The jewellery design course at Middlesex University habitually turns out some wonderful artisans and this year was no exception, with collections inspired by themes of tradition, adornment, religion, memory, value and social identity. I visited their workshops at the Hendon campus a few months ago and was incredibly impressed by their new facilities.
Francesca Tring was inspired by Memento Mori to create these curious, dark wooden brooches… sprouting tufts of fur.
I’m a sucker for big jewellery such as Franziska Lusser‘s designs, which made clever use of common materials (plastic combined with metal dust) to create precious looking pendants on industrial chains.
Mesh Doganay displayed dipped neon rings which she creates quickly in one sitting, improvising the design process as she progresses.
Louise Payjack-Guillou fossilised sea urchins into lockets and brooches.
Lydia Miriam Jones worked at the Neema Crafts Centre in Tanzania, which totally altered her attitudes to creating material goods. Her stunning display was created using a ‘bottle to beads’ recycling process. She collects materials and then transforms them through low-tech production such as slip casting, embracing inherent imperfections from the process.
He loves me, he loves me not…
Delicate necklaces by Tanya Garfield were one of my stand out favourites in the show. By combining common sayings and the intricacies of Morse Code she has produced beautiful and desirable necklaces – something which is often difficult to do with more conceptual work.
Christiana Christoforou began her final work by leaving clay at the entrance to stranger’s homes in London, with a message inviting them to imprint something of their identity into the material. From this she had created intriguing medallions which encompass the abstract and the recognisable (a Lego figurine, Donald Duck.)
Lydia Wood-Power mixed past and present in her colourful formica collection. Alongside creating jewellery she also runs a ‘vintage’ 1950s style tea room in Streatham Hill, which she opened in her year out. She works in a studio behind it: what a wonderful idea!
Samantha Cobb‘s tiny metal amulets reminded me of paper boats or paper hats.
Using an eclectic mix of high gloss acrylic and a touch of gold, Chaca Jacobsen had created decorative yet functional necklaces with an elegant finish. ‘A ninja necklace awakes the spy; a Samurai sword-handle necklace our inner power and a police baton reflects a desire for control.‘
There is no doubt that this was a showcase for incredible techniques and thought process in jewellery making – I’d also love to see more collaboration with fashion, melding these skills with catwalk trends and influences. You can read my review of the 2011 graduate show here.
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- Review: Silver Metal Clay Jewellery Class with Sima Vaziry at the London Jewellery School
- Best Of Collection