ESTONISHING ! 13* from Estonia at ETDM

Blog February 20, 2017

ESTONISHING ! 13* from Estonia
Exhibition was opened 16 November 2016 at
Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design

Contemporary Estonian jewellery has become a hallmark of quality on the international stage and stands out with its emotional depth and melancholic contemplation from the ever-conforming jewellery of the mainstream. This is also the reason why the Brazilian gallerist Thomas Cohn invited Estonian jewellers to represent his gallery at the major jewellery event “Schmuck” in Munich this March. Thomas Cohn’s gallery is the leading contemporary jewellery gallery in Latin America and represents jewellers from around the world. He also suggested a rather bold title for the exhibition: “ESTONISHING ! 13* from Estonia”, reflecting his great admiration for Estonian jewellery. The curators regard the common interests of the 13 Estonian artists chosen for the exhibition as including a contemplative approach to the origins of creativity and by having secluded themselves from the bustle of the world through intellectual clarity and cognitive subjectivity. A quiet mutual respect binds the artists, whose ideas coexist like a sparsely scattered settlement.

The prestigious jewellery exhibition “Schmuck”, a part of Handwerksmesse, which takes place in Munich every year in March, is the largest pre-selected exhibition of contemporary jewellery and has been taking place regularly since 1959. Important jewellery galleries from around the world gather at the trade fair to present artists or exhibitions alongside “Schmuck”. “Schmuck” itself and its satellite exhibition in the city has continued to grow into a more and more remarkable stage and forum for jewellery and in the past few years has been organised under the name “Munich Jewellery Week”. The week of events, now on the scale of a festival, is visited by thousands of professionals from around the world – artists, gallerists, collectors, critics and students. Over a hundred jewellery exhibitions open throughout the city. There are lectures and promotional events and book launches.

The public has taken to “Estonishing” wonderfully. The integrity and deliberateness of the display was outstanding in the context of the fair. Many works found their way from the exhibition into important private collections around the world.

In June, the Estonian jewellery travelled to São Paulo, where it was exhibited in Thomas Cohn’s gallery. Now, after two successful exhibitions abroad, the Estonian public may see the works by the 13 jeweller, both new and previously exhibited, in the stairway gallery at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue designed by Asko and Julia Maria Künnap. In addition to presenting the work, each artist reveals something about themselves through one Estonian word and an illustrative image.

Curators: Thomas Cohn and Tanel Veenre

Participating artists: Kadri Mälk, Tanel Veenre, Piret Hirv, Kristiina Laurits, Villu Plink, Nils Hint, Sofja Hallik, Eve Margus-Villems, Darja Popolitova, Maria Valdma, Julia Maria Künnap, Maarja Niinemägi, Ketli Tiitsar

The design of the exhibition is a collaboration by all the participating artists.

Supporters: Thomas Cohn, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Susan Cummins, Helena Pahlman, Mart Kalm, Law Office Ehasoo&Partners, SA Noor Ehe, Emil Urbel


Tanel Veenre
gold, seashell, bone

12717525_10205463115678797_8642632118569858022_nMaarja Niinemägi
brooch 2013
engraved milky opal, buffalo horn, silver, gold


Kristiina Laurits
BLIND II (detail)
neckpiece 2016
black salt, wood, silver, black tourmaline, aquamarine, white goldleaf





Ketli Tiitsar
Second Nature V
brooch 2016
ash wood, silver, pigment

Eve Margus-Villems
rings 2015
gabbro, marble, white gold, oxidised silver


Darja Popolitova
Metanoia XIII
brooch 2016
stabilized wood, resin, pigment, silver, steel

12697240_10205435059617413_2096429599087934938_oVillu Plink
brooch 2015
painted iron, plastic, steel


Piret Hirv
One Straw
brooch 2015

12710711_10205474626006548_3189032171191891398_oNils Hint
Very practical necklace
necklace 2015
forged / welded iron, ready made

12719342_10205451326584077_339443738991025417_oSofia Hallik
necklace 2015
plastic, 18ct gold, rubber

Maria Valdma
brooch 2016
burned oak, gold, silver

12747364_10205488490713157_2572271372257441463_oJulia Maria Künnap
Mother and daughter I
brooch 2015
gold, obsidian12764658_10205532834501724_6086876243354389850_o


Kadri Mälk
Duende 1
Brooch 2015
Painted cibatool, silver, pleonast

Read the article of Kellie Riggs about Estonishing ! here