Johanna Dahm

Johanna Dahm was born in Zurich in 1947. Her training at the Schule für Gestaltung, Zurich was heavily influenced by Bauhaus ideas and principles. Since she created a series of jewelry out of aluminum and plexiglas in the 1970s, she has been a key figure in the art jewelry world. Her use of unconventional materials established her as a designer at the forefront of her field. Her work considers jewelry’s relationship to the body, for instance pieces that explore the “play of reflected light on the skin.” From 1990 until 2005, she was a tenured professor at the University of Design in Pforzheim, Germany. After this period she experimented in non-western jewelry traditions, returning to West Africa where she spent the early years of her childhood. She studied the lost-wax casting technique of the Ashanti tribe in Ghana. Learning this process imbued her work with a stronger sense of a “sensual expression of form and wearability.”

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