To Bibi van der Velden, jewellery is more than just stone and metal
Inspired by life
For Bibi van der Velden, jewellery clearly is much more than just precious metals and gemstones. During her frequent travels, the innovative sculptor and jeweller searches for the unlikely elements that define her imaginative pieces. Take, for instance, the collection that she recently created using the wing cases of scarab beetles. “The natural iridescence and colours of the wings could never be re-created outside of nature," says van der Velden. She cast the delicate sheaths in gold or sterling silver and embellished the pieces – rings, necklaces, earrings – with a sprinkling of colourful gemstones.
Since launching her eponymous brand 11 years ago, van der Velden has been a well-kept secret among the mostly European connoisseurs who collect her designs, but the Amsterdam-based artist is fast becoming more widely known worldwide, with striking pieces as a finely detailed snake-with-pearl bracelet carved out of a 40,000-year-old mammoth-ivory tusk, or sliced-quartz earrings that evoke jellyfish.