To Regitze Overgaard, her 18-year collaboration with premium luxury brand Georg Jensen is a match that is hammered in gold.
The goldsmith and the century-old brand are both Nordic, and specialize in the design and production of jewelry pieces that follow simple and natural forms.
To both of them, inspiration springs from one source - nature.
"We speak the same design language," Overgaard says. "My style is just like Georg Jensen's. I love simple, sculptural designs. I can't think of myself designing for a southern European company. It's not me."
According to the company, the goldsmith follows one design philosophy: Jewelry should be as simple as possible. To her, the creative process needs to consider only one element - form. In her very popular "Magic" jewelry collection, she combines different materials but ultimately permits the customer to determine how they are used in particular rings. The base ring of one of her 18-carat white or yellow gold rings leaves room in the middle to allow for a smooth gold hammered band or a gold band with diamonds. The design, says Overgaard, gives the wearer control over the look that she wants to achieve.
Last week, Overgaard's two jewelry lines for Georg Jensen - "Zephyr" and "Carnival" - were launched in Taipei. Outside of Denmark, Japan and Australia are among the world's biggest buyers of Georg Jensen products. Taiwan is the company's third biggest export market, says a company official.
The "Zephyr" collection has a very interesting story behind it, says Overgaard, who finished training as a goldsmith in 1970 and graduated from the Copenhagen School of Arts and Crafts in 1976.
"Georg Jensen asked me to produce a plain collection in 18-carat yellow gold - no diamonds, no stones. Nothing," she says.
"Anyway, (the project was driving me) crazy. 'This is difficult,' I thought. I made several sketches and designs, but nothing (really substantial had come out of my earlier efforts)."
Tired and frustrated, Overgaard decided to take a respite from the pressures of the design room. She went sailing.
"It was very relaxing. I was looking at the surface of the water, and that's when inspiration struck! The sailboat, as it hit the water, was creating all those ripples and beautiful patterns. I said, 'That's it.'"
Overgaard's "Zephyr" necklace is available in pure yellow gold, and a gold pendant and leather strap package.
"It's unisex too," says Gord Ray, global marketing director of Georg Jensen. He is wearing the Zephyr pendant with a black leather string.
"I like this piece. I feel very fortunate to be working in a company that has a sense of style that I really love. It's always about understated elegance," Ray says. "'Zephyr' represents that. I love the unique shape, the smooth lines, and its very unusual twists."
The "Carnival" rings are also among Overgaard's best works.
Asked how she was able to combine the carnival spirit with the trademark simplicity of Scandinavian design, the goldsmith says a trip to Venice took care of that.
"A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to experience carnival in Venice. Carnival expresses the creativeness of the human spirit through performance and visual splendor. The deep reds, soft pinks, and brilliant blues as well as the twinkling sequins all came alive with the movement of each performer. The inky black water in the Venetian canals reflects the sparkling lights - the result is a visual feast for the eyes," she says.
"I thought, 'How can I incorporate these impressions with my design language?' My design language is simple, organic, and a bit sensual I think."
She was able to successfully marry the two in her "sculpture" rings adorned with pink, blue, and red stones.
"The 'Carnival' rings with their colored stones and sparkling pave-set diamonds reflect the playful fusion and the interaction of all these elements. The movement, captured in the form and the hues found in the stones, give the rings a distinct beauty," she says.
"A sense of individuality and personal style are also key elements to the design concept of 'Carnival.' Designed so that two rings are worn together, the options of colors allow the wearer the freedom to create her own statement. Confident, enchanting and playful - the woman wearing the rings has the choice."
Whenever she designs a piece, Overgaard says she never forgets three things: Form, form, and form.
"I use stones to sort of underline the form or the shape. I never hide it with stones," she says.
Asked if she were creating jewelry for a specific market segment, Overgaard replies, "I think everyone should wear them."
"I have a friend, and she is a very open and expressive individual. I think I bear her in mind when I design my jewelry," she says. "But then again, my jewelry appeals to people of all ages."