After expanding tensions due to politics and the after-effects of the war, reactions against the changing downfall of the turn of the 20th century made things easier. The manufacturing for mass production of high-quality jewelry came into existence.
Between the 1920s and 1930s, this new style and fashion become well known as Art Deco. With the concept that there should be no barriers between the artists and the craftsmen that make the items, Walter Gropius and the German Bauhaus movement, started some interestingly simplified forms. They used new materials like plastics and aluminum in jewelry. Being technically sound became as valued as the material itself.
This new modern jewelry movement started in the late 1940s and was at the end of World War II. There was a revived interest in the use of artistry and leisure products. Jewelry designers like George Jensen is most noted with the movement, and the works by him and others evolved the concept of wearable art. With the invention of new materials like plastics, Precious Metal Clay (PMC), and new coloring techniques, a new and interesting variety in styles came into play.
Other advances, like that of Mikimoto K?kichi developed a way to improve the way pearls was harvested. This development also improved the quality of artificial gemstones like cubic zirconia and moissanite which are used to simulate diamonds. This improvement made the grasp of such items more in demand for a much larger segment of the population.
Artisans such as Robert Lee Morris and designers like Gill Forsbrook in the UK spearheaded this ‘jewelry as art’ movement. Ideas from other cultural forms could be easily seen in their artwork. A great example of this is how hip-hop and rap artists in the early 21st century have popularized the ‘bling-bling’ style of jewelry. More diamonds, the more sparkle is really what bling signifies.
Later on Mokume-ganewe showed us the blending of European design with oriental techniques. We can thank him for some of the newest techniques that have innovated in the decades after 2000. The hydraulic die forming, fold-forming, anti-clastic raising, reactive metal anodising, shell forms, photo etching, PMC, and the use of CAD/CAM.
Both as a hobby and a profession, artisan jewelry continues to grow. With resources, accessibility, and a low initial cost of entry expanding, more than 17 United States put out periodicals about beading alone. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City shows some fine examples of the hand-made adornments that are artisan jewelry. Recently there was a study and the largest jewelry market is the United States with a market share about 30.8%. Japan is second, then India, China, and the Middle East with about 8-9%, and Italy with about 5%.
The scientists in this study think there will be a dramatic change by 2015, where the United States will have dropped to around 25%. China and India though will increase their production to over 13%. The Middle East will most likely remain consistent.
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