Symbolism in Jewelry – An Interview with Göran Jönsson

The following is an excerpt from an interview I conducted with Swedish artist,  Göran Jönsson.  my intent with this interview is to share the special wealth of wisdom Göran has to offer, and to illustrate how symbolism can effectively serve as muse, inspiration, and artistic expression in all our lives.

WYS: How important is symbolism in your sculpted jewelry & artwork?

G: It’s a big part of the language I have inside me, which is the base of everything I make. On my website I make this statement: “Slate – Silver: For centuries, man has been using these materials to make beautiful things. The objective has been to honor or influence the powers that one believed in. Amulets were worn so as to receive some of their protective powers. These pieces of sculpted jewelry are a continuation of this long tradition.”

WYS: Which system of symbols (i.e., Greek, Hindu, nature, pop culture, Native American) do you find yourself drawn to the most?

G: I can’t tell you any specific culture, because I don’t have enough knowledge of all the different symbols in all cultures to make any kind of final judgment. This is one of the reasons why I appreciate the information on, there is an amazing amount knowledge on symbolism here.

What I can say is that many of the old native cultures appeal to me. These are indigenous peoples who lived very close with nature, and intimately understood the connection between humanity and earth. Some examples of these closely connected cultures are:

  • Indians of North America
  • Eskimos
  • Sami (Lappish) people
  • African Native people
  • Aboriginals

WYS: Why do these cultures & symbol collections appeal to you the most?

G: Because these cultures respect and coexist with nature. Their way of living fills me with admiration and sometimes gives me hope for mankind. We could learn so much from them about how to live our own lives as well as how to respect life itself.

Click here for the full interview on

To learn more about Göran Jönsson and his sculpted jewelry, visit his website at