Joanna Cave has become synonymous with both ethical consciousness and beautiful design. Her mother is Greek and her father is English, so after attending an international school in Greece she went onto study jewellery design at Central Saint Martins. Whilst there she interned with designer Scott Wilson. After graduating, she returned to Greece, where she now works from her studio in Athens.
Joanna Cave A/W 2012 Atma Earring
Joanna Cave‘s designs are modern yet classic – created from simple patterns, delicate motifs and refined metals, all created using ethically sourced and recycled materials. She buys her metal from dealers who specialise in recycled silver, and the stones and gems from ethical sellers in Greece.
Joanna Cave by Dana Bocai
Joanna Cave A/W 2012 Zeenat Necklaces
Joanna Cave by Elizabeth Hudson
She has always been very vocal about her environmental inclinations, and has received a lot of recognition for her hand-made and sensitive work. She is a regular name on the British Fashion Council’s ethical initiative ‘Estethica‘ at London Fashion Week, and was the only jewellery designer to be featured on the A/W 2012 stands. She is of course also profiled in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, as one of the best eco designers working today.
I spoke to Joanna Cave about her passion for jewellery design and the influences behind her new collection.
Joanna Cave A/W 2012 Velvet and Metal Hairband
What can we expect from the new A/W 2012 collection?
There are lots of bright coloured tassels combined with gold plating, rose plating and charcoal black. I’ve also used Indian motifs such as paisley patterns, elephants and peacocks.
Joanna Cave A/W 2012 by Nicola Ellen
What were the inspirations behind it?
My new collection is inspired by and dedicated to the working women of India. The beautiful and traditional women who labour in the fields, on the roads and building sites doing back-breaking work. They perform these humble tasks with such dignity, and their appearance can take your breath away. Their everyday working clothes are a riot of extravagant colours – pinks, greens, purples and blues. Their bold jewellery is intricate, and worn with pride. For me, these women embody India, they have a powerful and enduring femininity.
Joanna Cave A/W 2012 by Jo Ley
Can you explain a little about your passion for design, and explain how you moved into jewellery design?
I’m not sure how to explain this too well. I grew up in Greece on a small island in the Aegean where my father (who is English and who moved there when he met and fell in love with my mother) owned a jewellery shop. I grew up among the jewellery. From a young age I watched people trying jewellery on, falling in love with it, purchasing it… I met jewellery makers and designers. Some quite well known in Greece at the time.
When I was 19 (and studying jewellery making) I even opened my own small shop to sell my beaded creations. It was great fun and it funded my summer holidays. Designing jewellery is all I’ve ever wanted to do: I think I inherited my fathers passion for it. It’s always been a big part of my life and I always discuss everything with him.
Joanna Cave A/W 2012 Bindu and Indru Necklaces
Can you tell me a little about the process of your work?
I work in 2D, in flat silver cut out designs. Everything is initially cut out by hand where most people would use a laser cutter or router machine. I think that the hand made prototype is evident in the organic feel of the designs. You can see it’s not perfect. I use recycled silver and ethically sourced pearls at times. And lately I’ve been using artificial silk thread which I’m very into.
Joanna Cave A/W 2012 by Nicola Ellen
Why is it important for there to be an environmental conscience to your work?
It’s about how I feel; I think it’s important to know how things are made and where they come from… to do as little damage as possible where we can.
You can check out more of Joanna Cave‘s wonderful work in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.
- Joanna Cave: luxury ethical jewellery made in Greece from recycled silver
- An interview with jewellery designer Katie Rowland
- An interview with jewellery designer Daisy Knights
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Esthetica Review
- The London Fashion Week Virgin: Estethica Review