Title: Neckpiece with Crystals
Description: Silver Wire and Swarovski Crystals
Artist: Karen Van Hoff
Profile: Karen Van Hoff has been designing and making jewellery for six years. A period during which many influences have blended together and an innovative technique has evolved that has allowed her to create collections of original and exquisitely beautiful fine art jewellery. As an Art and Design student in the 1980s, Karenís main focus was drawing, painting and sculpture. Over the years, this was combined with an interest in historical costume design and her practical knowledge of silk painting and embroidery, this amalgamation of interests developed, leading to a variety of artistic ventures. In the 1990ís Karen was commissioned to design and create elaborately embroidered, beaded and hand painted accessories including panels for couture gowns, silk wraps, hats and evening purses. A joint project with a couture gown designer in 1999 led Karen to explore the possibility of using finely drawn precious metal wire to create jewellery. By combining several techniques Karen discovered that she could knit, weave, embroider and sculpt fine wires, pearls, crystal, and gemstone beads into stunning pieces of jewellery. Not only is this jewellery a pleasure to look at it is also a joy to wear. It has been thoughtfully designed to fit and flatter the shape of a woman as would a couture gown. The underlying motif seen in most of this designers work has been inspired by the ever changing and intricately detailed flora found in the hedgerows of her beloved Shropshire country side.