Werkstatt München is a German-based jewelry atelier with a focus on products that become increasingly beautiful and unique, the more they are worn.
Hidden inside the shell of an aging foundry, lies the atelier of the German jewelry brand Werkstatt München. Founded in 1996 by Klaus Lohmeyer, Werkstatt is one of many brands operating today with an ethos rooted in thoughtful craftsmanship. Like its garment focused peers John Alexander Skelton, Geoffrey B. Small, and Yohji Yamamoto, the jewelry atelier is focused on creating objects designed to age.
In a time of rapid, often thoughtless, consumption, many people do not consider the longevity of a product before they purchase it. Why be concerned about something breaking or becoming unusable when you can return to the place you originally purchased it from and get another? This mindset, which has been further reinforced by the unrelenting barrage of advertisements most human beings are now subject to, is detrimental to our function as a society. The creation of objects and products actively designed to work against this, now, standard point of view is one of many ways in which we can begin to return to a state of consumptive equilibrium.
In the Werkstatt atelier, imperfection is embraced rather than shunned. It is the small imperfections, perhaps where a chisel slipped, that make a product unique and thus truly special. Additionally, the brand does not galvanize their metals to ensure a clean finish. Instead, the pieces of jewelry undergo an oxidation process giving them a dark, dull finish when purchased. As each item is worn and integrated into the life of its bearer, the oxidized metal will begin to wear away in a pattern unique to each wearer. This creates not only a piece that is unique in appearance but also a bond to its wearer. It becomes your ring - not just that ring. This understanding of natural beauty is extremely valuable. By building this relationship, the products we buy cease to be products and become things we cherish. It is not about having the ‘right’ product or the product that is the best version, what matters is finding your product and making it yours.
We can no longer blindly consume fashion products and cast them aside with each coming season. Like with clothing, it is important to wear what you buy when it comes to jewelry. Do not hoard things away in your closet, saving them for the ‘right’ occasion, wear them. In an effort to further dismantle the cyclical mindset, Werkstatt München implores their clientele to avoid cleaning their jewelry with the use of harsh chemical silver cleaners. Should any item tarnish, the solution is to simply continue wearing it. Slowly, over time, the tarnishing will disappear and the item will return to its clean state. This naturally occurring refinishing aids in understanding why truly caring for your possessions is important. Treat them well and they will last you longer than you can imagine.