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.
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
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
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
‘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.
Our latest Top Pick is extremely talented jeweller and designer from Norway, Elise Hatlo. Elise has a Masters degree in Visual Arts from the metal department of Oslo National Academy Of The Arts and is one of the key members of Norwegian Jewellery collective, KL!INK.
Golden rose, the color of the dream I had
Not too long ago
A misty blue and the lilac too
A never to grow old.
‘One Rainy Wish’ Jimi Hendrix 1967
This piece is from her “Grandma sings the Blues” collection.In this project, Elise pictures a grandmother sitting in a rocking chair, crocheting while she sings sad old blues songs. In blues music, the so called ‘blue notes’ are important. She has directly translated this mood in to the colours in her pieces.
Elise wishes to convey the value of what previous generations have been dedicated to by using old patterns as a starting point for her own work. The intention of the work is to apply the aesthetics and decorative arts from ancient female textile traditions, such as crocheting, as a valuable part of our time.
Here are some more beautifully coloured pieces from her “Grandma goes to Tokyo,” collection.
In the project “Grandma goes to Tokyo” opposites meet, the old and nostalgic attempts to find new ways in contemporary times. What happens to grandmother’s needlework, such as tatting, crochet work and embroidery in the face of the expressive, colorful and costumed youth culture in Japan?
Inspired by the ornaments and the aesthetics of the old textile crafts of women, the patterns inherited from tatting meet strong fluorescent colors, humor and surrealism, and form the basis for a series of jewelry.
This week our Top Pick of jewellery artists is Edinburgh based Caroline Cloughley. Caroline has many fears, lepidophobia (butterflies), mottephobia (moths), achluophobia (the dark), demophobia (crowds) and more she’s probably yet to uncover. Through her work, she attempts to externalize these irrational fears.
In her beautiful lepidophobia collection, Caroline uses contrasting materials such as precious metal and lamintated wings, to exercise her fear of the seemingly harmless butterfly. She creates jewellery with a rich narrative, reflecting the dichotomy of the beauty and terror found in the objects of her fears.
Caroline also finds inspiration in the night sky to exercise her fear of the dark, which continues to trouble her long since childhood.
Using her fears as inspiration and contrasting materials Caroline beautifully captures a sense of fragility in her work. By encapsulating materials which represent these fears she is creating a wearable representation of them which can be worn by and mean something else to someone else.
Jewellery by Scottish artist, Beth Legg explores a sense of place through the embedded object and memory. The remote environment she comes from in the far north coast of Scotland has strongly influenced the work she produces. She has always been fascinated by the hinterlands and quiet edges of places – a bleak remoteness which can be both beautiful and melancholic.
Beths work is beutifully delicate and manages to capture moments of nature which would otherwise be ephemeral or transient.
Beth likes to think of the body as a landscape – the jewellery pieces are transformed when worn and the wearer appropriates the narrative of the landscape and forms their own associations through the piece. Away from the wearer she likes work to take on the character of still lives through a contemplative and sensitive interpretation of the sense of place.She tends to work instinctively with materials rather than contriving designs beforehand. She enjoys the labour of traditional hand tool methods – forming a dialogue with materials through the exploration of their innate qualities and discovering their inherent possibilities. Beth finds this process of designing through making both intellectually and emotionally satisfying.
Beths work can be seen as a moving dialogue – each piece an exploration of composing elements encompassing themes of landscape and memory, ultimately reflecting the often bleak and fragile nature of the environment she comes from.
Beths jewellery is incredibly thoughtful and the way she designs through her use of materials is inspiring in a world where CAD is becoming increasingly popular.
This weeks top pick is extremely talented Australian Jeweller living in Munich, Helen Britton. Here is some jewellery she created especially for a solo exhibition of her work, in Nurnberg,Germany.
Here is an excert from Helen’s diary which is featured on her Klimt02 page. It gives great insight into the motivations for her jewellery and the materials she uses.
Munich, 2007. I am still roaming around finding things, hunting for and gathering materials, like I’ve been doing for years. No sea shores here though, a few river banks now and then and also heaps of junk. Europe: the residue of matter, contemporary and otherwise is exotic and plentiful, piled up in the flea markets, spilling onto the streets out of shops, being broken or discarded and crunched back into the earth for centuries. In the last years I have stopped collecting just anything to make my pieces and have now restricted myself in a non-puritanical way to reworking elements that were originally made for the production of jewellery. This seems appropriate for one so obsessed with the significance and history of decoration, these elements making a kind of double reflection, a new intensity of purpose.
These brooches are from her beautiful industrial series.
For the exhibition she has created a wall installation of her drawings. Here is an exert from her artists statement about the installation.
What have we got here in this work? All themes of popular culture. Violence,
love, riches, sentimentally, humour, wisdom, the exotic, the precious, the rare;
a friendly small companion, a lucky charm, an amulet. Hope. The small and the
large refrain. While the components themselves are in the form of the cheapest
trinket, the sentiment that they intend to convey reaches into the deepest abyss.
Primal concerns. These components have come bubbling out of the history of
humanity and have drifted around the planet collecting along the tidelines of
Helen also writes about her work beautiful and the words create a feeling of magic and mystery that trancends into her jewellery. Dont you think…?
If you would like to read more from her Artists Statement just click this link and you will be taken to the PDF document. Dekorationswut
This weeks Top Pick is Edinburgh based jeweller, Jessica Howarth. Jessica graduated with a 1st class Hons from Duncan of Jordanstone in 2011. Jessica’s work embodies themes of travel,the unexpected and narrative elements. Jessica creates sculptural pieces that when taken apart aspects can become jewellery in there own right. She is currently working on a new collection to be released late spring/early summer 2013.
The couple house. The roof holds a pair of studs and a pair of cufflinks.
Jess specialises in enamel work and her sculptural villages have an element curiousity which is accentuated by the fact that there is jewellery either hidden inside them or forming a part of them. You can follow Jess on facebook. Just click the image above.
Jess also makes a range of more affordable pieces such as these beautiful earrings shown below.
Winter Solstice earrings
You can also follow Jess on Tumblr and Etsy and Twitter just click the words.