The new collection of high jewellery from the Munich atelier is part of a complex multi-sensory project based on technical perfection, innovation and an extraordinary sensitivity to nature and human relations.

For connoisseurs and lovers of jewellery, the German jewellery brand Hemmerle is a real institution: every single piece is unique and recognisable, with its own undisputed personality, and is conceived and made entirely by hand as a work of art, often the result of hundreds of hours of work.

Curiosity and freedom from established preconceptions, superstructures and methods allow the Hemmerle family – today in the fourth generation with Christian Hemmerle and his Egyptian wife, Yasmin, flanked by his parents Sylveli and Stefan – to move at ease, creatively speaking, in time and space, inspired every time by ancient civilizations as well as contemporary art, their heritage (the company was founded in 1893 as a producer of orders and medals, among other things also for the Royal House of Bavaria), modern architecture or ancient goldsmith techniques. Since the 1970s, “humble” and unorthodox materials such as steel or aluminium have been boldly paired with precious stones or decorative elements of immense value, creating projects that are both innovative and that interpret the most refined goldsmith tradition. The project of the new collection, Infused Jewels, was conceived four years ago. It is based around the idea of creating a bespoke herbal tea blend that would draw attention to the healing power of herbs, a subject dear to Germany – where homeopathy was not born by chance – and in particular to Munich, which, from the beginning, has been an important growth centre for this discipline (in actual fact, a few years ago Bavaria pioneered a homeopathy department within its Ministry of Health). The pandemic helped to focus on the project: “Covid – explains Christian Hemmerle – forced us to focus on a renewed, more conscious sense of community and to reflect on the concept of well-being itself, collective and individual, as well as on the need to savour every moment of our lives”.

The pillar of the project is tea, which in every age and in every part of the world has always been the preeminent figure of a ritual that refers to the concepts of hospitality, togetherness, and precisely a strong link with nature and its herbs with their healing and relaxing powers. “The tea blend being the central axis of the project, we started by studying a plethora of botanical books and visiting botanical gardens, creating a culture of herbs and flavours – recalls Yasmin Hemmerle – Fundamental in this phase was the collaboration with Romana Auth of Kräutergarten München, the first ecologically certified herb house in Munich”. Once the 13 ingredients were selected – including cinnamon, rose petals, lavender, orange blossom – each of them was transformed into a jewel that is its perfect reproduction, and each piece in turn is the result of a unique blend of unconventional materials, in perfect Hemmerle style: diamonds, precious and coloured stones, gold, anodised aluminium, bronze, porcelain, silver… The collection was deliberately restricted to 10 pairs of earrings and three brooches, as Yasmin explains: “The specific designs came together as natural outcomes surrounding the research of the real-life scale and physicality of each plant and herb. Our aim was not to honour and reflect the naturalistic perspective of each and hence we didn’t want to use creative interpretation in forming those into larger creations such as a necklace or a bracelet and instead using our creativity to innovate within each jewel into bringing together the materials to life in a sort of Trompe-l’oeil style but with metals and precious stones”. Each piece of jewellery is a piece of skill and has required talent, imagination and exceptional craftsmanship: but among them there is one that has more than others, putting the legendary audacity of the brand to the test – the Cinnamon Brooch, as Christian Hemmerle recounts: “The initial idea was to recreate a bronze cinnamon stick but during the designing the project was completely changed because the natural beauty of real cinnamon bark prevailed, which became the star of the brooch, combined with minimal use of bronze and white gold and a beautiful Fancy Deep Brown-Yellow diamond.

It took months of testing with real cinnamon before arriving at a result that guaranteed aesthetic perfection, natural simplicity and stability!” The brooch therefore exudes the beneficial smell of the spice: just like the Lavender earrings – in aluminium, bronze, white gold and tanzanite – which can be opened to be filled with fragrant lavender flowers. Another piece destined to form part of Hemmerle’s history is the Orange Blossom brooch: it is the first jewel in the brand’s hundred-plus years not made entirely in-house: its beautiful porcelain stamen topped with a pair of natural golden pearls were actually made by the renowned Bavarian manufacturer, Nymphenburg: the same House to which Hemmerle has commissioned bespoke porcelain tea-caddies, each dedicated to one of the herbs that gave life to the project and to the jewels, with herbs rendered in relief and reproduced in every detail. “We then set upon the challenging task of deciding how we are to commemorate the project which after many stimulating ideas, led us on deciding to commission a modernday fairy tale that would be illustrated and published in a book. The pairing of enjoying tea whilst immersing oneself in the universe of a book soon became the right context with which we wanted to express the key messages of the Infused Jewels project” explains Yasmin. Thus was born the crowning element of the project, The Herb Garden, a modern-day fairy tale written by Greta Bellamacina and illustrated by Rosanna Tasker that makes readers of all ages reflect on the healing power of nature and the ability of the individual to improve their community, with a holistic and respectful approach to everything around us.

“It was very important for us – conclude Yasmin and Christian – to anchor the project with a meaningful context that was both close to our heart and true to our identity and which would also resonate with a wider audience. From East to West, spanning countless cultures, tea carries a ubiquitous, ritualistic significance, evoking a reflective moment for rejuvenation and sparking a spirit of conviviality and togetherness, all elements which are fundamental in the messages imbued into the project and the Hemmerle ethos”.

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