Ted Noten was born in Swalmen in Limburg in 1956. At the age of 26 he enrolled at the City Academy for Applied Arts in Maastricht where he studied jewellery design until 1986. He continued his artistic education that year at the Amsterdam Rietveld Academy, where his artistic development was more focussed on the conceptual side of artistry. He graduated in Amsterdam in 1990.
As a jewellery designer, Ted Noten is a designer in the broadest sense of the word. His artistic view crosses the boundaries of autonomous and applied arts as well as those of the various art disciplines; in his designs we can experience a crossover of architecture, sculpture, conceptual art forms and installation art, in which the idea and the personal association together determine the guiding theme for his artefacts. In this, the sensory perceptions of smell and touch play just as much a role as the purely visual. The themes that are prominent in the designs and objects of Ted Noten are violence, transience and vulnerability. Often with a humorous irony, he translates these into motifs that can be shocking as well as mundane and banal – in their connection or in the confrontation with each other.
Noten use precious metals such as gold and silver as well as precious gemstones as trivial and highly perishable materials. He also combines handicrafts with the use of the 3D printer for his designs and endless reproducibility can be just as much a theme in his design process as the exclusivity of a unique piece of jewellery. He asks himself: What really matters in a work of art and what does originality mean essentially?
In 2005, Amsterdam witnessed the establishment of Atelier Ted Noten, a design studio where, under the patronage of its founder, his designs are executed in collaboration with various designers. Just like in his contacts with clients who, in consultation with the artist, play an important role in the design of the jewellery, Ted Noten places himself in a time-honoured tradition of the art industry, in which the artist, studio staff and clients form an inseparable triad.