Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2013 Jewellery: The Best Graduate Designers

Annie Lucilla wearing her etched earrings
New Designers show 2013-Annabelle Lucilla
I always discover a huge number of brilliant new jewellery designers at the New Designers exhibition, and this year was no exception. Firstly, at the One Year On section I was blown away by a wonderful display from Annabelle Lucilla, who recognised me from twitter – always a strange but rather lovely thing when it happens! This multiple award winning jewellery designer is currently a resident of Cockpit Arts, thanks to a recent bursary. I love the way that she uses her own illustrations to create unique statement pieces; here she is wearing a pair of her beautiful etched dangly earrings in front of an illustration that features in one of her pieces.

Silicone jewels by Isabelle Busnell in oneyearon
I was also drawn to this beautiful display by Isabelle Busnell, who recreates traditional designs such as cameos in deceptively flexible silicone.

beaded knitted fringed necklaces by HannaBalloo
At Central Saint Martins Hannah Newell, who designs under the name Hanna Baloo, created these immensely cute beaded, knitted and fringed necklaces featuring ghostly letters.

Simona Kubertavivacuite - jewellery
New Designers show 2013-Simona Kubertaviciute
This year there were were loads of designs inspired by lifeforms found in the oceans, which seems to be an ongoing trend in jewellery. Simona Kubertaviciute from Bucks New University was inspired by sea creatures that overtake shipwrecks and other underwater manmade structures. She works with brass and Fimo to create peculiarly shaped gems that look oxidised and eroded, as if they have indeed just been hauled out of the ocean.

New Designers show 2013-clio may davies
I’m a sucker for a good dangly earring, and love these organic offerings from the Crustacean Collection by Clio May Davies, a graduate of UCA Rochester.

New Designers show 2013-alma sophia
Alma Sophia was inspired by the tactile feel of jewellery to create her Touch ring collection, which come with convex or concave fronts that are meant to be explored by the thumb.

New Designers show 2013-Kirsty Isla Nicholson oversized rings
Giant white chocolate pearls by Kirsty Isla Nicholson
At the University of Dundee Kirsty Isla Nicholson had created an extremely imaginative collection working in unorthodox materials and unexpected scales: giant white chocolate pearls and oversized rings inspired by the construction of earring backs and jewellery boxes were particularly clever. Her beautifully made 187 rings wall installation asked visitors to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in exchange for a ring.

New Designers show 2013 fay mcglashan
Fay McGlashan worked in porcelain and metal to create large pendants that mimic the carapaces of mottled and ridged insects.

New Designers show 2013-Mirka Janeckova
The deepwater inspiration continued with the White Collection from Mirka Janeckova, featuring rings that seemed to sprout like exotic corals in all directions.

Oversized gold flock ring by Nadia Deen
This oversized Alien gold and brass flock ring was made by Nadia Deen at The Cass.

Olivia Creber beard jewellery for men
Edinburgh College of Art graduate Olivia Creber‘s Veni, Veci beard jewellery for men was used to style an award winning catwalk show earlier this year. These certainly make an unusual and eye-catching accessory that push the traditional definition of jewellery, so it’s no surprise to discover that she begins an MA at the Royal College of Art this year.

New Designers show 2013-Caitlin Gregory-Thomas
New Designers show 2013-Caitlin Gregory-Thomas flock pins
At the well appointed stand for the Jewellery Futures course in Birmingham Caitlin Gregory-Thomas was inspired by the plight of dairy cows to create this highly unusual collection of pins and bracelets in metal and flock. The centrepiece is a jelly mould character with cow hooves, guaranteed to prompt questions of the wearer. Check out CVGT Jewellery here.

Rosalind Clara Bryan
Over in the stands supporting different disciplines I discovered Rosalind Clara Bryan‘s delicate geometric collection, which is supported by a super professional website.

Karl Robert Gundstrom
On a more conceptual front Karl Robert Gundstrom put together this beautiful display of jewellery made with expanding foam. He will be pursuing his fine art career in Berlin.

