Katerina Perez: What have been the most significant moments in Stenzhorn's journey to become the brand it is today?
Klaus Stenzhorn: In all these years there have been a few remarkable moments, and they all made their impact on our journey to form the Stenzhorn brand. The most important and impressive for me was the recognition from highly respected brands who came to us and shook hands, in a way to welcome us into this esteemed jewellery circle. I’d like to think that we’re filling a gap in this industry with our own design aesthetic and use of avant-garde techniques. We also work mainly with smaller precious stones, which reflects our philosophy: our jewellery is not primarily about the intrinsic value of gemstones, but the emphasis on meticulous craftsmanship, artistic design and attention to detail.
KP: This was apparent in your first collection, which made waves and put the brand on the map within the jewellery industry. Please tell us about it.
KS: Our very first impactful creations were made using our signature invisible setting. It was a group of parrot brooches and objects de vertu set in tsavorites, rubies, blue and orange sapphires, inspired by my travels through the Amazon River. In order to recreate the bird’s plumage, each feather had to be singularly attached to a central gold structure and secured with long pins to ensure a three-dimensional result. Countless people came to see these parrots on display at an exhibition, and so we decided to evolve the collection and present some important unique pieces for every upcoming show. One of them – the recent Chrysanthemum necklace from The Noble Ones collection - marked another pivotal moment, as we move into more sculptural jewels. The workmanship of this piece is of staggering complexity, both in its three-dimensional effect and the setting of the stones. If you take a close look at the petals you will see that rubies embellish even those parts that are not instantly visible.
KP: Talking about unique pieces, I have noticed that Stenzhorn introduced many more high jewellery pieces in recent years…
KS: To become recognised in this industry, you must be able to showcase what you can do. With this mindset, we believe it’s best to demonstrate this in our high jewellery pieces. At first, this wasn’t so easy, but slowly things are going our way as we develop a market for exclusive creations. Our aim is to ensure that whoever loves fine jewellery recognises the Stenzhorn aesthetic, it’s innovations and superlative quality.
KP: Does it mean that you will continue to develop and innovate the invisible setting which Stenzhorn is most famous for?
KS: We have refined our gemstone and diamond cutting over the years, and this will push the boundaries of what is possible for the future of invisible setting. You will see more technically challenging pieces that go beyond the current industry standard of invisible setting, using a range of stone cuts, set at different levels and angles to recreate the lightness of flowers. We are always searching for innovation and new ways of creation; this will never change.
KP: In your opinion, what is it that allows Stenzhorn to keep on innovating throughout the years?
KS: I’ve always wanted to bring together culture, travel stories and nature from different parts of the world that are fundamental and close to my heart. In all my life, I’ve never accepted "can’t be done" as an answer. This philosophy allows us to push the boundaries and present ever more daring pieces. I have a huge fascination with modern technology and a passion for the arts, which has always driven me to take design risks.
KP: Are you preparing something special to celebrate the 40th year anniversary of Stenzhorn?
KS: Of course, this year we have a lot going on! We’ve created a new collection of unique stand alone pieces which we’ve been working on for the last few years. They will be launched at the Baselworld show 2020, along with new videos and special events to mark our 40th anniversary.