Kaj (Karen Johanne) Faale, 1909-2001
Although the jewelry of Kaj Faale are of high hand made quality, and her designs well proportioned in a balanced Scandinavian style, her workshop is strangely little known, and her jewelry too rarely seen. A self-taught craftswoman, Kaj Faale established her jewelry workshop «Atelier Kaj» in 1957, located in the building of the David-Andersen company. In the 1960s she started exhibiting her jewelry with the Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts (Norske Kunsthåndverkere, NK), making herself noticed as a well-reputed jewelry artist.
Many of Kaj Faales designs have a strong inspiration from the early works of Tone Vigeland for the PLUS workshop. They are hand-hammered jewelry, and because of the limited scale of production they hold an even higher quality of handicraft than that of the more well known PLUS workshop.
Often the collections consist of pendants to be used with the special hand made neckrings «Kaj’s Choker», along with matching brooches and earrings, in all silver or silver with semi-precious stones. When the Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev visited Norway in 1964, a neckring with a pendant with an Amazonite was chosen as an official gift for one of his daughters.
The designs have their inspiration from the Viking era, but are clearly modernistic in their expression. Kaj Faale kept working and exhibiting throughout the 1970s and 1980s, creating modern jewelry in the shape of Viking shields and axes with inspiration from Norwegian museum collections. She was also a lifelong member of the Norwegian Archaeological Society (Norsk Arkeologisk Selskap). At the end of her career, Kaj Faale was chosen to create a special Viking-inspired jewelry collection for the Olympic Winter Games 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway.