A jeweler’s testimony: A vision of modernity and style

Danger Jewels by Max Danger  (Danish)

Profile picture: Katrina Lawson Johnton

“I like to do things I really want to do,” says Max Danger, the artist/designer behind Danger Jewels! After graduating, he specializes in narrative bespoke pieces where he continues to surprise us with his stunning choice of precious metals and his gemstone collection. Originally from Denmark, he now lives in London for 7 years now where he established his brand. 

London vs. Denmark?

My work sells to a wide variety of private clients and collectors around the world. In England, thanks to my network I built over the past 7 years, I can successfully say that my buyers are considered to be rich collectors that genuinely love my work.

To maintain a good relationship with my past clients, I regularly send newsletters and invite them to the opening of my show, in Munich for example. On the other hand, Denmark is not an easy market. They are more conservative and careful to buy expensive jewelry these days. 

Weight of the world on our shoulders (robot ring): Goldsmiths Fair
  1. What is your favorite gemstone?

 My favorite gem is probably tourmaline. As it comes in all colors of the rainbow and I will never stop being impressed by this gem. It is known as the  “trashcan” of gem minerals as it is absorbing various components next to it while forming its crystal. This is what gives the tourmaline its many different colors.

Where do you source your stones? And what are the most important criteria? 

I’ve been collecting gemstones since I was a child. I source my gems whenever I get the occasion. I constantly buy from Germany and London. 

I don’t generally have specific criteria for which stone to buy and which stone to not. I see something I’ve never seen before and I buy it. Something I love is a gemstone with a special color! I only buy untreated stones which is harder to find these days. The origin of the stone is not something I do focus my energy to find but some clients prefer a specific stone from a specific region, which I manage to provide. 

Do you start with a design idea or a stone? 

I do both. It is easier to design around a specific stone I buy. But, sometimes, I find it more interesting and challenging to find the stone that goes with a design I drew. So sometimes, my designs are left in my drawer until I find the “perfect stone”.

What is your biggest inspiration?

René Lalique dragonfly brooch (inspiration picture): unknown (found on the web)

 If I were to choose a jeweler as inspiration I would probably say René Lalique. However, I get most of my inspiration through a mix of comics, old fables, nature, illustrations, and science. I like to reinterpret old myths and make them into my own narratives. 

Are you really “Been man”?

“Bee man or more!”

I’ve been called several times “the Bee Man” which represents the most famous collection I designed. The collection was initiated for the love of the been ecosystem preservation. Another theme I like working on is “robot”, harder to sell but it’s a passion more than a money-driven business. 

Why animals?

I had animals and I find them funny. I get inspired by natural forms and animals are a sort of intriguing form that constantly changes over time. 

The honey bee cluster ring: Goldsmiths Fair

Do you consider jewelry to be an art piece? 

I most definitely do. Maybe not so much in the fine art category but definitely art (girlfriend is fine artist = expression, emotion, abstract value (no material, just getting recognized) / art = craft and creativity, passion) However, you have to search a bit to find the true artists within the field of precious jewelry. The second piece is made to sell and not out of passion it loses the artistic value to me. The second it is not made from precious materials or is not well crafted, it loses the impact that jewelry deliver. This is where it becomes tricky as a piece can cost several thousand dollars to make and take hundreds of hours to make. Thus making every piece a big investment with no safety net.

Did you ever use new innovative manufacturing techniques such as 3d printing? 

I tried learning 3d printing over the years but never succeeded in producing an interesting piece that I can sell. So now, I am old fashioned and I like it. I do all my pieces by hand, myself, in my atelier. 

Do you use an online sales channel?

I use it like everyone but I don’t believe that anyone would buy pieces online. It is hard to sell my pieces through social media. Art is not “sellable” online as we know that art needs to be felt, touched and experienced before a purchase is done.