I’ve still got 3D wall art, ricrac madness, ceramics and crafts to cover… and that’s just from the first New Designers exhibition…

*Many of these images first appeared on my instagram feed, where you can view my pick of design graduates as I find them.*

Categories ,187 rings, ,2013, ,Alien, ,Alma Sophia, ,Annabelle Lucilla, ,Birmingham, ,Bucks New University, ,Caitlin Gregory-Thomas, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Clio May Davies, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Crustacean Collection, ,CVGT Jewellery, ,Cystic Fibrosis Trust, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Fay McGlashan, ,Fimo, ,Hanna Baloo, ,Hannah Newell, ,Isabelle Busnell, ,jewellery, ,Jewellery Futures, ,Karl Robert Gundstrom, ,Kirsty Isla Nicholson, ,Mirka Janeckova, ,Nadia Deen, ,New Designers, ,Olivia Creber, ,One Year On, ,review, ,Rosalind Clara Bryan, ,Royal College of Art, ,Simona Kubertaviciute, ,The Cass, ,Touch, ,UCA Rochester, ,University of Dundee, ,Veni Veci, ,White Collection

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Amelia’s Magazine | Inspired by Illustration: An interview with jewellery designer Annabelle Lucilla

Annabelle Lucilla by Laura Hickman
Annabelle Lucilla by Laura Hickman.

I first ran across the beautiful illustrated etched designs of Annabelle Lucilla at the One Year On exhibition at New Designers 2013, and her work instantly caught my eye. When it turned out that she knew me from using social media an instant rapport was born. Here Annabelle talks us through her inspiration and design process: and explains why you must never underestimate the power of online networking in building your career in the creative industries.

Annabelle Lucilla hovering hummingbird design
Annabelle Lucilla: hovering hummingbird design.

When did you start to combine your love of illustration and jewellery to create ‘Metallic Graphics’, and how did it all start out?
I have always drawn intricately; my mum is an illustrator so I acquire that from her. I started to create jewellery when I was around 13, but I didn’t combine these two techniques until I was in my 2nd year of my Jewellery and Silversmithing degree. I initially set out to study Surface Pattern design at London College of Fashion. However, I felt like I could always come back to textile design, after I had learnt a technical skill that would set me apart from others. Discovering etching was a ‘bingo’ moment for me as I was always chasing after the idea of making an illustration into a wearable, permanent object, which had character and form. My Illustrations started out as large ‘motif’ stories, and then I created certain singular characters to go in the story. They are based around mythical tales, ancient cultures and lands and symbolism.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery by Daniel Alexander
Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery by Daniel Alexander.

What was the best thing about studying at Sir John Cass?
I very much enjoyed my 3 years of study at the Cass, especially being able to explore a wide range of processes and techniques. Most of all I was allowed to find my niche aesthetic, as many find that difficult when producing their final degree collection. I was quite sure about what I wanted my collection to look like, as well as what techniques I wanted to combine. I was given the opportunity to take part in a range of competitions and selling opportunities which helped me learn about creating a commercial collection. I also worked with a wide range of materials and finishes, such as resin, horn, aluminium, leather, rubber, powder coating, anodizing and not forgetting etching!

Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery, Peacock necklace
Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your first major collection?
My debut collection, Oriental Embodiments is very decadent, yet classical. There are definite hints of Ancient Grecian and Indian patternation and form. I got a lot of inspiration from looking at Indian bodily adornment, and how they decorate every part of their bodies in jewels and chains and droplets. I wanted to reinvent some traditional techniques such as Filigree and stone setting, and so I contemporized and refined them to give them a modern feel. The collection features etched, hollow Peacocks, which originate from my hand drawn illustration. This was the connection to India, and they have a very regal, majestic aura, which I wanted the collection to reflect. I juxtaposed these curvilinear forms with geometric forms to give a sense of balance and modernity.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery by Zo Bevan
Annabelle Lucilla Jewellery by Zo Bevan.

