Björn Weckström (1935 – ) The internationally recognized, Bjorn Weckström is a Finnish artist and sculptor. In a 2010 interview he said, “Jewelry are scaled-down sculptures.”
As a child, he loved working with clay because of the ways he could mold and shape it. He personally discovered the strong connections between sculptor and form. Although he dreamed of becoming a sculptor, his family sent him to the Goldsmith’s school when he was 16. He graduated in 1956, then, in 1957, with financial help from his family opened first workshop in Helsinki. The first jewelry creations he made there displayed his penchant for bold, clean design.
He was among the first to design sculpture-like jewelry for Lapponia after his successful collaboration with Pekka Antilla. Weckström drew his early inspirations from small gold nuggets he found in Lapland. This brought about a new style in jewelry design. Weckström also used silver to create a line distinct from traditional ideas of what jewelry ought to look like and be. These silver pieces suggest outer space landscapes.
When designing the silver pieces, Weckström wanted to portray the snowy, Finnish winter landscape with its frozen lake surfaces. These tiny jeweled landscapes, sometimes peopled with sculptured figures are like silver crumpled by a giant hand, alternating light reflections on smooth and rough matte surfaces.
When discussing them, Weckström said, “…when making a work of small size, one must overdramatize the forms. Jewelry is a miniature sculpture to me, but because a woman is going to wear it, it [has an especially] sensual, mystic-erotic charge. So many forces and symbols can be concentrated in it.”
In addition to jewelry design, Weckström is a recognized sculptor, glass designer and painter and has been honored multiple times for his work. His sculptures encompass both abstract form and individualistic interpretations of realism.
In summing up his work, Weckström has said, “A piece of jewelry is a miniature sculpture with the human body in the background. When I first began in the early 1960s, I wanted to turn jewelry design into [a] small-scale form of art and raise its profile on a par with that of modern sculpting. Naturally matte gold soon became my trademark. Wearers of my jewelry relate personally to it. Some think jewelry is art, others think it is an intriguing complement to their personality or a fascinating conversation piece. Some think that it is quite simply beautiful.”