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Best of the Best 2011: Jewelry Designers: Lorenz Bäumer

Parisian jeweler Lorenz Bäumer designed Louis Vuitton’s first fine jewelry collection two years ago, but for his own collection this year, he went in a wildly inventive new direction—several of them, actually. Bäumer, a charismatic 45-year-old known for creating unusual designs with deeply colored stones, employed three-dimensional digital technology to create the Mikado series of geometric shapes interspersed with bright gemstones. He also used microporous metal that absorbs scent to create a scarab brooch that, when filled with perfume, emits fragrance when the wings are opened. Now he is using a laser to engrave diamonds with intricate script sayings and images—etchings so small a magnifying glass is needed to see them—whether they are poems or images of the Virgin Mary.

"I’m an artist painting on a new medium," he says, jokingly referring to the diamond as his canvas. But he is always hunting for new elements, too, and the results of those quests have included a pair of dinosaur-bone cuff links and pieces made of meteorite, which he dips in acid, to reveal naturally occurring patterns in the gray rock, and sets with diamonds. "There is poetic value in wearing a shooting star millions of years old," Bäumer says. "This material asks us who are we, and where are we going."

 

Lorenz Bäumer, +33.1.42.86.51.11, www.lorenzbaumer.com

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Copyright by Julian Lee Studio
Photo courtesy of The Forbes Collection, New York