How do you envisage your jewellery been worn?
The purpose of my debut commercial collection was to give the consumer a more wearable version of the large, decadent items I made for my degree collection. I want my jewellery to be worn as everyday staple accessories, with an added hint of glamour and luxury. The designs I created were envisaged to be worn by all ages, not one particular group of people. The collection consists of some classical, dainty earrings, large statement necklaces and cool, contemporary rings and bracelets.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewllery, Gold Oriental Peacock Earrings
What did you learn on the Crafts Council Hot House programme?
This programme was an amazing experience. Subjects ranged from making a business plan to pricing your product correctly. From learning about how to plan financially for the year ahead, to learning about what your work is all about and then in turn who your target market is. What was helpful was that it was spread over 6 months, and tailored directly to your specific practice. You could improve your business as the course progressed. I met so many wonderful people, and having my Hot House ‘Buddy’ Imogen Belfield was so much help, as I could have regular meetings to go over aspects of my business. Overall, it is a programme I would wholly recommend to anyone wanting to start or improve their business.

Annabelle Lucilla by Annabel Dover
Annabelle Lucilla by Annabel Dover.

Which other creatives do you recommend we should check out?
I would recommend people to take a look at Sophie Harley’s jewellery. She is someone I admire greatly, and who creates exquisite, storytale pieces. I love that there is real meaning behind her designs, and people always connect with her designs for this reason.

Oriental Peacock Earrings Annabelle Lucilla Hastings
What is it like working at Cockpit Arts?
Cockpit Arts is a fantastic collection of designers and makers. Being part of a large community makes you feel like there is always someone to help you if you need advice. It is a wonderful start for me as I only launched my business in January 2013, and the collection was finished in April and so having a professional studio to go to and work makes all the difference when you want to be taken seriously with your profession. The Open Studios in June and November are great selling opportunities, as the public is brought to you, and they are fascinated to see the designers in their working studios.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewllery Silver Oriental Peacock Necklace
You’ve already done extremely well; securing loads of awards and bursaries in a very short time period. What are your top tips for gaining recognition as a new independent jeweller?
I would recommend entering lots of design competitions, and to try and be part of larger organisations, as these can help spread your name for you. Nothing happens instantly, but collectively, each achievement will help people recognise your brand. Social media platforms are also great for reaching a wider audience, so plan to tweet or share news on facebook everyday, as regular comments and posts help more people find you. Also, Social Media is what it is, ‘Social’ so interact with people, and make connections. Lastly, be original, and find your unique selling point that will keep your designs fresh and instinctively associated with your brand.

Annabelle Lucilla Jewllery Purple Agate Necklace with tassels
What next?
I am very much looking forward to exhibiting at International Jewellery London this week, which will officially launch my debut collection. This is the largest show I have done so far, so it will be good to show my collection to such a wide range of retailers, buyers and stockists from the U.K. and abroad. I am launching a few new etched designs in late September, so keep a look out for that. I am also showing at London Fashion Week as part of a collective with one of my online stockists, Wonsuponatime, which I am very much looking forward to. I am also taking on a few more established online stockists in the next few months. Christmas is going to be busy, with the Cockpit Arts Open Studios in November. I will also be exhibiting as part of an exciting curated exhibition about ‘the diverse and eclectic cultural influences present within the British craft scene‘ in the new year.

Categories ,Ancient Grecian, ,Annabel Dover, ,Annabelle Lucilla, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Crafts Council, ,Daniel Alexander, ,Filigree, ,Hot House, ,Imogen Belfield, ,Indian, ,International Jewellery London, ,interview, ,jewellery, ,Jewellery and Silversmithing, ,Laura Hickman, ,London College of Fashion, ,London Fashion Week, ,Metallic Graphics, ,New Designers, ,One Year On, ,Open Studios, ,Oriental Embodiments, ,Peacocks, ,Sir John Cass School of Art, ,Social Media, ,Sophie Harley, ,Surface Pattern, ,Wonsuponatime, ,Zo Bevan

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Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gifts: Ethical Fashion and Skincare Ideas

I have no idea how this fella’s haircut works. I don’t know what bit of hair is attached to what bit of scalp. But I do know that you and I and the whole of London will soon be sporting this very style upon our heads because this… chap… is… the guy from… DD/MM/YYYY, search and those guys play music better than other people.

