Soul Artist: Ward Strootman
Ward grew up with his mother Luciënne Jesse who has her own Jewelry Business, JeSse Jewelry. Diamonds and gemstones are in Ward his family’s blood. Ward his great-grandfather Bernhard Jesse (1896) started as a diamond cutter and was the founder of the Elion & Jesse diamond factory, where his grandfather Albert Jesse (1936) also worked. After the Second World War he started in the diamond trade, and where Ward's mother became an apprentice for a long time.
Once in the profession she discovered her love of colour stones. She obtained her graduate gemology degree at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York. When Ward his grandfather’s business moved to Antwerp, his mother started up for herself in Amsterdam, buying and selling a jewellery line and not long after as a jewellery designer, commissioned by jewellers. She had over sixty outlets, but opened her own JeSse Jewelry store in 1998. From then on, she could really started selling her own designs.
Growing up in a family of jewelers. Ward was the only new generation in the family showing interest in gemology.
While studying business, he realised he needed to dive deeper into the subject. After his Bachelor he started studying gemology at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in London. He couldn't get enough of it. There is so much to learn and so many things to see. Back in Amsterdam he started working with his mother at JeSse Jewelry. Attending shows and meeting many people in the business. Realising that there has not been a change in the industry for a long long time. Being the new generation he wanted more and operate differently.
He sees the raw and rough minerals, but he thinks of them as art. Combining his knowledge of gemology and passion for aesthetic. There is so much beauty in nature and there are infinite stories to tell about the journey from mine to market.
This is where Ward Strootman arised. A combination of Natural History, Art and Jewelry.
Shirt 1: Soul Piece Marble Overshirt
Shirt 2: Soul Piece Sand Overshirt
Photographer: Sean Brian
Artist: Ward Strootman