Unn Tangerud (1933-2003)
Simplistic, primitive sophistication
The jewelry of Unn Tangerud has an expresion of simplistic, primitive sophistication, often inspired by anscient Nordic culture. Her materials are silver, bronze or copper with semiprescious stones or enamel. She originally trained as a ceramicist at The Norwegian Arts and Crafts Shcool (SHKS) in Oslo, graduating in 1956.
In 1959, Uni David-Andersen, the great granddaughter of the founder of the David-Andersen company in Oslo, started up a small workshop of her own. Together with female designers such as Unn Tangerud and Marianne Berg, Uni experimented with new tecnics and free sculptural styles for jewelry production. The results were both unique pieces, as well as models for larger scale production at David-Andersen.
The two “Troll series”
When in 1964 David-Andersen launched a new collection of cast silver jewelry called the Troll Series, one of the more popular pieces was a brooch named ‘Unn’s Sun Chariot’, designed by Unn Tangerud. This collection of cast jewelry is characterized by a new sense of simplicity, and the use of stones found in Norway, such as Amazonite and Thulite. A prominent point in the creation of this collection was the increased emphasis on the artistic value of the pieces themselves, rather than on the economic value of the materials used.
Working onwards from the Troll Series, Unn Tangerud has created her designs using repetitiones of a motif as a means of expressing her idea. This is found in both her bronze and her silver jewelry, where elements of metal are put together on various patterns. In this work is a possible parallell to her Finnish collegue Pentti Sarpaneva reckognizable. Amongst her later works are found enamelled pieces in a series called Rustika, where generous shapes inspired by the forms and sensationes of the Jugend/Art Noveau period merge with the brighter language of color found in the innovative enamel works of the seventies.