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.
I was also drawn to this beautiful display by Isabelle Busnell, who recreates traditional designs such as cameos in deceptively flexible silicone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fay McGlashan worked in porcelain and metal to create large pendants that mimic the carapaces of mottled and ridged insects.
The deepwater inspiration continued with the White Collection from Mirka Janeckova, featuring rings that seemed to sprout like exotic corals in all directions.
This oversized Alien gold and brass flock ring was made by Nadia Deen at The Cass.
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.
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.
Over in the stands supporting different disciplines I discovered Rosalind Clara Bryan‘s delicate geometric collection, which is supported by a super professional website.
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.*
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- New Designers 2015: One Year On Review