An exhibition of exquisitely crafted and creatively designed enamelled jewellery.
March 24th – June 3rd 2018
ELIZABETH JANE CAMPBELL
Elizabeth Jane Campbell graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2013, and then spent a year as Artist in Residence at Glasgow School of Art before establishing her own studio in Edinburgh. As well as developing her own work, which has been exhibited across the UK and abroad, Elizabeth has been part of several collaborative projects. Elizabeth’s work can be seen in the permanent collection at The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
“My inspiration stems from concepts of visual literacy, and specifically, the idea of balance. Using these visual literacy theories we can break down our ‘ways of seeing’ into the simplest form – shape, colour, pattern etc. and this has always really appealed to me. I try to communicate a personal sense of ‘balance’ through my work using geometric shapes, composition, colour and materials – creating simple contemporary jewellery. I work with enamel, and enjoy experimenting with material relationships – whether that’s combining a material with enamel; using enamel on a different material; or simply attempting to mimic a material in enamel, such as stone or concrete. I like to use traditional enamelling skills, such as cloisonné, while always trying to put my own personal stamp on the technique.”
Karolina Baines is a jewellery designer and maker based in Edinburgh. Her work reflects a fascination with the relationship between line and form. She uses enamels and etching to playfully explore the connections between her diverse inspirations. Represented in Karolina’s collections, you will see an eclectic range of interests from ancient cities, as in ‘Currents of Venice’ to ‘Lines in Motion’ based on the rhythmic weaving of basketry, and the dynamic pleat work of Issey Miyake. She weaves these inspirations together through the use of collaging, tessellation and mark-making to create rich tactile patterns with a sense of movement added through the use of folding techniques.
Karolina’s work is enriched through the use of enamel, with its surprising tactile qualities which invite touch. Its deep colours, strikingly vivid, or reassuringly settled, transform surfaces and invite the wearer to make an emotional connection. These surface qualities combined with the bold, sculptural forms and etched patterns give a playful appearance to her jewellery.
Amanda has lived in London all her life and is influenced by the urban environment. She is inspired and intrigued by the traces left behind through decay and dilapidation and by the textures and marks stamped on the urban environment. She is drawn to repeated elements that distort and change. Amanda’s fascination with pattern and surface textures translates into her pieces. A fine art background influences her approach; drawing into enamelled surfaces and exploring mark making is key to Amanda’ work.
Amanda works with precious and non-precious metals and enjoys the challenge of combining industrial materials (steel and wet process enamel) with traditional jewellery-making processes to create distinctive textural pieces. She incorporates patinas and enamels to add colour but the palette is subtle and restrained. While most makers build up enamels in highly coloured layers, Amanda restricts hers to one or two colours and then deconstructs her enamels. After firing pieces in the kiln she stones back the layers to remove the glassy surface and creates a smooth matt surface with subtle areas of hue and tone. When patches of bare steel are revealed they are encouraged to rust. The end result is a richly degraded and unique piece of art jewellery. Each piece is different for although Amanda can repeat the processes there is always an element of chance and no two pieces are ever exactly the same.
Grace Girvan set up her workshop in 2003 after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA (Hons) in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Working from her studio in Burnt island, Fife, Grace creates work for exhibitions in the UK and nationally.
Collecting and studying found objects from Scotland’s shorelines is the starting point in Grace’s creative process. The collected objects inform the colour, texture and compositions found in Grace’s jewellery. The objects themselves are often incorporated into her pieces. Pebbles and driftwood are combined with silver and enamel to create beautiful, distinctive jewellery.
Zsuzsi combines painting, reworked icons and marks, fine silver, 22ct gold and glass, through fire, to create modern relics. The processes and skills for producing enamel work are exacting, requiring technical expertise in the design and construction of a piece, an understanding of chemistry and the exactitude of firing of enamel. In essence, enamelling is glass bonded to metal by the action of fire. Firing transforms the enamel and gives the entire process a feeling of alchemy. I use traditional techniques of enamelling in a contemporary context, and am fascinated by blurring the boundaries between materials, styles, times and thinking, values and perceptions.
Through the precision and complexity of the handmade object, I aim to balance opposing elements: the deliberate drawn quality of my lines in tension with the more fluid and unpredictable aspects of enamelling, such as the subtle shifts and flow of colour emerging as it vitrifies, and by playing with and re-inventing symbols imbued with meaning for the modern wearer. It is in the variability and eccentricities of making pieces in series that things become exciting. For me, the maker’s hand is implicit in and essential to each piece, in contrast to the erasure of the individual mark so prevalent in the digital age.
Annabet came to creating contemporary jewellery after making small functional utensils for eating and drinking. Tea strainers in aluminium with steel mesh, infusers in silver, slip cast ceramic beakers, spoons and eating tools. She used the same metal techniques to shape, texture and perforate her jewellery. When she was reintroduced to enamel and began to experiment with it she used it to add another texture to her visual language, but it also brought colour.
Abstract contemporary still life artworks and a love of functional domestic ware have combined to influence the shapes in Annabet’s pieces. She uses the textured shaped silver, oxidised surfaces, enamel texture and colour and more recently cut and painted plywood pieces. She layers the shapes to interact with each other or places them in groups, moving them around until justified.