment of the metal inside the expansive flower chalices creates reflections that produce a translucent, glass-like, bottomless depth where one can lose oneself. This quasi-transparent effect and the intense luminosity of the silver successfully translate the poppy's characteristic traits—its vulnerability and the impact of its color.

The versatility of metal and the richness of its material language are evident in almost all the works of this jewelry artist from Halle an der Saale, a graduate of the distinctive Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design. Sometimes, thin strips of gold foil are “folded” into abstract frog-like shapes, their dynamic lines suggesting movement. Other times, the gold is fashioned into a voluminous, funnel-shaped resonance chamber to which a stick-like insect seems to cling. In the latter case, both parts form the pendant of a necklace titled "Cicada," evoking the soundscape of a southern landscape shimmering in the midday heat.

Despite their considerable size, these nature-inspired works are characterized by lightness and fragility, qualities also inherent in a series of architectural brooches. The brooches "Atico" and "Wrack" from 2002 depict decaying architectural structures in bright yellow gold, whose powerful color contrasts strangely with the seemingly weathered, brittle metal, with its holes, cracks, and efflorescence. Parts of the open structures are damaged or broken off, and the entire form appears to be on the verge of collapse. Here, nature seems to reclaim what was made by human hands, integrating it into the natural cycle of growth and decay. Similarly, the brooch "Shipwreck" is in an advanced state of disintegration, speaking of past times, life plans, and hopes. These recent works by Andrea Wippermann, including those from the "Gardens" series where colorful stone dots timidly blossom into flowers, are materially consistent with her earlier pieces predominantly created using the centrifugal casting method. In both, there are irregularities, bumps, rough spots, and crusts—traces of the crafting process such as rough solder joints, unremoved sprues, and other imperfections.

Plant, animal, human, architecture—these are the central motifs in the work of the Halle-born jewelry artist, now a professor in Wismar. Her creative development, influenced by the legendary "Burg" and especially by the inspiring teacher Dorothea Prühl, also reflects a strong sense of independent and creative individuality. Particularly in her recent works, form in metal is increasingly joined by color, whether in coral-like small creatures populating urban miniature landscapes, subtly used gemstones symbolizing flowers, or lavishly enameled floral chains forming generous, colorful collages.

Andrea Wippermann's creative interest is diverse. It is neither confined to a single, clearly defined theme nor aimed at unequivocal readability. At its core is the perpetual inquiry into the material.

Text: Rüdiger Giebler

Jewelry Is Always Different...

Jewelry can be introverted or an invitation for conversation, unsentimentally calculated or recklessly playful, sometimes even self-destructive, and, in the best case, an intellectual stimulant. Jewelry enhances beauty and wealth, makes one more desirable, establishes hierarchies, provides order and stability, imparts meaning and sensuality, and distracts from life's problem areas. Most of this lies beyond explanation, existing purely in the realm of imagination. Jewelry regulates the desired distance from others and signals intended closeness. For some details, one must come close enough to see. Brittleness, bulkiness, or extreme material value dictate a minimum distance.

Jewelry is an objectified language of symbols. It facilitates exchange through shared codes while also serving as a means of separation. Outside the group, these are unintelligible signs. For enthusiasts, jewelry becomes part of the body—not as a prosthesis but as an extension of the organs. These pieces carry great seriousness. Jewelry is integral to self-identity. When it is truly exceptional, it is timeless, close to eternal youth.

The beauty of jewelry lies in its naturalness, arising from an unspoken agreement between the creator and the audience. This communication is a mystery, especially since much about the object is purely fictional. Without the wearer’s and viewer’s imaginations, jewelry wouldn’t exist. Jewelry is an art form that inherently signals an agreement with the world—why doubt it?

It is about wealth, value, and memory, material worth, and the intricacies of craftsmanship. These small pieces are repositories, collections of strung-together, gathered elements, a form of stockpiling—sometimes just endearing thoughtlessness. Objects become magical, possessing a life of their own; they transform into small idols, talismans, and good luck charms. Status relationships of power and dependence are defined by self-esteem, role-playing, dignity, and recognition. Jewelry provides support. When inherited, it carries emotional significance.

Jewelry is pure, clear, and clean. It represents an intimate display, material proof of having undergone an initiation. Jewelry serves as a communication tool and materialized aura, a toy and the last reserve. The little becomes a lot.

These are all stories, daydreams composed of small, handy forms, simplifications of objects, shapes that depart far from their originals, reinterpreting and reconstructing them. Small sculptures—a materialized contemplation of forms from nature and technology, stories crafted from titanium, gold, silver, sheet iron, stone, and gemstones.

Andrea Wippermann’s materials of choice include floral forms, birds, frogs, other small creatures, architecture, and distinctive landscape details—a view from a train window, a crack in the plaster, things left behind a shed. Patterns are observed, forming in rows, clusters, circular traces, rings, chains. During the creative process, a new order emerges under the artist’s hand, seeking a story, an alphabet. A slight shift, turn, nudge, or replacement—a game of inner immersion.

The craftsmanship is part of the observation. As sawing, filing, hammering, casting, and enameling occur, the search for correspondences and similarities continues. The forms clarify during their creation.

Some pieces resemble tiny vessels, containers, flower chalices, reminiscent of natural forms. The leaf, the core, the shell—symbols of time, people, places, events, questions. What appears simple, clear, and reduced has been abstracted from a long chain of predecessor models, repeatedly varied themes and shapes. Here, flowers symbolize the individual: a moment in the cycle of creation—blooming, withering, and dying—as an object, already a symbol of the cycle. Wippermann asks, what remains of a natural form? How much reduction is possible before recognizability is lost? What is the essence?

There are strung-together frogs made of gold leaf, their legs trembling like in a galvanic experiment when worn on the chest. There are metamorphoses from birds to folded flyers. The lily pond of enameled discs—a pond to immerse in when wearing the necklace, resurfacing with one’s head among the plant leaves. The monochrome painting on the leaves forms a rotating composition. The play overcomes time, everything revolves, but the circles and waves do not form a downward spiral. The gentle cycle of floating flowers promotes a comfortable meditation on order and chance, scattered leaves with gold overlay, an eternal dance, light on water.

It's comfortably beautiful in the system beyond the falling leaves, during the melancholic-free contemplation of floating petals. Can it be this cheerful? The enamel shows clear colors, shimmering slightly transparent like a luminous lacquer. The glass flux on the metal resembles the wax layer of a taut and porous leaf skin. The completely resolved composition always seems to be in the light.

Rings and brooches—architectural miniatures in experimental stages—like cross-sections of buildings or as if someone had run a chainsaw lengthwise through a garden shed, some resembling severed segments of space stations, clear cubes or nested objects recomposed from cut shapes. The operating energy glows in the set stones. This minimalist architecture is built from fine wax plates. The casting process destroys the model; sometimes, the sprues remain like external utility lines of the little houses. Reduction, gaps, and open spaces are part of the objects. The viewer completes the rest. These enigmatic objects with clear shapes, cut edges, and clean breaks are obviously not born from chaos.

Everything is sheet metal, gold value, and added value—the title of a work is an approximation, an invitation to poetry. There's no need for over-interpretation, just oscillating associations.