The sun is shy is this August morning in Berlin as I’m headed to Temur Schmuck Gallery to visit Ruth Temur in her studio and gallery store. From the street outside you can identify her gallery by the yellow color. As you walk inside the bright, red walls that cover part of the gallery give it a warm and involving feeling. The displays themselves are not only beautiful but also ingenious and I find out that Ruth husband made them (and came up with a wonderful clever way of opening them).
The gallery space in itself is quite spacious and has lots of natural light. Ruth shares the studio space with two other designers and has a lot more benches in another room of her gallery where other jewelers can come and work on their projects. On one side of the gallery are the lovely display cases and the red walls. On the other side, almost by contrast there are 3 benches in a vast area, a meeting table and a lovely old sitting bench that I find out belonged to Ruth’s parents. It’s actually a matching bench and chair and Ruth tells me that she still has a photo of her as a child sitting in that same bench, so it’s fun to see a highly personal item in her gallery space. The gallery has the large, bright windows that let the natural light come in and flood the space and the workbenches area. I find out during our conversation that Ruth loves to change the photos/ posters on the studio windows. She mentions that it helps to keep the place fresh and it gives the gallery space a different look.
For Ruth everything started many years ago when she studied at Fh Pforzheim. She worked abroad with Paris with sculptor Onelia Vignando and in New York with artist/jeweler Eva Eisler. Upon her return to Berlin she worked for Sigrid Widmoser until 2008 when she decided to open her namesake business and gallery fulfilling a dream of having her own studio. She was looking for a space where she could have her studio but also a gallery space, to exhibit and sell her jewelry. She remembers the one nighter she pulled right before opening the gallery and the stress of having everything ready on time. I believe she still has the same enthusiasm for opening the gallery every single day by the way she talks about changing the décor to making it fresh. The gallery sells not only jewelry made by Ruth but also by other local designers. They frequently have new exhibitions and promote contemporary jewelry designers.
I’m surprised when I read Ruth’s answers to the questionnaire and find out that the thing she dreads the most is drilling. We start talking about it and I suddenly realize why. For most of the week she has been working on this beautiful necklace that involves small delicate articulations and movement mechanisms that require precise, almost invisible drilling. On the thing she loves to do the most Ruth is enthusiastic about melting metal. She shows me these gorgeous rings that are heated to the point of melting temperature and the texture starts to change. It gives the gold a special glow and patina, and a very interesting look.
We spent a great morning talking about her work, her jewelry and it is a real pleasure to see such modern and contemporary work made such a talented jeweler. It was such a pleasure to visit Ruth and see the beautiful gallery she has created. Do stop by if you are in Berlin for a breath of fresh jewelry. Thanks Ruth!
Ruth Temur Schmuck
How did you become a jewelry designer?
“By asking in a goldsmith shop for an apprenticeship without knowing anything about that profession. Getting the rare place on that little craftsman shop and loving the work right from the start”
What’s the first thing you do when you get to the studio?
“Opening the window shades and letting the light in”
What do you like most about your space?
“The height of the room and the light”
Pick 3 objects in your studio that make your space yours
“work desk and tools; picture hanging on the window, decoration”
What’s your favorite spot in the studio?
“My work desk and sitting on the steps in front of the door”
Any studio rituals?
“Cooking and eating together for lunch. PG (black tea) in the afternoon”
What do you love & hate doing at the bench?
Love: soldering and melting”
What makes you procrastinate?
“Talking and eating with the other workshop members”
What is currently inspiring you?
“Being outside. Nature”
What piece of jewelry do you always wear?
Currently obsessed with which gemstone/metal?
“You can make great jewelry out of everything”
Piece of jewelry you’re most proud of?
“Ring with a free moving round pearl inside that you can see from the side and from the top”
What’s your dream jewelry piece (if there were not any time and budget restrictions)?
“What I love to do the most are necklaces – would love to have endless time to play around and try out new things”
Worst piece of jewelry you had to create?
“A ring with a life stone heart”
What’s the longest period you’ve spent at the studio and why?
“16h the day and night before the opening of the gallery”
The best thing a client has ever told you?
“Coming back to buy a ring that she saw 4 years ago and didn’t get it out of her mind since then”
The funniest thing a client ever told you?
“The client found her lost ring in the rail on the tram – I managed to fix it”
What’s on your desk right now?
“Earrings that I have to redo for stock”
“My hammers and pliers I got at the end of my apprenticeship from my “mash”. I still use them everyday”
If you weren’t a jeweler?
“I think I really found my profession – still love it after 26 years”