Jens Hansen’s jewellery has won him many fans, from Peter Jackson, who tapped him to produce one of the title characters in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, to Te Papa, which has his work in its permanent collection. So to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Hansen’s Nelson workshop, some of his iconic and experimental designs have been re-released, made to order using the original designs and methods.
Hansen, who died in 1999, trained in Denmark and learned centuries-old techniques of making jewellery. In New Zealand he put his skills into practice, matching them with an experimental, contemporary approach. The classic lines and craftsmanship of his work gained him an international following.
“Jens’ work always had a constant undercurrent of Danish architectural simplicity, but he liked to continue to push the design boundaries,” says Hansen’s son Halfdan, who now manages Jens Hansen Contemporary Gold and Silversmith. “For our 40th anniversary, specific designs have been chosen that have not been made for decades but have endured the years.”