Angelika Wolpert: Metalsmith, Jewelry Designer, Artist

On a rainy Friday, the 10th of November, I went to Kreuzberg towards the gallery of goldsmith and ethnologist Martina Dempf to listen to a lecture by Angelika Wolpert, as part of the exhibition “Made in Kreuzberg”, where a Photographer and five jewelry artists give an insight into their work.

Angelika Wolpert is a goldsmith, jewelry designer and artist. In her lecture she leads unpretentiously and approachable through her artistic work. She retrospectively looks back on her career and explains how she – although being a goldsmith – started to work with metal and ended up working with paper.
At the beginning of her career as a metalsmith Wolpert works with hollow bodies, which is the first indication that her work will move towards sculpture in the future. “I just did not want to do tin cans any more”, she describes her strong urge to work with a material that can be sculpted plastically. So she began to work with Pappmaschée, then she makes paper, which she painted first and then later mixed with color pigments. The result is a body of works that can be seen as gems as well as sculptures. Playfully she moves between larger sculptures and pieces of jewelry. She still likes the small format of the jewelry.

Angelika Wolpert always surprises with completely new approaches. One morning as she looks into her teacup, she sees a teabag that triggers a new creative period: from there on she started experimenting with this pouch, trying to fathom its construction, to replicate it, to dye it with different teas in different, delicate shades. She is fascinated by the delicacy of those tea bags. Next she deals with paper snippets coming out of the shredder. With these snippets she designs delicate necklaces. “Jewelry gestures” is the name of these necklaces that are hanging on the wall in glass boxes. The necklace itself has no function anymore. What counts is the idea that the viewer has while watching these delicate pieces of jewelry; the idea of ​​how those delicate chains of paper look on the viewers’ own bodies, how it will feel wearing them.

What drives her over and over again is the curiosity for something new: as soon as she really masters a technique, she wants to move on. Or could her approach be described as research? This is how the artist sees herself: as a researcher who curiously explores the material of paper in all its facets and tries out the design possibilities of this material.

I have not regretted the walk through the rain for a moment. I am glad that I have heard this enriching talk and I am curious about what Angelika Wolpert will explore next.

Until 26.11. 2017 there will be an opportunity to see the exhibition “Made in Kreuzberg“, which I can highly recommend.