Aesthetics vs Design Concepts in jewellery

During my time at university we were strongly advised to to question and challenge design concepts in jewellery  – and jewellery in general. I have always created my collections with concepts in mind, they drive me – but the Ethereal collection was different, as I am sure you can see.

SS13 was about the Sirens of the sea,  I suppose slightly morbidly I wondered – what would I do if all the sirens which inspired SS13 were dead!? And more importantly would happen to there jewellery? This notion sent me into a researching frenzy for jewellery that had been found at the bottom of the sea.


You see my boyfriend E is quite partial to an afternoon of “Time Team” I on the other hand find it desperately boring, oh! look here’s another series of small walls! or Yes! we’ve found a fragment of a bead!. When its obvious all you want to see is a skeleton/skull ?! Am I right? of course I am. You see, jewellery embodies an immense amount of  emotions and worth despite its actual monetary value, which is the importance we as owners put on it. Sentimental value, the sense of history  – jewellery often has a story – a life of its own. We as humans respect that, and in turn are fascinated by it, and want to know what it is! This objects past is interesting not just because of the way it looks – its aesthetics, its “backstory”.

ETHEREAL (Pronounced Ethe – real by my mum….) is about someones lost possessions – they’re lost loves, their personal jewellery collection. Dug up –  “time team” style  – just infinitely more interesting! (Ha!) I put it through its conceptual reconstruction allowing the “original” designs to be present with the now worn away areas “filled in” with a matter – acrylic. There is a constant annoyance to me about design, architecture, antiques, etc etc….  We all have a penchant for the past, for the majority of the time its absolutely vital, thoroughly necessary and incredibly interesting – useful and a whole load of other words. But when it come to DESIGN we can / should nod our heads to the past but surely we should want to look forward? embrace new techniques new processes new ideas? – I am absolutely not positive, we, as a race will stop making housing estates based on Victorian/ Edwardian/or Mock Tudor  – for fucks sake  – buildings anytime soon; or enjoying the romance of a bygone era of chipped crockery a la Jamie Oliver. My new collection is a comment on this – a response in the form of jewellery – I could have designed a collection that looked thoroughly the same as a piece of jewellery that was from a specific era…. but whats the point in that, when obviously it’s not? Applying modern materials and techniques – still completely handmade, creates a beautiful (I’m gonna use that word hold onto your hats!) juxtapositions, a dichotomy of eras and materials – no apologies just considered sympathetic but not compromising design.


I hope you get my point? I have gone on a bit, but mostly, absolutely mostly – I hope you like my new collection. With or without being intrigued by the concept. This is the 1st time I have come clean publicly with a personal concept. And It’ nice to know once I’ve properly ranted about it, I know I’m still as passionate about it as I was when I began.

I will stand by this statement to my death though – Aesthetics in design should always, always win. But its always nice to discuss the concept.

What do you think?

FYI – 18 Degree’s here in the studio

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1 thought on “Aesthetics vs Design Concepts in jewellery

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