Ineke Heerkens

Release the Little Finger, 2008
aluminium, textile, ink + print, leather

People who are skilled are very adept in doing something, they are
taught to do it by watching and mimicking, and they have learned to do it
by trial and error. Skill involves love and dedication, without which you
will never excel in something. Many people like to tinker in their spare
time. And works of art, craft and design often inspire amateurs to go
ahead and make; just like professionals they learn by trial and error.

So is the clue of skill in do it yourself then? Handarbeit Nord, a loose
group of international jewellers based in the Netherlands formed to
present their work annually during the important Schmuck days in
Munich, thinks so. Their last exhibition not only involved 8 necklaces but
also 8 manuals “to exactly copy a so called one-off, the personal
handwriting and idea of the maker.”

Ineke Heerkens started her necklace from an old children’s play, by
which you make abstract figures from a loop of wool or cotton which is
held between the hands. Most people will remember how they once
made ‘a teacup’ or the ‘Eiffel Tower’ this way. Ineke’s step-by-step
instructions appear to be rather complicated, as most manuals are

Ineke Heerkens is quite an extraordinary jeweller: not educated at a
vocational goldsmith school, she entered the jewellery department at the
Rietveld Academy. Since then she developed her own skills, and a very
personal language by combining textiles, silkscreen, polyethylene and

Liesbeth den Besten

Ineke Heerkens (Tilburg, 1977) is a jeweller who lives and works in Amsterdam




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