Jewels can be made of everything. Gold, silver, stones, but also parts of musical instruments. This year Ars Bibets is making its debut at Cremona Musica presenting these original products, and we interviewed Bibets Ramos i Viladrich to find out more about what we should expect.
You are a silver and goldsmith. Among your products, there are also jewels made with parts of musical instruments. How did you get the idea, and how did you start?
It is almost 20 years ago that I noticed how incredibly beautiful some of the parts of musical instruments are. This happened to me in Markneukirchen, the heart of a musical instrument-making region in the south-east of Germany, close to the Czech Republic. My husband plays the clarinet and decided to personally bring two instruments to the luthier for a general overhaul. We travelled together. While they were speaking about repairs and testing some clarinets, I had a look around the workshop and became fascinated by a set of keys laying on a workbench. Their shape was perfect: a long, stylized S, absolutely classical and elegant, and I imagined how they could look if worn as earrings. About ten years later I started to design and create jewellery myself. Already during my apprenticeship in Barcelona I was using pieces of musical instruments!
Can you tell us how your company started and developed?
I started a company mainly in order to get access to professional fairs and to specialized, top-quality providers. Since many retailers accept professional clients only, I needed to demonstrate a business activity and founded the company ARS BIBETS in Berlin. Using my website www.arsbibets.gallery as a business card and having an EU tax number, many doors were opened. Within ARS BIBETS the jewellery creations with parts of musical instruments represent a collection. Recently I introduced for them the registered brand name: MuusiKa ®.
Some uses of the parts of musical instruments are very creative, can you describe the ideas you are most proud of?
I am glad that I could raise your interest! MuusiKa® goes from music gifts to noble, exclusive jewellery pieces. For me as a goldsmith, the unique pieces are the most challenging ones. But for me as a music lover, the music gifts are definitively more interesting. There is a large range of music gifts (pencils, erasers, cups, note-blocks, bags, umbrellas, everything), but how many have you ever seen made of a real piece from a musical instrument?
Somewhere between gift and exclusivity are the pendants made of varnished violin bridges, partially plated by a metal sheet. They show an extraordinary versatility. The first ones were laborious unique pieces with brass. Now, I keep them in stock in 3 sizes, 10 colours and 3 shapes, and the metal is silver or gold-plated silver. Of course I do continue to fashion in nearly all colours, sizes and metal alloys on demand according to the client’s preferences.
And then there are the genuine reproductions of clarinet reeds in sterling silver (925). So far I transformed them into tie clips, brooches and pendants. I love to combine them with grenadilla or African blackwood like in the instrument. Cocobolo looks very nice too. By the way, to the best of my knowledge, I am world-wide the only goldsmith who makes them.
Are you planning something new in view of Cremona Musica 2020?
Yes, of course! Cremona as the city of violin craftsmanship par excellence and Italy as a country with good wines inspired me: I am preparing some bookends by upcycling contrabass bridges and wooden wine boxes. I am excited to exhibit them in the fascinating atmosphere of Cremona Musica.
This is your first participation at Cremona Musica 2020, what are your expectations, and why did you decide to participate?
At the point where I am now, I really would like my work to reach a larger audience. Somehow the moment to grow on my music-jewellery has arrived and I sincerely think that Cremona Musica can give me the push/projection I need.
This will be the first time I’m exhibiting my work in a large, international trade fair. I chose Cremona Musica because I liked the atmosphere and the size every time I attended as a visitor. I am looking forward to showing my work to a numerous public of specialized professionals and music lovers. I am also looking forward to finding distributors and music shops interested in offering products from MuusiKa® to their clients. Last but not least, it will be my pleasure to meet again with many of my providers and to gain new enriching impressions.