Are you wanting to learn about Frank Gehry for Tiffany? Learn about this famous architect's jewelry designs and his most famous collections in this guide.
A Brief History of Frank Gehry Jewelry
World renowned Canadian born architect Frank Gehry, used his obvious skills in design to craft a limited-edition collection of jewelry for Tiffany & Co. These original works are astonishingly beautiful, combining some rarely used materials and new techniques. Through Gehry’s fine, creative eye, geometric shapes have been redefined and placed in interesting angles. Surfaces reflect and deflect light.
Without training in the art of jewelry making, the architect was given unlimited freedom in how to create his line. “Jewelry is an art form,” said Gehry. “In conceptualizing designs for Tiffany, I worked as I always do, sketching and creating models. Sculptors and painters have inspired me with their ability to make things with their own hands. This process led to the discovery of new ways to give feeling and spirit to form and realize our shared vision of jewelry that provides a beautiful context for living now.”
Early Life and Career
Frank Gehry was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1929. An interest in building was established early , as he spent time in his grandfather’s hardware store. Gehry studied at University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. He opened Frank O. Gehry & Associates, in Los Angeles, in 1962. The redesign of his Santa Monica home launched his reputation and furthered his career. “I bought an old house, and I put a new house around it,” he once said.
Some of the architect’s major projects include:
- Vitra Design Museum, in Weil am Rhein, in Germany (1989)
- El Peix (Fish) in Barcelona, Spain (1992)
- Weisman Art Museum, in Minnesota (1993)
- Dancing House, Prague, in the Czech Republic (1996)
- the much lauded Guggenheim Museum, in Bilbao, Spain (1997)
- the Museum of Pop Culture, in Washington (2000)
- the Walt Disney Concert Hall, in California, (2003)
- the Louis Vuitton Foundation, in Paris, France (2014).
Today, the architectural designs of master architect Frank Gehry are considered some of the most important in contemporary design.
Working with Tiffany & Co.
In 2006, Frank Gehry was invited by Tiffany & Co. to produce a line of jewelry. At an opening event to launch the contemporary designs he said of the experience, “They let me go free pretty much. I had thought I was going to get more direction, but they gave none and there were no restrictions. Everything goes sort of speak, and they made it all. There was a lot of experimentation and it led to things. They were very good partners in that way.”
Frank Gehry’s pieces are no longer sold at Tiffany & Co., so collectors must seek out vendors to add this wearable line to their jewelry boxes.
Frank Gehry’s Collection for Tiffany & Co.
A wide variety of jewelry was created during this limited time collaboration between architect Frank Gehry and the famed jeweler Tiffany & Co.
Search to collect the following:
- Leaves Collection
- Heart Collection
- Torque Collection
- Fish Collection
- Orchid Collection
- Fold Collection
- Equus Collection
- Axis Collection
- Morph Collection
- Star Collection
- Yellow gold
- Rose gold
- White gold
- Black gold
- Sterling silver (both polished and oxidized)
- Nephrite green jade
- Cachalong stone
- Brown-banded agate
- Pernambucco wood
What is Black Gold?
While gold starts out yellow, other variations have been popular in jewelry design for a long time, such as rose gold and white gold. Gehry uses black gold in his designs.
To form black gold, yellow gold is mixed with another metal. This is usually cobalt and makes up one-third of the content. It can also be electroplated onto the gold and is usually achieved with black rhodium which gives a shiny finish. Finally, femto-second laser can be used resulting in pitch black gold.
Frank Gehry's Collections
Frank Gehry Leaves Collection
Gehry’s Leaves collection, is a sculptural look on an organic inspired design. Made from yellow gold, rose gold and white gold. The bottom support leaves, in white gold, have a machine cut quality, and are strewn around a rope chain. Multicolored upper leaves have a stamped mesh like quality that lightens the design. Round cut diamonds sprinkled around the work add a hint of shimmer. Matte and shiny surfaces provide contrast.
The Leaves cocktail ring is a conversation starter. The big bold ring deserves closer inspection. Pair any of these pieces with the large Leave earring studs.
Frank Gehry Heart Collection
The designer’s Heart collection uses two interlocking circular shapes, with slight points, to indicate hearts. Made from silver, some of the works have gold accents.
