Ted Noten: gold, sweat & pearls

Jewelry designer Ted Noten (1956) is well-known for his cheeky pieces of jewelry.  Are they wearable?  Not necessarily.  Are they provocative?  Absolutely. A series of see-through purses containing a gun, a chameleon or a line of coke with a pearl necklace… At first glance, Noten seems to be a man of the brutal gesture.  But does he merely want to provoke, or is there more to it?

It’s hard to put a label on Ted Noten’s work: how should it be categorized, what is the definition of a piece of jewellery, when is it useful? It is about emotion, the meaning of an ornament and the underlying thought. Noten’s jewellery is not about beauty, it’s about a message and the connection between the wearer and the ornament.
Noten: “I make jewellery that takes some time getting used to. When you wear it, you make yourself vulnerable as it makes such a striking statement. I speak out through my jewellery and objects. I comment upon jewellery as a phenomenon, upon the industry or – like any artist – upon humanity.”

The documentary is an intimate portrait of an artist who throws his golden formula overboard abruptly and faces the future fearlessly and with an open mind. But first he goes to Chicago for a reunion with a piece that caused his international break-through: a mouse with a pearl necklace, The Princess. Will she give him the inspiration that he’s looking for so passionately?



Simone de Vries

Dutch director Simone de Vries (1963), winner of Golden Calf (2007) for Touch me someplace I can feel, a documentary on John Callahan – cartoonist and singer/songwriter from Portland, OR.

She made films on different artists from all walks of life: Texas writer singer/songwriter Kinky Friedman, Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, Belgian cartoonist and painter Kamagurka, jewelry designer Ted Noten, photo collector and leading advertising man Erik Kessels- but also a poignant portrait of a lonely jew, walking the highways of Texas with a huge wooden cross in High on Jesus. Her latest documentary that Zeppers Film produced was a feature length documentary about a military town near Fort Hood, the largest base in the USA: Beer is cheaper than therapy.


Director: Simone de Vries
Camera: Thomas Kist
Sound: Eric Leek
Editor: Bart van den Broek
Music: Eddy de Cloe
Production: Willemijn Cerutti
In co-production with NTR. With the support of Dutch Cultural Media Fund.