Top Pick

We’ve had a few Scandinavian Jewellers as the Top Picks recently so its time to bring it back to Scotland. Where better to look than the Highlands, Ullapool to be more precise. Merlin Planterose creates beautiful work inspired by the landscapes that she now lives in, drawing from the rugged hills, mountains and remote islands. Merlin enjoys exploring textures and often contrast rough textures with finer elements, such as polished silver, precious stones and pearls.

Merlin Planterose 8

Merlin works from  her workshop at Leckmelm Wood in a small hexagonal pavilion with a wood-burning stove and views over Lochbroom. She and her husband spent the last two years of University traveling up at the weekends in order to re-build an old wooden cabin which they now live in.

Whilst researching for a collection Merlin often stumbles upon a historical story, character or event that interests her. This informs the designs in a more conceptual level, so that a finished piece is not only aesthetically unique and pleasing but also has a story behind it.

Merlin Planterose 4

Merlin’s Lady Grange collection from 2012 is inspired by the true story of a woman’s captivity on the remote island of St Kilda in the 1700’s.

The use of rough stone hammered textures in the pieces reflects the harsh conditions on the island, contrasted with the use of precious stones and pearls. The design of the pieces themselves are similar to those worn in the 18th century, incorporating the element of a locket into some of the pieces. Merlin also uses sections of gold chain and traces of gold to hint at the Lady that she was, but the pieces retain a rough look which reminds us of the hostile environment she found herself in, in contrast to the lifestyle she was accustomed to.

Merlin’s work is beautifully thought out and executed. The stories behind the work hint at romance and the nostalgia of a time gone by. She manages to create work which although is new in terms of the time of  its completion, are still steeped in history.Merlin Planterose 2Merlin’s work is well thoughtful and  researched which makes the end product even more precious and covetable.

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Top Pick

Now for a Top Pick from Denmark. Kim Buck studied at the Danish College of Jewellery and Silversmithing, now the Insitute of Precious Metals between 1983-85 and has since had an extremely exciting and prolific career. Take a look at his CV on his website.Its pretty impressive stuff. During his career so far he has taught, exhibited, sat on selection panels, won awards. He’s done it all.

The reason I chose Kim as the next Top Pick is partly because a friend is moving to Copenhagen soon and I wanted to see what Denmark had to offer. I promptly came across Kim’s work. The interesting forms, materials and colours instantly caught my eye.

'Pumpous II' 999,9 gold, 2011

‘Pumpous II’ 999,9 gold, 2011

Here is an insight into Kim’s work

“:: MY JEWELLERY IS ABOUT JEWELLERY, award-winning goldsmith Kim Buck explains laconically of his elegant, skillfully crafted designs – though simple, it is an apt statement. Buck’s delicate pieces reflect on the fundamental basis of jewellery – wearability and communicability. Buck creates jewellery that is to be worn, that will take on a new life once it leaves the hands of the maker: ”The important thing about jewellery is what goes on after the pieces leave the maker, what they mean to people. Through my pieces I try to show my respect for this, and to visualize the aspects and values of jewellery that we as makers have no influence on, and can take no part in.”

pumpous color ny

pumpous color ny

The thing that attracted me to this work was the look and feel of it. The colours and fabric create such a shine that make this work have a kind of cartoon graphic that seems too good to resist. Buck uses traditional materials such as gold silver, pearls together with conventional techniques but also uses CAD/CAM software alongside more unusual materials. His contrasting dialogue with materials and processes is evident in his most recent works.

”My education as a goldsmith is the basis for everything that I do. I am in a very traditional trade that l both respect and dislike – my recent work reflects these contrasting feelings and mechanisms.”

'Pumpous ring III'_2011_finegold

‘Pumpous ring III’_2011_finegold

'Bonsai' Kim Buck 2012

‘Bonsai’ Kim Buck 2012

Kim wasnt a jeweller I knew much about before but his website is full of great images and insights and he even has a Book too so make sure you check it out.