THE CREATIVE OASIS IN STIPSHAUSEN
The studio in the picturesque Hunsrück village of Stipshausen is home to Tom, Jutta and Bernd Munsteiner. Built in 1973, the studio has been an oasis of creativity ever since. Together with a small team of master gem cutters and goldsmiths, Tom and Jutta create new and exciting designs in stone and jewellery every day. Tourmaline, aquamarine, garnet, citrine, amethyst, rock crystal and many other minerals receive their very special, unique “Munsteiner cut” here. In the studios own goldsmith’s workshop, the Munsteiners create unique jewellery in Platinum, Yellow Gold and Silver, many of which have already been honored with multiple awards internationally. The combination of gemstone cutting, goldsmithing and exhibition rooms offer visitors a wonderful opportunity to gain a small insight into the creative process from the rough stone to the finished piece of jewellery.
Bernd, Jutta and Tom Munsteiner
Bernd Munsteiner was the first contemporary artist to go off in search of the aura of the crystal. For more than forty years now, he has been turning transparent stones in particular into images, objets d’art and sculptures. They open up the magical landscapes inside the crystal to the viewer, extend his inner and outer visual areas into projection surfaces of the psychical.Through his work, Munsteiner links precious stone sculpture to the artistic debates of the 20th century without denying the archaic layers in the relationship of mankind to stone and precious stones in particular. By that very act, Munsteiner’s precious stone sculptures elude a representation culture oriented towards performative eventfulness as well as reception in passing. On the other hand, they project into our transient lifetime as monumental symbols of the eternal – in spite of their relatively small spatial volume.
Although Jutta Munsteiner’s creative focus was initially on jewellery, the intensive collaboration in Atelier Munsteiner was doubtlessly a decisive factor in encouraging her to work to an increasing degree also as a shaper of precious stones. Jutta Munsteiner attempts in a very sensitive manner to explore very cautiously the feelings which jewellery could provoke in the sophisticated customer who lives in the present. Women of today and the future no longer want to use jewellery to show what they have, but who they are. In other words: jewellery as an object of possession, as a status symbol is “out”. This means it must contribute more strongly towards expressing the inner character of a woman. As a result, however, jewellery also challenges a woman to recognize herself.
Crystals, the reflecting play of light in its inherent structures, are fascinating testimonies of nature to Tom Munsteiner, which lead him to a formal expression in the cut which is incomparably rich in variation. The crystal is not just dead stone to him; the crystal, which looks at him through its reflection of light as it were, leads an independent existence at the threshold between inanimate and animated nature like something organic. This is the reason why Tom Munsteiner combines clean cuts in the material, geometric figures, such as prisms and circles, testimonies of an internal constructivist architecture of the stone, with spherical, organically soft round forms.
THE YOUNG GENERATION
In the mid – 1970s Bernd Munsteiner began to revolutionize the design of gemstones with the radical rejection of the world renowned brilliant cut. For him, the aesthetic quality of the crystals was a rediscovery and the cornerstone of his worldwide success. Munsteiner used his ideas to lead the gemstone toward the art of the 20th century. His works are represented in numerous museums worldwide. Since 1997, his son Tom and his daughter-in-law Jutta continue the studio in Stipshausen near Idar-Oberstein. Over the past 15 years, “The Young Generation”, based on Bernd Munsteiner’s work, has developed its own characteristic form language that places the virtual interior of the cut crystal at the center of aesthetic reflection. Tom Munsteiner is a gemstone designer, while Jutta Munsteiner jewelry and gemstone designer as well as goldsmith master. The richly illustrated book provides a complete overview of the artistic work of Tom and Jutta Munsteiner. Not only does it give a deep insight into the crystalline worlds of gemstones, but it also shows that crystals have lost none of their millennia-old fascination as an artistic material.
Not only does it give a deep insight into the crystalline worlds of gemstones, but it also shows that crystals have lost none of their millennia-old fascination as an artistic material.
REFLEXIONEN IN STEIN
The fascinating art of gemstone cutting was once brought from the Idar-Oberstein region to all around the world. And right from this region, the gemstone cutter Bernd Munsteiner revolutionized gemstone cutting. In the 1960s he became the first contemporary artist to put the aesthetic qualities of the naturally grown mineral mineral in the center of his sculptural work. At first he worked with agates, and later on with transparent gems that he turned into pictures, sculptures or jewelery. His concern was not to perfect the superficial shine of the mineral, but to make the “inside” of a gem visible. His newly invented stone cuts “Natural Movements”, “Inside Selecting” or “Rhythm” stand for Munsteiner’s unusual handling of the gemstone. They open up to the viewer previously unknown fields of vision; magical “landscapes” in the stone that expand into projection surfaces of the
mind. In the last few years, Munsteiner’s work focuses on gemstone sculpture, which opens up completely new dimensions for the design of the gemstone. Spectacular sculptures such as those of the cycle “Metamorphosis” from an originally 580 kg rock crystal have earned Bernd Munsteiner an international reputation as an outstanding innovator of modern gemstone cut.
