I walked past the shop and then doubled back, because I couldn’t resist going inside to have a closer look at the pendant in the window. It was perfection in its simplicity…a circle of black onyx with an inner circle of white gold…graceful and elegant. Inside the Copenhagen shop, Danish designer, Rebekka Notkin, was every bit as lovely as her jewelry.
Dressed in chic midnight blue satin, with simple grey ballet flats, Rebekka showed me her jewelry. In her expert hands, gemstones are artfully combined with gentle curves of precious metals. As I tried on the pendant, she told me about her life as a jewelry designer. She began making jewelry as a child…for her Barbie dolls. (How peculiar that we grew up in different countries, yet began our design careers in exactly the same way.)
Her philosophy about designing jewelry is identical to my feelings about design for the home.
“I’m very preoccupied with the relationship between aesthetics and function and how it can evolve in new ways. My designs have no superfluous ornamentation. They’re a symphony of luxurious gemstones and precious metals.”
Rebekka’s passionate approach to craftsmanship was inspired by her father, a goldsmith. She started working with him as a teenager, and then went on to study the art, and apprentice in the field. The tools she works with were passed down from her father, and also her grandfather, who was a dental technician.
In 1997, Rebekka opened her first shop in Copenhagen, and in 2009 she moved her atelier and boutique to a gorgeous space on the fashionable street of Bredgade. Sunlight streams in through the door, illuminating the understated glass boxes on the walls that display carefully placed glistening jewelry. George Jensen vases are filled with flowers, and an antique stained glass screen provides a back drop for the window display.
Beyond the boutique is her workshop, through a violet draped arch, illuminated by a bold contemporary pendant light. The airy space with its tall ceilings makes a perfect environment for a design studio.
As with most designers, inspiration can pop up anywhere and at any time, and the line between work and play is blurry, so Rebekka always carries a sketchbook with her. Many jewelry designers work on computers, but she feels more of a connection to the art by putting pen to paper.
Design is constantly being influenced and shaped by history and culture, and Rebekka speaks eloquently of their impact with regards to jewelry.
“I am inspired by the magic that surrounds jewelry and gemstones in a historical perspective. Jewels represent their times, a trend or art movement. History has influenced jewelry design throughout the ages, be this in gifts of affection, objects of trade, part of a garment, or symbols of knowledge, power, wealth or beauty.”
I am always curious about designer’s homes, and so Rebekka sent me some pictures…her Copenhagen home is absolutely charming. There’s something about how the Danish can effortlessly mix centuries of history together in one room and the result is sheer design perfection. I love the juxtaposition of the Poul Henningsen lights with the classical reliefs on the plaster walls, and the mid-century Danish modern furniture sitting under that stunning antique chandelier.
Anyway, back to the store…I still dream about the pendant I saw in the window, as well as this onyx pendant that falls fluidly through a ring, making a clasp unnecessary because it is, brilliantly, part of the design.
Rebekka Notkin jewelry exemplifies contemporary sophistication, elegance, and style…words that would also describe Rebekka herself.