DD/MM/YYYY at Old Blue Last

They also write music that is pretty much unreviewable. It’s not that they don’t ever sound like any other band, erectile but when you do clutch at a glimmer of sound overlap, that’s not where these mighty Canadians are coming from.
So here is a list of the irrelevant comparisons I thought I could hear: Deerhoof, but less songy. Battles, but more songy. Early Foals, but tighter and more complex. Six Finger Satellite, but less clownish. Boards Of Canada, blatantly… for about three seconds. Tortoise with charisma. Perry Farrell in the bath. Squarepusher with the munchies. Forward Russia having attacks of Chik Budo. Zoogz Rift puppeteering Purple Stag on the grave of Truly. Gong molesting The Mars Volta for the amusement of King Crimson.

DD/MM/YYYY at Old Blue Last

All of it completely irrelevant since, as I had been warned, DD/MM/YYYY have a “no-style” approach to music-craft. I didn’t believe it, but it’s not far off as a description. The one idea I did have which stuck was that the whole band was synchro-hallucinating Frank Zappa wielding conductor’s baton above the audience’s heads. And they have practised really hard for a million years. In the rhythm of N/N. Most of these songs seem to exist to prove how bouncably groovy any time signature can be. Higher maths. One tune calculated Pi to 1000000 decimal places. But it comes out more as autistic space-jazz than math rock. Almost every song is rhythm-based, there are no solos, not too many motifs even, just additions to the groove, and instrument-interplay key-changes. The drums dominate, followed by guitar detail and big fat synths. Solid basslines and the variety-guy (sax/spare snare and beaten-up crash cymbal) fill the rest of the space, with cartoonish zero-ego vocals sitting on top..
Enough analysis. How did I feel? Did it work? Well… I felt entranced. It worked stunningly well. Nobody knows what any of the songs were supposed to be about, but I was so deeply cuddled up in their slipper of sound, and amazed by how thoroughly well they chugged. There was no attempt to tug at a emotional heartstring, just to uplift your tantric verve with hypno-intensity and complex brain-shuffling. Like I said, they’re nearly unreviewable. Go and listen to them.

Hymns at Old Blue Last

Support on the night came from two equally noisy but quite different sources. Hymns are a very sharp two-piece (guitarist vs. drummer) from the midlands. Without any notion of enjoying themselves, they martyred themselves upon their instruments, in precise fits of religious agony. “More bile, please” chanted one reveller as a song came to an end. “May the Lord have mercy on your soul” came the answer for the next three minutes. These beautiful, but perfectly serious, joyless songs of Apocalypse rely on the vocals of the guitarist, who screams as convincingly and genuinely as I ever heard. He surely watches the Exorcist every night. No smile or thank you after a song, just a swig of beer and twang-brap-”Wrrrrraugh!” again. Well worth a pilgrimage to get preached at with enough vitriol to fuel a thousand Death Metal acts.

Hymns at Old Blue Last

Opening the night were Part Dinosaur, who are insanely ambitious and courageous, winning them my coveted “one-to-watch” medal. If you, like me, feel a deep sense of loss at the passing of Youthmovies, perhaps you used to be in Youthmovies or were touched by the music they made, you will want to follow the trajectory of Part Dinosaur. It’s the same approach to rocking out with neglected time signatures, dynamic changes and instruments filling each others’ gaps. I’ll review them properly someday. It wouldn’t be fair now, as they were a man down, and were a little plagued by techie trouble (an out-of-tune guitar/a broken monitor failing to guide a vocal part). But I will come back for them, and I know it will be good. A first-rate drummer commands the other fellas through a strangely sensitive landscape of out-of-nowhere jolty emotion. Attention to detail and a very obvious excitable rapture in playing interlocking segments of thrilling musical action define a band that is part dinosaur, part hope, all rock!

