Gijs Bakker, a Dutch designer pioneer in contemporary jewelry

Gijs Bakker, un design néerlandais précurseur du bijou contemporain

1. An avant-garde designer

Gijs Bakker was born in 1942 in the Netherlands. After studying industrial design and jewelry, he started working with Emmy Van Leersum, a designer of contemporary jewelry with minimalist and architectural lines.


Emmy and Gijs in their workshop

"Emmy van Leersum and Gijs Bakker, whose avant-garde starts are already a thing of the past, have consistently moved forward with innovative ideas. Their revolt against the formal standards of modern jewelry in the 1960s propelled them to international prominence." Hemen Drutt.


Bracelet designed by Emmy van Leersum, 1979

2. The Droog Design

In 1993, Bakker founded Droog Design with the help of a famous design critic and historian, Renny Ramakers. Both wanted to work with independent designers from all walks of life to design products that they put together and then exhibit to the public. They both received the Benno Premsela Award (former Dutch design award) in 2007.


Chest of drawers by Tejo Remy 1991, one of the first pieces selected by Bekker.


3. Chi ha Paura...? The jewelry revolution

In 1996, Bakker staged the exhibition "Chi ha Paura ...?", which means "Who is afraid of ...?" together with the Italian gallery owner Marijke Vallanzasca. Their goal is to show the world that a jewel is much more than a decorative fashion accessory. It provokes, breaks the codes of the time and challenges the fear for contemporary jewelry by developing modern and more accessible lines. 


For Bakker, the jewel is no longer a simple element of appearance, it joins the field of the decorative arts. 


Gijs Bakker 1967

"In the 1960s, Gijs Bakker made hypertrophied jewelry in aluminum and steel to de-zine those that were too traditional and too precious. He wants to be in the modernity, explains the specialist Benjamin Lineel. Categorizing contemporary jewelry no longer seems necessary to me because younger people are unaware of this issue or don't care much about it."


Bracelet - Circle in Circle, 1972


3. Linking craft and industrial design

In 2009, Bakker became creative director of Gallery Han in Taiwan. His goal? To strengthen the links between contemporary design and local tradition. To do so, he collaborates with world-renowned companies such as Polaroid, HEMA, Artifort and his creations cover jewelry as well as household appliances.

Bakker for Hema, 1996

Today, he is still at the head of Droog Design and never ceases to inspire with his modern, contemporary vision of jewelry that he sees as a sculpture that he sees as a sculpture that comes to life on the body like this ring, Damesarmband. 

Bracelet - Damesarmband, 1986

Previous Article Next Article

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published