Creativity: Fantasy, dimension, composition, structure, rhythm, contrasts, accents, color … I understand reliefs, gemstone cuts, jewelery and sculptures as an artistic statement of our time, an individual expression of creativity. It’s my way of speaking, of making myself understood. The Gemstone cut requires its own form of creativity, the recognition of natural forms, the crystallographic structure; Everything that exists must be perceived. This requires a special sensitivity to the matter, to the color of the minerals, their purity, their natural inclusions and structural changes in order to make visible and classify the invisible.
On this the realization of an idea in the mineral, the own mental statement, is based. Minerals and crystals, the most fascinating matter on earth, are brought out of the earth under often difficult conditions and thanks to hard work. Selected and rare transparent crystals are the basis of my work as a gemstone sander. For many years I have been traveling to Brazil to track down such crystals at their original deposits. A publication by Publicaciones Joyeras, S.A. from the year 2000.
Liberated from the constraints of traditional jewellery design, Bernd Munsteiner has found his own way as a kind of synthesis of the natural form of the material and modern styling. His own philosophy lies behind all his designs: the realization of an idea in mineral, in which natural forms are recognized, and whose essence is perceived and made visible. In the end, the shaped stone represents an individual intellectual statement of this magus of precious stones. His works could therefore not be better characterised than by the observation of Viktor Hugo: “Nothing in the world is as powerful as an idea.”
AWARDS AND OBJECTS
European Product Design Award 2018:
“Hashioki” – a Chopstick/Knife Rest in Citrine
The knife rest „Hashioki“ is an exclusive tabletop accessory, hand carved from a natural Quartz crystal. The name “Hashioki” is derived from the traditional Japanese chopstick rests. Its most remarkable feature is the very straightforward geometry, in contrast to the lively design inside the gem. The design may look modest at first glance, but captivates the viewer by its often-changing optical impressions, and surprising light reflections. The object measures 50 x 18 mm, and is available in variations of different gemstones, including Smoky Quartz, Rutilated Quartz and Citrine.
Grand Catalan Art Award for Bernd Munsteiner:
“The Picasso of Gems”
Great honour for Bernd Munsteiner: The gemstone designer from Stipshausen received the Grand Arts Prize of the Catalan Guild of Goldsmiths, Silversmiths, Watchmakers, Gemologists and Jewelers in Barcelona (JORGC). Stefan Conradt, Rhein-Zeitung 18.12.2017. Barcelona / Stipshausen
Firework for the senses:
Fine Design for the Spirits
An exceptional creation from the Munsteiner studio, apart from gemstone and sculpture, are these digestif glasses made of natural rock crystal, smoky quartz or citrine. A noble stone as a vessel for fine spirits – of course in a distinctive Munsteiner design – offers a very special experience for connoisseurs and collectors alike.
Vater-Gestein: New Sculpture for the Sculpture Garden
On Saturday, November 17, 2018, the sculpture was officially inaugurated by the mayor of Stipshausen, Mr. Frank Marx, the chairman of the Geißenverein, Mr. Dietmar Schumacher and by myself, in the presence of the goats, Geißenbrüder and friends. In my speech, I referred to the “unfortunate” test drill of the Brazilians, which ultimately brought us the luck to have such a beautiful amethyst quartz druse as a new object here in the sculpture park. This luck should be transferred to the entire sculpture park.
More information to this “stony” story: Vater-Gestein, Sculpture Garden Stipshausen
World’s largest cut aquamarine displayed at Smithsonian
The Munsteiners Tom and Bernd Munsteiner have been “rocking” the world of lapidary for numerous decades, making them both visionaries in the art of extraordinary gem cutting and objets d’art! Their legendary skills and exquisite style command sophisticated collectors and colleagues worldwide to view artistically cut gems with a new perspective. Munsteiner creations are Historical – Radical – Powerful – Beautiful – Phenomenal – Influential – Provincial – Sensual – Obtainable – Collectible Gems. No significant gem collection would be considered complete without a Munsteiner!
Susan Helmich, Designer of Jewellry
Songbook As a musician I see Jutta as a singer, Tom on drums, Philipp on bass and Bernd with trombone. They play e.g.: Mantis – Context Cut – Symbolon – Green Flash – Around the World -Dom Pedro – Magic Eye Splendid…..Gorgeous!
Robert Smit, Designer of Jewellry
Fairs and Exhibitions 2023/24
May 11 to May 14, 2023
GJX Tucson 2024
January 30 – February 4
Tuesday – Saturday 10am to 6pm & Sunday from 10am to 4pm
Tucson, Arizona, USA