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Datum: 31 juli 2005

In the Orwellian year 1984, two very special animals left the farm. Katrin Wouters & Karen Hendrix both graduated at the famous Royal Academy of Fine Arts, section Goldsmithing, in Antwerp. If Big Brother was watching at all, he seemed to approve when they started their intense collaboration. Even from days this early, their claim was eloquently stated : to produce fine jewelry that is elegant and daring, intelligent and bold. Exclusive as well as affordable. Aiming too high and trying to square the circle?

Critics and well-wishers alike were enthusiast when in 1985 The Hammered Collection was successfully presented to the world. Today, no less than 31 collections have followed, bearing names like The Clandestine Collection, Healing Jewelry, La FÍte des BÍtes, Principes Modernes, Switching Identities names as haunting as the themes around which the collections were built.

Season after season, Wouters & Hendrix created their intensely personal jewelry around these themes while, in their offhand way, they took the world by gentle storm. Laid siege to the Tranol in Paris, invaded the Dusseldorf CPD, conquered New York's Accessory Circuit. Took star quality hostages such as the Antwerp Six :Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonk, Dirk Bikkembergs and the others for whom they became accessory designers. Over the years they reinvented the old magic of letting art grow up without growing stale.

As their mix of refinement and adventure became more and more sophisticated, so did the materials of their craft. After a decade of progressing step by step, 1997 found them ready for the big one. In a bold move they switched to Sterling Silver as basic material and to multi-layered stories instead of the more single-minded seasonal themes. Intrepid explorers, they ventured deeper into their own unknown universe, even wilder dreams caught in timeless silver.

Older but bolder, the work of Wouters & Hendrix has gained both in depth and in meaning. Presenting both sides of the Sterling Silver coin, they manage to join archaic, deceptively primitively design to twenty-first century craftsmanship. This coupling of archetypal energy and futuristic finish has become the true theme and endless motive of their work. Truly, there will dancing at the end of time, and yes, the jewelry will be by W&H