For a long time, Dutch product designer Herman Hermsen devoted himself in equal parts to the design of industrial products and jewelry. After studying at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten Arnhem from 1974 to 1979, Hermsen's passion was lighting design. Hermsen follows his own consistent line. His luminaire designs create a dialogue between functionality and form with playful ease. The construction itself becomes a decorative element. Not infrequently, the designs are accompanied with a wink, such as the table light 'Along came Bette', whose slanted reflector disc on the bulb is reminiscent of the large hats worn by the film star Bette Davis.

In addition, Hermsen assisted Emmy van Leersum, the wife of his former teacher Gijs Bakker, with jewelry design for four years during this phase. A medium that now moved more and more into the foreground of his work. His designs break with the traditional norms of jewelry as a status symbol. Colorfully painted steel wire, aluminum or plastic transforms into easy-going jewelry objects.

"In general, my working method with regard to all designs is based on a reinterpretation of the respective product," Hermsen says. The results are experiments in form that challenge conventional notions of function and wearability. There are brooches that manage entirely without brooching and are held in place only by pinching the fabric, or bulky headdresses made of thin wire that protrude into space when fastened over the ears.

After his appointment as professor at the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Hermsen turned his focus entirely to serially manufactured jewelry. Today, his works are represented in numerous museums and collections.

Objects by Herman Hermsen