At one of Kent’s concerts, Efva noticed Jocke Berg’s interest in jewelry.
“I have never done a designer collaboration with jewelry before, but I just knew that Jocke was right for it”, says Efva Attling.
The first time she asked if he’d be interested in designing his own jewelry, was ten years ago. But even if Jocke wanted to, the music and the touring came in between and the plans came to nothing. Last year they met again. Jocke had just had a water leak in his studio, forcing him to take a break from the music for a while and this time the previously cautions “yes” became more convinced.
“Efva asked me if I would like to do men’s jewelry, that was her basic idea. And that sounded like a lot of fun”, says Jocke Berg, “but quite challenging at the same time. When starting to think more specific about men’s jewellery you realize there is an enormous range, and most of it is very masculine. I thought I wanted to create something less obvious. You are so tired of it, the stereotype macho. So, that was probably the first idea, to create something that had a slightly more sensitive approach”.
The duo met in Efva’s atelier and Efva talked about the technical aspects of working with metal, the possibilities, and the limitations. Together with Efva’s gold and silver smith Torbjörn Erstrand, the first collection by Jocke began to take shape.
“This collaboration is the first for the HÖGDALEN”, says Efva, “ and to me, it’s been very important that Jocke has been totally free in his creativity. Torbjörn and I have been there to support with knowledge about the material and the craftsmanship.”
“The technical part was very interesting”, says Jocke. “To see something that took me 10 minutes to draw, but then is extremely complicated to make in metal. That’s powerful”.
“And that is quite different when making jewelry compared to making music”, he continues. “The ideation phase is the same, but with music, it is so loose. The imagination is the only limitation for what you can do. If it turns out well or not, that is another question. But with jewelry, there are concrete limitations for what is possible within the craftsmanship that you have to deal with. I like that when the limitations become part of the creative.” Jocke’s collection part one consists of the pieces Arc, HMRD, Fleur, Hell Key, One, and Clef.
The common inspiration for the various pieces in the collection comes from history – both his own and ancient times. Hmrd and One are made of solid silver hammered by hand. The texture is shaped from the round head hammer beating the metal in a dust free environment. The atelier has to be sealed off during this process in order to avoid unwanted particles in the air.
“I am intrigued by this technique as it has been used since ancient times”, says Jocke. “And now I’ve been able to create my version with it.”
The collection also holds pieces with more contemporary flirts. Arc Bracelet is a piece with complex patterned silver plates inspired by one of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most known buildings in Los Angeles. A building close to the studio where Kent’s second last album, “Tigerdrottningen”, was recorded. And also Hell Key, the same symbol as Jocke has tattooed on one of his forearms.
“Hell Key is a symbol I found in a comic book I read a long, long time ago – The Sandman”, Jocke tells. “It’s the key that opens the gates of hell. There is a very funny episode in the comic, where the devil has tired, given up and just left. And sort of thrown the key away because he can’t cope with that any longer. But you don’t need to know that to like it.”
“Symbols are often very easy to work with”, Jocke continues. “And it’s fun to use symbols where the original meaning has been forgotten over the years. But it’s also fun to come up with your own symbols, symbols that people believe are old.” Ra Pendant is one such example. The inspiration for the eye-shaped necklace can be found in both Horus Eye, an ancient Egyptian symbol of vigilance and courage, and the alleged symbol of the Illuminati. A red garnet decorates the center of the eye to symbolize ultimate luxury.
“Working with symbols becomes a play with perspective. Like invisible messages and codes”, says Jocke.
“Jocke’s strong artistic expression is clearly evident in the entire collection and he should be proud. I’m happy I dared to ask twice”, Efva sums it up.