Continuing my features of independent artisans, I have the great pleasure of showcasing the work of Michael Weihe today. Michael made his big debut in the charm world as a designer for Trollbeads. He is the renowned creator of the [retired] Jellyfish and the Unity beads. The Jellyfish is a remarkable piece; long and fluid, it flows beautifully along the bracelet. It’s also quite substantial and one of my favorite oceanic themed charms, having been worn with my various other aquatic animals all summer long.
Michael started his career by studying biology at university but after graduation decided to pursue his love of craftsmanship as a goldsmith apprentice with Georg Jensen Silversmithy in Copenhagen, Denmark, a premier workshop. One of the first companies he worked with was Trollbeads; there he started out by finishing thousands of silver cast beads, and later proposed a couple designs to Lise Aagaard – and that’s how Jellyfish and Unity were born. Of the concepts that were not taken by Trollbeads, Michael tried to sell in his own studio but found that he could not do so while contracted with the brand. Therefore, in 2011 the designer parted ways with the company and set up his own website, Michael Designs for his jewelry and silverwork.
Since the Jellyfish and Unity are retired, Michael is free to reproduce these charms under his own name, with silver, gold, and two-tone, in his own studio. He takes great inspiration from his scientific background and how organisms interact, “the way bones connect (the line “Bones”), the way cells divide (the line “Cell”) or how sea organisms live together in symbiosis (the line “Seafruit).” I look forward to reviewing some of his greatest designs – the Seahorse, Seahorse Daddy, Embrace, the World and more!
Currently, Michael is working on a pendant series to feature elements of his home town, Haderslev, Denmark. The ones already made include: eagle, ice crystal, water tower, fable animal, and ox, with more to come. These motifs complement the amazing silver and wood wine coaster that he made, which was given from his municipality to Queen Margrethe II and her husband, Prince Consort Henri during their visit over the summer. He has a real talent for bringing living things “to life” in silver and I’m more than happy to enjoy his creativeness. Do you have any designs from this artisan? Any pieces that catch your eye?