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Working as an jewelry-artist is a matter of attitude, a conscious choice for a certain way of working; a mentality. It is of no importance to me whether the piece of jewelry I made exceeds boundaries. My aim is to make a good piece of jewelry and whether it is defined as art is up to others.
In making my jewelry I am in search of answers to questions I cannot or will not ask myself, hoping that my jewelry can show me both the questions and the answers.
Of great importance are archetypical forms of jewelry; I can be fascinated by a plain linkchain. Mere circles creating a picture and function that cannot be improved, form and function intertwined.

Intellectual themes, which are often used by my colleagues, are not in my line and are a dead-end to me. However, the fact that others work in this way I find important and inspiring. I work with the idea that without the great past no present is possible.
During my attendance at the Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) I decided that I want to cherish and keep up the tradition of the age-old craft. Reading the biography of Benvenuto Cellini, a sculptor/ goldsmith from the Renaissance was an important stimulus for me in this.
My work are clear pieces of jewellery and are certainly very wearable. My inspirations are the material, the symbolism of a traditional shape or the beauty of a technique. I have acquired an extensive knowledge of traditional materials and old techniques of the craft. This knowledge enables me to let my pieces of jewellery arise from controlled experiments, pieces of jewellery that carry within them the significance of the goldsmith tradition.

Ralph Bakker
December 1999/2001

© Ralph Bakker