It’s the same for all mediums of art and jewellery is no exception. That’s why we’ve decided to use this blog to celebrate the emerging artistry that is about to set this industry alight.
Set your expectations high and ready your cameras because it’s that time of the year. In the interest of delivering lesser-known talent to the public eye, International Jewellery London (IJL) has just put forward this year’s Ten Top Jewellery Designers. Each of these upcoming artists will be included in the annual KickStart Bursary Programme and will also be invited to exhibit their work collectively, as part of this year’s show. That’s not even to mention to market and industry support they’ll get first-hand from the IJL, as well as its prestigious partner the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ). In other words, this is a pretty big deal for any young jewellery designer who’s seeking exposure.
“Visitors to the show always make a beeline for the KickStarter stand,” said Sam Willoughby, the show director, “It is a one-stop showcase for the best in on-trend, innovative design.”
From what we’ve seen so far it looks like these KickStarters will not disappoint. We can expect to enjoy the finest showpieces from an interesting, exciting and unique group of designers, all of whom have rightly earned a coveted place on IJL’s commercial launch pad.
Let’s introduce the first five from the KickStart line-up and then – don’t worry – we’ll look at the rest in our next blog:
Joanna Bury has created a style of jewellery that uses detailed, intricate designs to convey the beauty of fragility. With a feminine flair inspired by the use of lace in fashion, her pieces hang with the gentle grace of a butterfly’s wing, combining the strong lines of tribal tattoo patterns with transparent materials to shape jewellery that projects patterns onto the skin beneath it. Each bespoke piece has been hand-formed in order to suit a variety of different wrist measurements. Bury explained that her contemporary designs are rooted in modern urban culture, whilst also receiving aesthetic influences from tribal decoration, tattooing and body adornment. Like removable tattoos Bury’s jewellery is made to make an impact, empowered by a confident swagger – perhaps picked up from her previous work as a lingerie designer – with a focus on celebrating difference.
This ‘Irezumi Black’ Necklace has been carefully laser cut, engraved and shaded with black acrylic. Both hand-masked and sandblasted, this modernist statement piece uses a contrast of matte and shine to accentuate its surface pattern. Finally, it was hand-finished and formed before being fitted with a sterling silver chain and fastenings.
One of our personal favourites from this years , this Ethereal Wrist Cuff was, again, laser cut and engraved with a glassy green acrylic finish. The appeal of this piece is so inexplicable that it almost seems appropriate to suggest that it was crafted by some alien race hitherto unknown to us. To the hand-finished design it was hand-masked and sandblasted with added clear and opaque areas used enhance the distinctive glassy allure.
You can find out more about Joanna Bury on her website: http://joannabury.tictail.com
Creative Director, Emily Richardson, has stormed into the world of wearable art with her own British brand of luxury jewellery, styled with an effortlessly modern and luxurious aesthetic. Supposedly she received her inspiration from her favourite classic films, cultural icons, literature, theatre and the fine art. In the past she’s expressed her appreciation for those theatrical characters who help to write history, whilst also retaining a certain relevance that stands the test of time. Some romantic motifs, like the rose for example, will remain in our minds for centuries. People are the same.
Of the people who inspire her Emily specifically mentioned the surrealist artists who offer mystique in order to release the unconscious mind and loosen the shackles of logic.
“I like to see my designs as characters in film,” Emily said, “All playing their individual roles to tell a story.’
Emily was trained at the famous Central Saint Martin’s art school where she earned her art foundation and coveted BA Honours design degree in 2008. After that she continued her education by delving into all the different aspects of manufacture and design, intending to apply her unique outlook to a number of established brands.
These stunning Dali Rose Stud Earrings were crafted using 18ct Yellow Gold and a single centred Pink Sapphire to represent the pollen-catching stigma. This understated piece is perfect for everyday wear, especially if you need a lovely finishing touch to complete an outfit.
