The Bauhaus and Naum Slutzky Jewellery

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The Influence of the Bauhaus


At the  Bauhaus a German design
school in existence from 1919
onwards, the application of modernist
principles to smaller scale design
took place. Under the management
of it director Walter Gropius it's stong
influence on the art and design world
continued even after the school was
shut by the Nazi's in 1933.

The Bauhaus ethos of "form follows
function" was applied to all products that emanated from this infuential school
of avant gard students and teachers.

Ergonomic Lines


Bauhaus design required to have a "fit for purpose" and  was visibily expressed
in clean ergonomic lines such as the tubular steel and canvas chair by Marcel

Breuer. This was a clear break from the cosy comfort and domesticity of the fireside
seat and the steel and glass constructivist tables of modernist visionary Mies van
der Rohe.

Naum Slutzky Jewellery

Naum Slutzky was born in 1894 in Kiev, Russia to goldsmith Gilel Slutzky. He trained
in Vienna under the jeweller Anton Dumant before working for a short period at the
Weiner Werkstatte in 1912. After studying engineering, Slutzky was invited by Walter
 Gropius to join the Bauhaus school at its inception. He worked there as an assisstant
in the metal and goldsmithing workshops, where he became a master goldsmith in 1922.
His jewellery designs in brass and steel are an extreme embodiment of the Bauhaus ethos. 
Below: Naum Slutzky silver ring

The austere and elegant designs may appear simple, yet they were superbly engineered
and instantly recognisable by their futuristic use of steel with a gleaming chromium finish.
Necklaces and bracelets have an abstract geometric style that relates to the visual language
of the Russian Constructivists and the De Stijl group.

Forced to flee to Britain from Germany in 1933, he first began working as a designer
for the well established Birmingham lighting company, Best and Lloyd, however  by
the following year, he was a employed as an art teacher at the Dartington Hall progressive
school in Devon where he remained until 1940. After the war ended, from 1946-50, he was
employed as  tutor in jewellery design at the London, Central School of Arts and Crafts.
From 1950-57, he was a lecturer in Product Design in the industrial Design Department
at the Royal College of Art. He spent the later years of his career as Senior Product Design
Lecturer at the Birmingham School of Arts and Crafts (1957-64) before becoming
Professor of Industrial Design at Ravensbourne College of Art until his death in November 1965