Ben (Benedikte) David-Andersen (b. 1935)
Starting off as a ceramicist, Ben David-Andersen studied at The Norwegian Arts and Crafts School (SHKS) in Oslo 1952-1956, and went on working at the pottery studio of Kari and Jan Nyquist. After marrying into the David-Andersen family, she changed her artistic path and started working with silver. Together with her husband, Jon David-Andersen, she went to Germany, to the Staatliche Höhere Fachschule für Edelmetallindustrie in Schwäbisch Gmünd to do enamelling work.
In the early 1960s Ben started working with her sister-in-law Uni David-Andersen, designing and crafting model jewelry at Uni’s workshop, contributing to David-Andersen’s new and modern jewelry production, designed and hand-crafting silver and enamelled jewelry for a younger generation. Her style is modern and refined, with a good sense of proportion and balance.
A few of her models were put into serial production by the David-Andersen company, with some of the pieces also made with enamel. The best known of Ben’s jewelry is the brooch “Spiders web”, a round silver brooch composed of a stylized web structure with a cabochon shaped stone at the center. The Spiders-web brooch was part of the Troll stone series of 1964, and was set with either a green Amazonite or a red Thulite. They are both semi-prescious stones found in Norway.
Ben David-Andersen’s jewelry was included in several major exhibitions introducing the new jewelry of the 1960s. This included the exhibition “Scandinavian contemporary jewelry” at George Jensen New York, showing 50 pieces of Norwegian jewelry from David-Andersen and Tostrup. In 1964, a young and modern necklace with corals drew very positive attention in the critiques.
Later Ben, together with her fellow student from SHKS; the designer Unn Tangerud who also worked with Uni David-Andersen, expanded the original stone series with more pieces, building on the style of their earlier designs. In this addition they also introduced another Norwegian stone, the toned-down grey, yellow and brown striped Mylonite from the Jotunheimen mountains. In contrast the Spiders-web brooch has also been produced in smaller quantities in gold with a turquoise at the center.
After a somewhat short career working with jewelry, Ben left the David-Andersen company to again take up ceramics.