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 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’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’s work is well thoughtful and researched which makes the end product even more precious and covetable.