Stones in Estonian jewellery



Huge boulders and sea-washed pebbles, limestone fossils or roadside cobbles are sure to catch your eye with their might and exceptional variety of form and colour. These impressions are often caught on photos, used in landscaping and the smallest specimen are sometimes brought home as keepsakes.


Local natural stone was first used in Estonian professional design jewellery at the end of the 1950’s. The intense 1960’s, when great shifts took place in Estonian applied art, introduced new, plain forms and novel materials in local designer jewellery.


One of the first to use natural stone in making ornaments was Adamson-Eric (1902–1968). Adamson-Eric, above all a painter, was a versatile experimental artist, who generated avant-garde ideas in almost all spheres of applied art.


The exhibition “Stones in Estonian Jewellery” at the Adamson-Eric Museum presents an overview of the use this very own and location-specific material by Estonian jewellery designers from the 1960’s until today. In addition to Adamson-Eric, the stone-inspired jewellery by Ede Kurrel, Juta Vahtramäe, Helge Pihelgas, Raili Vinn, Anu Paal, Kadri Mälk, Ane Raunam, Viivi Aavik, Tiina Käesel, Riin Somelar, Ülle Voosalu, Mari Käbin, Kristiina Laurits, Eve Margus-Villems, Kertu Vellerind, Anne Roolaht, Harvi Varkki and others are exposed.


The display demonstrates the variety of ways of using stone as a material, the evolution of form and concepts in time and the value of stone as a symbol in its own right.


Geologists helped to establish the specific types of stone used by the artists. The most common natural stones found in Estonia – granite, gneiss, gabbro, rapakivi-granite, pegmatite, migmatite and quartz-porphyry – are introduced together with jewellery on the photos by Tõnis Saadre, accompanied by Tõnu Oja’s texts.

Curators: Kersti Koll and Ülle Kruus

Display designer: Taimi Soo