Emerging jewellery designers to get to know
These independent, new and emerging jewellery designers from New York to Paris are firmly on our radar
Emerging jewellery designers – denied the usual platform and supportive community that usually greets a debuting brand – have been discovering unexpected inspirations for sculptural jewels in gold, pearl and resin. The result is a host of new talents who are exploring sensual and playful concepts in jewellery, showing the benefits of all those extra hours put in at the workbench. Here, we present the new jewellery designers exploring both sustainable and comtemporary methods who we are looking forward to seeing more of this year.
British jeweller Meghan Griffiths of Angharad creates her pieces in reclaimed gold and silver from her east London studio. She unites traditional methods including lost wax casting and smithing with the ancient Welsh mythical Mabinogion texts which inspire her to create textured pieces which are both sensual and magical in their curved forms.
London-based brand TiniCoterie was founded last year by Inti Yeung, who focuses on organic lines and sensual curves for understated and beautiful jewellery. The Roll’a Pearl collection adds a playful edge to everyday adornments by setting pearls into bars for earrings, rings and necklaces which are just made to be played with.
Yorkshire-born Megan Brown draws on her family’s history in the textile industry for her collection, Woven, which knits sterling silver and gold together for flowing, tactile pieces. In her hands, metal becomes as soft and pliant as fabric, whether coiled into elegant hoops or thickly spun around the finger.
Nigel O’Reilly crafts his high jewellery from his base in Mayo, in the west of Ireland. Nigel’s background as a precision engineer and diamond setter informs his architectural jewels which cast lattices in precious metals, creating arches which support the central stone while allowing for an easy interplay of light. ’By exposing yet supporting the gemstones as much as possible, negative space becomes important; a sculptural and playful aspect on the wearer’s hand,’ Nigel says. ’A precious gemstone is so rare, I as designer must advance its potential in an elevated composition. I often joke with clients that one ‘would never fit a Ferrari engine into a Ford car’. As a designer and maker I consider, understand and then advance the potential of that gemstone, with a view to making wearable pieces of art.’
Brooklyn-based emerging jewellery designer Sadé Hooks is inspired by mystical cultures, creating pieces that take familiar symbols – the evil eye, Medusa, the curving loops of the Earth – and twist them into sensual jewellery silhouettes. Materials are highly polished to create gleaming works; the ‘Medusa’ ring, crafted from brass, sterling silver and gold vermeil, brings a legend to life. In another piece, angled grooves draw an evil eye dotted with beaded metal eyelashes framing an onyx pupil. Hand-carved, the designs embrace imperfection.
Sarah Lamsika handmakes her jewellery in Paris for the playful Sister Morphine pieces, which celebrate irregular and oversized forms. Crafted from polished resin or Plexiglas mirror, the earrings draw organic shapes that are refreshingly light and easy to wear. In a rainbow of hues, from delicate pastels to fiery primary colours, this is jewellery that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
For Mason Feyz, jewellery is synonymous with movement, his series of rings appearing to ripple around the finger in undulating forms that celebrate volume. ‘Each ring tells its own story and no two rings are alike,’ explains the designer of his pieces, which are made individually with wax before being cast in silver and plated with rhodium for the gleaming, smooth effect. His designs reference the movement of fabric. ‘I am drawn to the free flow of wrinkles,’ Feyz says of his rings. ‘The entire surface is shaped unevenly to give it a light and soft undulating look. Rings can be among the most restricting forms of jewellery because of their flat surface. They lack humour, volume and motion. I wanted to make pieces that have undulated surfaces and volume. The fun design brings a sense of calmness.’ For Feyz, the process of making the sculptural jewels, of molten metal being poured into moulds, is part of the sensuality of the finished product. Currently based in Maryland, he is at work on new pieces – we can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.