Amongst the most exciting jewellers showing their wares at this week’s Tefaf exhibition in The Netherland’s Maastricht is Wallace Chan. The highly creative, and experimental, jewellery designer will be showing 30 of his pieces at the art fair, including a hyper-realistic brooch inspired by a peacock that combines titanium and an innovative new type of porcelain.
“I wanted it to be as realistic as possible,” said Chan of the transformable brooch, which he has named Hera after the goddess from Greek mythology who kept a peacock as a pet. “And as abstract as it can be – like a dream you carry from your sleep into your waking world.”
The Wallace Chan Hera brooch – which is smothered with a glittering blanket of gems including yellow diamonds, emeralds and tsavorite garnets, as well as two Padparadscha sapphires for eyes – is transformable. The large opal at the base of the design, surrounded by projecting pearl-tipped prongs, can be detached and worn as a ring.
The Hera brooch makes use of one of Chan’s signature metals, titanium, which can be heat treated to achieve those peacock-hued blues and purples. It also uses one of his more recent innovations, The Wallace Chan Porcelain, a bespoke form of super-strength porcelain that is five times stronger than steel.
“The result of seven years of research, The Wallace Chan Porcelain gives me a lot of creative freedom in terms of aesthetic forms and functional parts,” said Chan. “Married together with titanium, this innovative material marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life.”
Visitors to Chan’s booth at Tefaf, which will run until March 24th, will also be able to see the first jewel that Chan created using The Wallace Chan Porcelain – a sapphire, aquamarine and diamond ring called A New Generation. Other Wallace Chan designs on show include The Wheel of Time, a series of 12 necklaces corresponding to the Chinese zodiac, and Butterfly Nebula, a pair of brooches depicting fairy-like creatures with butterfly wings living on the imaginary planet.
Visitors to Tefaf Maastricht can listen to Chan talk about his work and visionary creative processes during the exhibition, with the artist giving five-minute talks at his booth at 4pm each day of the show.
Hundreds of coloured gems have been used to create the plumage of a peacock in this Hera brooch by Wallace Chan
The opal on the Wallace Chan Hera brooch can be detached to be worn as a ring
A New Generation sapphire, aquamarine and diamond ring by Wallace Chan
Butterfly Nebula brooch by Wallace Chan
I wanted it to be as realistic as possible and as abstract as it can be – like a dream you carry from your sleep into your waking world
Jewellery designer Wallace Chan at Tefaf Maastricht 2019
The Wheel of Time zodiac-inspired necklace by Wallace Chan>
The Hera brooch by Wallace Chan has Padparadscha sapphire eyes