‘What do we
actually see
when we look?’

The creative process of jewellery design

An insect with perforated wings, an ant with night vision and a beetle with hindquarters so curved it cannot crawl back into its hideaway. Every design is full of intricate, precise details, nothing appears to be simply random inspiration. Gjersen-Sav herself, however, describes the creative process that goes into her jewellery as more spiritual than rational:

‘90% of each design is conceived as I sketch it on paper. I do a sketch where I’m not really thinking, but tapping into a creative flow that connects with themes I reflect on. The sketch virtually flows of its own accord, but there is always an intention, a direction. . By the end of that process, I’ll have sketched a design for an insect with its own personality and story that has something insistent to tell us about the times we are living in.’

Afterwards, the insect is crafted in her studio from silver and gold. Yet the process is not as manual as it might sound because the materials come alive in the artist’s hands, engaging her in a sensory interaction. By respecting the nature of the metals and not forcing them into a given shape, an alliance arises; a dance between the artist and the emerging design.


Gjersen-Sav also works on a larger scale: in her jewellery design project HABITAT,
she explores what happens when the world of insects is expanded, and the creatures make their home in a thematic landscape. For HABITAT, she crafts a mini world measuring 20 x 20 cm from metal, wood or other materials to support the insect’s story, and which can be “inhabited” by the piece when not worn by its owner. Each insect design with its habitat is a standalone piece, but all of the designs together form a complete work.

The idea is that the habitats might encourage us to reflect on our survival strategies and behaviour, and aspects of ourselves that resemble the situation of the insects. Perhaps we are unable to step outside the bigger picture and consider the crisis surrounding insects as unconnected to our own existence?

Sustainable materials

Gjersen-Sav works in the classic materials of the formally trained goldsmith, combining silver and various gold alloys with gemstones and pearls she hand picks from her expert suppliers, or on her travels. Here too, the sustainability concept is focal: Gjersen-Sav works as far as possible only in biogold and biosilver which are refined metals for use as new with no mining operations involved. All the pearls and gemstones are sourced as far as possible from suppliers who observe high ethical standards, ideally with traceability and transparency in terms of origin and mining and/or with a certificate.