Ted Noten originally started working as a bricklayer and a psychiatric nurse, before enrolling into the Maastricht Academy for Applied Arts in 1983 to pursue art and jewelry design. He obtained his degree from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 1990, and began pursuing a career in art and design. Influenced by the work of Marcel Duchamp, Francis Bacon, and Damien Hirst, Noten’s work focuses on conceptual topics and critiques of established traditions in art and jewelry design. Noten came to international prominence with his 1995 pendant Turbo Princess, which featured a small mouse wearing a pearl necklace, which was cast in acrylic. Since his initial success, Noten’s work has become well known through his designs for jewelry, purses, and other products. These pieces usually explore themes such as violence, mortality, greed, love, and aging. Influenced by his time as a bricklayer, architecture also plays a role in Noten’s work.
In 2005, Noten opened his design studio Atelier Ted Noten, which features group collaboration between artists and designers to create conceptual pieces under the Ted Noten name. Along with design, Noten also taught as a senior international research fellow at the Birmingham School of Jewellery of Birmingham City University, in England, from 2005-2008. He currently teaches at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.