You can find out more about Emily Richardson by visiting her website: http://emilyrichardson.co.uk
Another British designer, award winning (Cockpit Arts Clothworker’s Foundation Award ’14, ’15, Best Newcomer MADE London ’13 and Crafts Council Hothouse ’13) artisan Emma Calvert, has brought a fearless style of textile decoration to the jewellery table. She utilises traditional techniques and subtle colouration to bring her sculptural motifs to life. In her cool London studio she works with two-dimensional fabrics and creates three-dimensional shapes with a mixture of weaving, folding and knotting. Each individual collection has been refined and selected based on the specific techniques that were applied to the designs within it. In the end, though, when you strip away the artifice you’re left with someone who loves colour and unusual combinations of material and whose jewellery reflects that on a visceral level.
We love the fact Emma has found a unique style, whilst playing with scale, introducing all kinds of material from silk to metal and ultimately blowing our expectations into the ether. Firstly she was trained in woven textiles, having received a Central St Martins degree in Textile Design with 1st Class honours. She then went on to apply her skills to intricate jewellery design and today her pieces can be found in a range of fairs, boutiques and galleries across the UK.
This Mini Woven Bar Necklace, coloured in neon and mint, is a perfect example of how Emma’s past in textiles has influenced her take on jewellery design. This piece, attached to a sterling silver chain with silvered glass cubes on either side, also intertwines pastel shades of gold, pink, green and sage, using hand-folded ribbons and a careful knotting technique.
Check out more of Emma Calvert’s wonderfully unique designs on her website: http://www.emmacalvert.com/shop
Sammie Jo Coxon
Sammie is a British designer who graduated from Central Saint Martins and went on to be a esteemed gemologist and fine jewellery designer. creates jewellery that has taken inspiration from ancient tribal motifs and angular shapes reminiscent of Ancient Egyptian culture. Using an aesthetic with a clear focus on geometric detailing, her jewellery is made with the intention of complimenting the wearer, particularly their physique. By integrating ancient tribal designs Sammie , using gemstones to emphasise the importance of individuality.
One of her more famous collections, named after the Greek Goddess of fidelity and the harvest, Demeter, is enriched with geometric designs that double as talismans and are said to empower the wearer. Sammie’s attention to detail is manifest in the Demeter Collection, which was created in the style hub of London’s Hatton Garden and comprises an array of pendants, bracelets, rings and interchangeable earrings. We love how this collection plays with the endless potential of gemstone decoration, using a variety of vivid White Sapphires, Aquamarines, Diamonds and freshwater Pearls.
Fresh from the Demeter Collection, these stylish Demeter Earrings were crafted using 18ct Gold and neat lines of round brilliant Diamonds, as well as two much larger freshwater Pearls and Aquamarines. The stylistic arrangement of gems will surely catch an eye or two, offering the last and most important touch to any knock-out outfit.
If you like these unique pieces you can find plenty more at Sammie’s website: http://www.sammiejocoxon.com
Funnily enough Cécile Gilbert is one of the only non-British designers in this line-up. Originally from France, she is a self-styled designer who now creates jewellery in Brighton, UK. She launched her stand-out Tiki collection in 2012 and since then she has been making waves with her playful use of polyester resin and oxidised sterling silver.
Interestingly Cécile’s inspiration is the fun style of Bakelite jewellery popular in the 1920’s and ’30s. Drawing upon a nostalgic charm, Cécile crafts contemporary jewellery that combines a 21st century edge with a number of honed cutout and recasting techniques. Her approach is a playful one, refined with strict geometric shapes and abstract motifs. Whether it’s clunky, oversized bangles or misshapen necklaces, her jewellery is defined by strong exact hues and a neat palette of red, green, blue and black. As far as we’re concerned this is modern jewellery at its finest.
Taken from the Lunula Collection, a series of designs with similar circular forms and half-moons, these Lunula Earrings feature teal blue and red resin. The made-to-order ‘drops’ have each been inlayed with the Lunula motif and hung from patterned studs by hand-soldered silver chains. They were cast, cut, sanded and polished by hand as well, adding an intimately personal final touch to an already personal design.
Hungry for more? Find the rest of Cécile Gilbert’s jewellery collections on her website: http://tikibrighton.com
Remember that the jewellery industry has also been invited to vote for the ‘People’s Choice’. That means you can choose the KickStarter you feel is most deserving of worldwide appreciation. Votes are cast from the 31st of May until the 30th of June and the designer who wins will be awarded a free stand at IJL’s Design Gallery in 2017.