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Artful Hand: Michael Zobel

Jill Newman

Michael Zobel, in striving to create harmony between metal and stones, continues to pioneer innovative techniques and explore new media, even after 35 years of crafting jewelry. One of the 62-year-old designer’s recent creations is a pendant made of a slab of bright Mexican fire opal; diamonds set underneath the stone add an element of unexpected sparkle. Another brooch, which he refers to as his “extraterrestrial art,” is made of blackened silver overlaid with striations of platinum and set with a large piece of Cape York meteorite and rough diamonds.

Zobel, whose use of unconventional metals and materials has gained him international fame, is best known for designs featuring abstract forms layered with different colors and textures. He utilizes everything from gold and platinum to exotic stones and wood, and even classical gems such as diamonds and pearls assume a modern edge in his hands.
 
Zobel creates his distinctive and sophisticated pieces in quiet Constance, Germany, an idyllic village situated between the Black Forest and the Swiss Alps, where he has a workshop and jewelry gallery. “I’m happiest at my workbench,” he says, “where I can experiment with metal and stones and see where it leads me.”
 

 

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