Frank Gehry Torque Collection
As a noun, torque means a turning or twisting force. As a verb it means to cause a twist. This is exactly what Gehry achieves here.
Torque rings are rounded edged squares, shifted, and angled. The bands come in thick and thin designs. Materials used include sterling silver, yellow gold, or made entirely of quartz or even agate. Most stunning are the black gold pieces. With the slimmer styles think stackable looks where it is tempting to mix metal and materials. Thicker rings make for interesting wedding bands.
Torque bracelets, match the rings, and likewise are chunky statement pieces, or thinner bangle styles.
A variation of the Torque ring is the Open Torque. Here areas have been removed, but it keeps its form with a box-like structure. The top and bottom band are joined at various points.
As a pendant on a simple 16-inch chain, these wearable pieces focus on a simple geometric form, which shifts with a slight angle. Single Torque pendants have the exact same style as the rings.
The Torque Link Necklace uses various sized pieces of the original design, for chunky, wearable art. The design is also available as a bracelet.
Frank Gehry Fish Collection
The architect has admitted a fascination with fish and all things aquatic. The sculpture he was commissioned to build for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, is entitled El Peix (Fish). Made from golden, stainless-steel mesh, the massive structure at 52 metres is set along Barcelona’s beachfront. The sunlight when it bounces off the work, changes its color throughout the day.
It’s not surprising that Gehry used the fish motif in his work for Tiffany. One particularly stunning piece is the 16-inch work on a serpentine chain entitled Seven Fish Necklace. It features sculptural fish, strung through by a hole in the sinewy tale. Each is crafted from different metals, stones, and wood including: sterling silver, onyx, nephrite green jade, pernambuco, and acacia.
You will also find fish pendants in the same above material. One fish is suspended through a hole in a chain made from sterling silver or yellow gold. For a more classical jewelry design look for the Triple Three Fish necklace in pure sterling silver. For extra sparkle find the white gold and diamond fish pendant.
Gehry also used two fish in his bangle design joining them seamlessly together. The Three Fish Ring is also available, as well as Double Fish Dangle Drop Earrings.
Frank Gehry Orchid Collection
As exotic as an orchid, this collection unwinds in swirling metals. The Orchid Double Drop Earrings are in constant motion with every flicker of movement. The double strand twist starts at the front earlobe. Then, it continues to widen, as it elongates down two and a half inches. The Ying and Yang of the polished and oxidized silver provides additional contrast. Look for similar matching pendants. These works are also available in yellow gold.
White Gold Orchid Diamond Pendant Necklace is more representational of a real orchid, viewed from one side.
Frank Gehry Fold Collection
Like the roof tops of some of the buildings he has design, Frank Gehry’s Fold Collection looks like he has taken the metal, folded it accordion style, and then let it unravel. Pendants, although small make a big statement. Bangles defy the shape of the wrist.
Frank Gehry Equus Collection
As if drawing the curves of hills and valleys, the free forms in the Equus Collection have a feminine, round quality. Works are crafted in sterling silver, or white gold, the later of which contains diamonds.
Frank Gehry Axis Collection
Where the Gehry Equus Collection is curvaceous, the Axis Collection is all hard edged, masculine quality construction. Here sterling silver stands alone or pairs nicely in yellow gold combinations. Look for rings and pendants. Earrings are particularly interesting, with a sterling silver Axis design, combined with a geometric drop.
Frank Gehry Morph Collection
In the intriguing Morph Collection, round discs of metal appear to be hand pulled on a pottery wheel. One fascinating necklace is comprised of various sized discs, with a small chain loop between each, allowing for flexibility, and shifting movement.
Frank Gehry Star Collection
One rare piece that is worth searching for is the Star Bangle. With its pointed edges and textured titanium material, its unlike anything else in the marketplace.
Identifying Frank Gehry Jewelry
Frank Gehry jewelry is engraved with his signature. Fakes in the marketplace have been found that spell the architect’s name incorrectly.
Tips for Buying
Due to his commitments as an architect in demand, Frank Gehry’s jewelry designs were made for only a brief period of time. This makes his entire jewelry line extremely collectible. The beautiful pieces of fine art jewelry are worth investing in.