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What’s the first thing you do, when you plan your next trip to another city or country? What I do even before I book my tickets and hotel rooms is to check the local museums or galleries for any contemporary jewellery exhibitions they might be having.

The difficulty with traveling to London, however, is deciding which exhibitions I will NOT be going to, due to lack of time, not will mind you… So, last week I was lucky enough to catch the “Unexpected Pleasures” show at the Design Museum in London. The exhibition was curated by Australian jewellery and tableware designer, Susan Cohn, who gives us an overview of 126 international designers and their work, from the beginning of contemporary jewellery till today. Although some of the pieces appear ‘normal’, most of them challenge wearability as well as gravity, which makes the whole show even more enjoyable and to the point: contemporary jewellery can be made out of any kind of material.

You can visit the exhibition at the Design Museum till 3rd March 2013 and you can read more about Susan Cohn‘s choice of artists and pieces here.

"Unexpected Pleasures" exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

“Unexpected Pleasures” exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Susanne Klemm - "Frozen" (2007). Necklace: Polyolefin, heated and distorted. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Susanne Klemm – “Frozen” (2007). Necklace: Polyolefin, heated and distorted. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Susanne Klemm - "Frozen" (2007), detail. Necklace: Polyolefin, heated and distorted. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Susanne Klemm – “Frozen” (2007), detail. Necklace: Polyolefin, heated and distorted. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Dorothea Prühl - "Habicht" (Hawk) (2006). Necklace: Elm wood. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Dorothea Prühl – “Habicht” (Hawk) (2006). Necklace: Elm wood. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lisa Walker - Untitled (2009). Necklace: Plastic, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lisa Walker – Untitled (2009). Necklace: Plastic, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lisa Walker - Untitled (2009). Necklace: Plastic, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lisa Walker – Untitled (2009). Necklace: Plastic, thread. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Marjorie Schick - Spiralling Disks (2006). Necklaces and bracelets: painted wood. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Marjorie Schick – Spiralling Disks (2006). Necklaces and bracelets: painted wood. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Photographic installation. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Photographic installation. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Photographic installation. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Photographic installation. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Gijs Bakker - "Dew Drop" (1982). Necklace: laminated paper. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Gijs Bakker – “Dew Drop” (1982). Necklace: laminated paper. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lucy Sarneel - "Mourning Piece" (2008). Necklace: antique textiles on rubber, silver, thread, zinc. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Lucy Sarneel – “Mourning Piece” (2008). Necklace: antique textiles on rubber, silver, thread, zinc. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Pavel Opocensky - Untitled (2008). Brooch: colorcore. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Pavel Opocensky – Untitled (2008). Brooch: colorcore. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Tobias Alm - 11th Series number 12 (2011). Brooch: wood, shellac, wood. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Tobias Alm – 11th Series number 12 (2011). Brooch: wood, shellac, wood. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Otto Künzli - "Heart" (1985). Brooch: hard foam, lacquer. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Otto Künzli – “Heart” (1985). Brooch: hard foam, lacquer. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Robert Smit - "Square" (1991). Necklace: gold, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Robert Smit – “Square” (1991). Necklace: gold, paint. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Margaret West - "Memo: Shadow of Faded Daffodil" (2007). Brooch: basalt, paint, silver. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Margaret West – “Memo: Shadow of Faded Daffodil” (2007). Brooch: basalt, paint, silver. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Kaire Rannik - "Inonotus Obliquus" (2010). Brooch: Silver, copper, mirror, steel. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Kaire Rannik – “Inonotus Obliquus” (2010). Brooch: Silver, copper, mirror, steel. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Kazumi Nagano - Untitled (2009). Brooch: Japanese paper, gold, silver pin, nylon thread and Japanese lacquer. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Kazumi Nagano – Untitled (2009). Brooch: Japanese paper, gold, silver pin, nylon thread and Japanese lacquer. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

John Iverson - "Cracked Up" (2009-10). Brooch: sterling silver, 18ct and 14ct gold. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

John Iverson – “Cracked Up” (2009-10). Brooch: sterling silver, 18ct and 14ct gold. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Fabrizio Tridenti - Untitled (2010). Silver, brass, acrylic paint, iron. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Fabrizio Tridenti – Untitled (2010). Silver, brass, acrylic paint, iron. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Jamie Bennett - "Postrpiori 10" (2009). Brooch: Enamel, gold, copper. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Jamie Bennett – “Postrpiori 10” (2009). Brooch: Enamel, gold, copper. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ted Noten - "Chew your own brooch" (1998). Brooches: gold plated silver, anodized aluminium. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Ted Noten – “Chew your own brooch” (1998). Brooches: gold plated silver, anodized aluminium. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Bernhard Schobinger - Bottlenecklace (1988). Broken-off bottlenecks, metal cord. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Bernhard Schobinger – Bottlenecklace (1988). Broken-off bottlenecks, metal cord. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

"Unexpected Pleasures" exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

“Unexpected Pleasures” exhibition. Photo by Eleni Roumpou

Thank you for reading 🙂

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