Part Dinosaur at Old Blue Last

Illustration by Timothy Hunt
Illustration by Timothy Hunt.

A couple of days ago *ahem, ask more like a week* I put a callout on twitter for people to send me their fabulous ideas for Christmas presents – here, finally is a round up of the best clothing and skincare gifts alongside some of my own recommendations. My second post will cover art, homewares and jewellery.

Bonbi Forest equus scarf

Lee May Foster of Bonbi Forest never fails to produce delightful stuff, my current favourite of which is this stunning Equus scarf, new just in time for Crimbo. It comes in either a pink or blue colour way and will certainly catch people’s attention with it’s lovely sustainably handprinted pattern of horses and zebras.

Natasha Rae Richardson hankie

At the upper end of the market check out this rabbit skeleton organic cotton hankie from Natalie Rae Richardson at Tout Nouveau, a website which offers the work of some fantastic emerging designers – perfect for a super stylish man to flourish when out and about.

Natasha Wood cardigan

I wish I had discovered ethical clothing designer Natasha Wood in time to include her in my book… but alas it is too late. These upcycled leather trousers are made from old leather jackets and above is her special two cardigans coatigan. Just fab.

Bradley Beanie Hat and Bow Brook Top by Maria del Carmen Smith
Bradley Beanie Hat and Bow Brook Top by Maria del Carmen Smith.

Continuing on an ethical clothing bent I really do love the simple good designs of Liv. I’ve been wearing her delightful Bow Brook top non stop this winter, and her Bradley knitted beanie is oh so cute. Liv works exclusively in fairtrade and organic materials. Better still she is running a wee Christmas competition – just join her on Facebook for the chance to win a lovely Shell Ford Cardi in her Berrrry Christmas competition. (but make sure you do it this morning as the offer ends at noon today)

Dr Hauschka bath care kit interior
Dr Hauschka bath care kit

Over on the beauty gift set side of life I recommend the Dr. Hauschka bath oils set – I am a real sucker for a hot steaming sweetly smelling bath and these smell just divine. A Bath Care Kit contains small starter versions of the oils and costs just £12.50. What a blooming’ bargain for the bath lover in your life. Dr. Hauschka is running a similar chance for a Facebook fan to win a beautiful make up set. Just join their Facebook page before noon.

Dr Hauschka rose tea

Many of Dr. Hauschka’s lotions make use of the wondrous properties of rose, and I particularly like the Rose Body Hamper Body Moisturiser Gift Set, which includes Organic Loose Tea with Rose Petals – since I started drinking black tea on it’s own I’ve discovered that rose tea is absolutely my favourite, yet it is still relatively hard to come by in your average supermarket, making this gift all the more special.

Pai serenity kit

As you can probably tell I am a big fan of a long luxurious bath, especially in this cold weather. Pai Skincare is another fabulous organic brand that has produced a bath care kit – and the Serenity Bath and Body Collection will go down a treat with anyone like me.

Savonnerie-Naughty Weekend Kit

For the lover in your life, there’s always the Savonnerie Ever So Slightly Naughty Weekend Kit. Why wait for the wedding anniversary or Valentine’s Day when you can drop a ginormous hint at Christmas? This boxed kit includes yummy Love Soak bath bits, Vetiver massage oil, a tender kissing glaze… and a blindfold and feather for a truly erotic experience. All this pleasure for both you and the recipient comes at a very reasonable price.


Savonnerie specialises in high end hand made soaps encrusted with all sorts of delicious goodies, and their beautifully packaged luxury handmade soap box makes the perfect gift. They are based over in Brushfield Street near Spitalfields Market so if you live in London there is still plenty of time to go and visit them. Yum yum yum.

For fans of yummy skincare products there are plenty more Christmas gift suggestions in some of my previous blog posts about ethical beauty brands, so do go check them out. And you can check out the companion blog to this one, featuring art, jewellery and homeware ideas, right here. My best art books round up can be found here.

