at the Victoria Sewart Contemporary jewellery Gallery
The granddaughter of a talented goldsmith, handcrafting beautiful and intricately designed jewellery from gold and unique gemstones was instilled in Ana from childhood. Ana spent years watching her grandfather’s unique creations come to life.
Ana’s grandfather sadly passed away whilst she was still very young, and she decided to pursue a career in architecture at university. An inspiring three years passed by, yet Ana still craved the creativity she was missing from leaving her love of jewellery behind. She decided to change paths, moving on to train as a jeweller and gem setter at a renowned Jewellery school in Porto, and later graduating from The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design – London Metropolitan University – with a first-class BA (Hons) in Jewellery.
Soon after graduating, Ana established a business partnership based in London with which she participated in many internationally distinguished Jewellery fairs across the UK such as International Jewellery London. While living in London, Ana also had the opportunity to work as a freelance jeweller for a few well-established jewellers.
In late 2016, Ana had the opportunity to relocate to Plymouth to work as the Workshop Coordinator for Jewellery and Small-Scale Metals at Plymouth College of Art, where she shares her extensive knowledge of jewellery with undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Ana’s experience and background gave life to her homonymous brand, Ana Simoes Jewellery, in 2018.
Every detail experienced in Ana’s jewellery is inspired by her heritage. Her use of gold, gemstones and natural stones, and her unique combination of traditional jewellery making techniques and contemporary design skills result in unique and sophisticated jewellery.
Architecture is still an important part of the designer’s history and influence; so much that the stunning ornamental shapes and repeat-pattern tiles found throughout Portuguese architecture remain her main source of inspiration.
A love of experimentation and process has led me to develop a method of working with fine wire that lets me create spontaneous pieces whilst at the same time having an underlying control of technique. I love to work directly with the metal. This way I can discover and learn new things about the material I’m using. Surface changes in tone and texture can be achieved by using differing densities of wire.
Mixing my own gold alloys allows me to experiment with an array of shades not directly accessible to purchase as raw material. Added to the base layer of fine silver wire work creates a satisfying colour palette. My creative drive is propelled by interactions between the material properties and memories of visual inspiration such as walking in the woods and the coastal landscape of the north east.
Emma Aitchison is a designer/ maker from the South West of England, a lover of the Earth and an advocate to protect and respect the planet. Her work is a personal response to the unfolding global catastrophe we are all facing. By creating awareness of what we have and what we may lose, in turn Emma hopes people remember to protect and respect the earth. Jewellery, an item we wear every day is used to contextualise and deliver these narratives as a daily reminder of this message.
Currently residing in London, Emma trained in contemporary jewellery before working with some of the biggest names in fashion and accessories. Eventually Emma decided to go solo and created her own ethical jewellery brand. Sometimes exploring intangible contexts to create tangible pieces, transforming data into 3D forms or playing with techniques to replicate the inspiration. Emma’s trademark is her organic and sometimes raw forms and her ethical stance. Emma has been named top 9 sustainable jewellery brands by The Independent. All Emma’s pieces are hand made in the UK using fairtrade or recycled metals in the most sustainable way possible.
My background is in ceramics and I have recently shifted the focus of my practise towards art jewellery and sculptural wearables. Drawing inspiration from the confectionary industry my collection aims to glamorise the simple pleasures in life. Having explored the rainbow spectrum of sweet treats from penny chews and lollies in luminous packaging, to cakes and pastries piled with cream, fruit and icing, I have distilled these treats down to their simplest forms, colours and compositions. A sickly sweet pastel colour palette derived from the sticky opacity of fruity chews, marshmallows and foams is achieved through a combination of stained porcelain and carefully matched gemstones.
A wealth of form and pattern inspiration is drawn from mass produced pressed and cast forms not only of the product, but of the plastic casings that cocoon them. Nuggets of cast porcelain and oversized gemstones are wrapped up in silver bezel settings and arranged in a collaged pick ‘n’ mix of pleasurable extravagance. The formality of precious materials is removed to create wearables that drip with the desire of momentary self-indulgence and look good enough to eat. The concurrence of porcelain and silver with incongruous and dispensable, nature of the subject matter creates an ironic play of worth between what we desire and what we choose to indulge in.
Kelly grew up on the north east coast of Scotland in a small finishing town called Wick. She is heavily inspired by the towns historic fishing industry. Her collections draw inspiration from creels, nets, ropes, buoys, the Silver Darlings. Her most recent collections are inspired by the drifting tides of Caithness and seaweeds found around the Scottish coastline. Combining wood and silver to make her pieces she creates a contrast of bold colour with detailed saw pierced net like structures in silver. Kelly exhibits her work all over the United Kingdom from London to John O Groats however at the moment she is based in Glasgow at the iconic Briggait artist studios.
Inspired by geology, ancient history and our changing landscapes, Rhona McCallum creates statement collections of silver and gold jewellery that combine rugged, natural textures with bold, sculptural forms. