About us

MASieraad is an initiative of three jewellery designers: Gijs Bakker, Ted Noten and Ruudt Peters, art historian Liesbeth den Besten, Liesbeth in't Hout who has a broad experience in (design) education and Leo Versteijlen, who works in urban development. The three designers are exponents of different approaches to jewellery (industrial, conceptual and visual) and the group as a whole has a wealth of knowledge, experience and an extensive network. 

Liesbeth den Besten
Independent art historian Liesbeth den Besten works in the field of craft and design, especially contemporary jewellery, as a researcher, writer, and lecturer. She lectures Jewellery History at Sint-Lucas, Antwerp. She is an Advisory Board member of the Journal of Jewellery Research. She contributes to AJF, SNAG Metalsmith, and the Journal of Modern Craft, and is the author of On Jewellery, A Compendium of International Contemporary Art Jewellery (Arnoldsche, 2011).

Photo credits: Miecke Oosterman

Gijs Bakker
Gijs Bakker is a designer, lecturer, educator, and exhibition curator. Over his career, which spans nearly five decades, he has frequently served as a jury member for international design competitions, consulted for major design firms, and has headed both the IM Masters course and the Masters Programme at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In 1993, Bakker co-founded Droog Design a Dutch collective of designers, products and information. And in 1996 he co-founded chp...?. In 2018 he received the royal distinction of Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Bakker is represented by numerous galleries and his work has been acquired for many public and private collections worldwide.

Liesbeth in ‘t Hout
Liesbeth graduated in 1975 at the Academy of Fine Arts Arnhem Fashion Department and started working as a freelance illustrator. In 1978 she was asked by Dutch Post and Telecom, Art & Design Department, as a curator and advisor for the companies graphic art collection. She worked since 1988 as a freelance consultant in the fields of fashion, design and fine arts, doing projects for companies as Dutch Post & Telecom, Dutch Railways, Amsterdam Muziektheater, Schiphol Airport, ANWB Wegenwacht etc.etc. Coördinated and teached at the department Man and Leisure at Design Academy Eindhoven and became Dean of the same institute in partnership with Li Edelkoort from 1999 – 2006. Was Dean of Amfi (Amsterdam Fashion Institute), part of Amsterda University of Applied Sciences, from 2006 – 2011. Thereafter she had a function at Sandberg Institute Amsterdam for 2 years as co-director an interim in partnership with Jurgen Bey and ran Fashion Council NL. She is the Hague based as a freelance consultant covering the area’s of fashion and design.

Ruudt Peters
Ruudt Peters (1950), a pioneering Dutch jewellery artist, challenged traditional definitions of adornment by pushing the boundaries of context, wearability, materials and presentation.
Peters has exerted a strong influence on the development of contemporary jewellery as artist and  professor at some universities in Europe, Rietveld Academie- Amsterdam, Konstfack- Stockholm, Alchimia- Firenze. Since 2001 Peters attracts international artists / students to his Summer School in the Netherlands, where he teaches week-long intensive workshops.

Ted Noten
Ted Noten’s designs act as a critique on contemporary life and on the history of jewellery, as well as on the wider context of product design. The underlying, recurring, theme of his work is to challenge convention and processes of habituation, the familiar and the unusual.
His oeuvre gains in depth from his idiosyncratic response to the apparent familiarity of our daily surroundings. By lifting symbols from their everyday surroundings and placing them in a new context, he doesn’t so much query the symbol itself as our perception of it. Ted Noten looks for fixed meanings in the banal and the cultivated. He debunks their essence, then reinvents them back into reality. In affecting and infecting symbolic values he actually reveals their unmistakable intangibility.

Photo credits: Dik Nicolai

Leo Versteijlen
Leo is trained as an architect but made a career in real estate development. He has grown in the course of his career to a highly experienced principal for complex urban development projects. He combines strong conceptual skills, creativity and a passion for beauty with highly developed powers of analysis, administrative experience and business instinct. He is co-owner and Director of SITE, a consultancy office specialized in urban development strategies. 

Alena Alexandrova
Alena is a writer, theorist and educator based in Amsterdam. She teaches at the Fine Arts and Photography departments, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. She has published numerous texts in academic and artistic contexts, and regularly contributes to art publications and catalogues. Her writing practice probes the modulation of theory into speculative forms and fiction, and has an ongoing series of reading performances. She is the author of Breaking Resemblance (Fordham University Press, 2017) and the co-editor of a volume on the work of Jean-Luc Nancy. She curated exhibitions and symposia in Amsterdam and Paris. She holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam.

Louise Schouwenberg
Louise is a visual artist with a primary focus currently beeing on art and design theory. Schouwenberg has curated exhibitions on the cutting edge of art and design and has worked as adviser for many organisations. She regularly writes for international art and design magazines and has contributed to a range of books. Prior Louise has had a vast experience in education as a head of the Masters programme Contextual Design at Design Academy Eindhoven before joining MASieraad team.

Kalkidan Hoex
Kalkidan is a jewellery designer exploring the meaning of identity as posited through current trends and style. In her multi-disciplinary work Hoex examines the pervasive feeling of living between two worlds that has followed her for most of her life as a Ethiopian adopted and raised in Netherlands. Her work speaks directly to those she considers a part of her own identity: youth of mixed descent, who were adopted out of their country or origin or had to flee with their families from their birthplace. As a person and an artist, she values how jewelry can communicate with us. For her being interdisciplinary gives her the ability to tell ones story different ways. 


Estela Saez 
A Catalan maker and educator. Saez’s oeuvre spans the last twenty years. Educated at Massana School in Barcelona, she received the Massana Award in 2001. Later, she became the studio assistant of Professor Ruudt Peters in Amsterdam and she still collaborates with the artist up until today. Her works have been exhibited since 1996 in galleries and museums around the world and she received various incentive grants to promote her personal work. Saez won the Talente Prize Munich in 2006. Her pieces are published in different magazines, catalogues and specialised books of jewelry as well as other disciplines. She completed her Master of Arts at The University of Trier, Idar Oberstein, Germany in 2010 and continued to be based in The Netherlands until 2012, developing her own art-projects. Her works include colourful fabric bladders, suspended below or above black metal containers, or fragile prosthetic scaffolds made of cardboard, and although occasionally wearable, her creations pay scant notice to the body: they derive their evocative power from their distance to the ground, not the skin. Yet, while sculptural, her repertoire of shapes continues to be homebound and proportionate to the hand: Saez belongs to a relatively small group of makers whose practice is guided by the dual nature of contemporary jewelry, at once sculptural and wearable.

Josefine Mass
Josefine is a trained goldsmith and jewellery designer with passion for craftsmanship that she combines with her skills of Arts and culture management. The Finnish born multitasker has built up experiences in various culture and arts fields from auction houses, artist ateliers to running her own jewellery brand called Mass Lee. As the programme coordinator for the MASieraad H-A, she is the primary contact point for the MASieraad students.

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