Categories ,Beauty, ,Bonbi Forest, ,Bow Brook Top, ,Bradley Beanie, ,Brushfield Street, ,Dr. Hauschka Bath Care Kit, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,ethical, ,Ever So Slightly Naughty Weekend Kit, ,fairtrade, ,fashion, ,Fickle Fate, ,Lee May Foster, ,Liv, ,Luxury, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,Natalie Rae Richardson, ,Natasha Wood, ,organic, ,Organic Loose Tea with Rose Petals, ,Pai Skincare, ,Rose Body Hamper Body Moisturiser Gift Set, ,Rose Petal Tea, ,Savonnerie, ,Serenity Bath and Body Collection, ,Shell Ford Cardi, ,Skincare, ,spitalfields, ,Timothy Hunt, ,Tout Nouveau, ,Upcycling

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Amelia’s Magazine | Cockpit Arts: Christmas Gift Ideas 2013

Camilla Meijer bunny cushion

Bunny cushion design by Camilla Meijer.

This weekend we made our annual trip down to Cockpit Arts to catch up with old favourites and discover new talent. As always there was a wonderful welcoming Christmassy atmosphere, with the designers on hand to discuss their work. Unfortunately – due to one very clingy child that I could not put down – I didn’t make it the entire way around, and missed out on some of the wonderful jewellers in the west corridor. Nevertheless we did find lots of great work, so here’s my suggestions for Christmas gifts that will stand out from out the high street clutter.

Laura Gravestock ring

Jeweller Laura Gravestock goes from strength to strength. I particularly love her new range of subtle pastel coloured gemstone rings, combining modern decorative pattern with timeless settings.

row pinto knitted reindeer

This cute knitted reindeer Christmas decoration is by Row Pinto, who are based at the Deptford studios.

Gallery Bobbin cushions

These very cute prints on cushions are by designer and fine print maker Maria Hatling, owner of the Gallery Bobbin website. I especially love the repeat pattern featuring a snail.

Susan Horth snail

Susan Horth creates amazing bejewelled wire sculptures that catch my eye whenever we visit Cockpit Arts. Loving the snail again!

Annabelle Lucilla

These sliced agate necklaces are by the lovely Annabelle Lucilla, who will be joining the new Amelia’s Magazine market place as soon as it launches. I can’t wait to see her new range in the new year.

Julie Kouamo

This beautiful display of spicey coloured textiles is by Julie Kouamo.

Penguins by Laura Long

These adorable fabric hanging birds were created by Laura Long, who was entertaining her incredibly cute and well behaved baby niece when I came past her stall.

Camilla Meijer

Swedish designer Camilla Meijer looked fab in a big knit scarf that matches the colours she uses in her lovely textiles

Yamey Designs cut out figures

Ultra fabulous cut out creatures are by the brilliant Craig Yamey, now striking out on his own as Yamey Designs. He too will be featured on my new market place.

Terri Leahy

You can’t go wrong with this pair of wrestling bears, by toy maker Terri Leahy, who specialises in humorous anthropomorphic creatures.

Kingfisher by Abigail Brown

This pretty fabric kingfisher is from a collection made by Abigail Brown.

Fanny Shorter cushions

Fanny Shorter has recently won the COADG Bursary for her beautiful textile designs. Just check out this tropical lushness!

Jen Rowland lampshades

Finally, I have a lot of love for these hanging lampshades by Jen Rowland. She also does a beautiful range of gold foiled animal prints.

Follow me on instagram to see my pick of designer maker goods first.

Categories ,Abigail Brown, ,Annabelle Lucilla, ,Camilla Meijer, ,Christmas, ,COADG Bursary, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Craig Yamey, ,Fanny Shorter, ,Gallery Bobbin, ,Jen Rowland, ,Julie Kouamo, ,Laura Gravestock, ,Laura Long, ,Maria Hatling, ,Row Pinto, ,Susan Horth, ,Terri Leahy, ,Yamey Designs

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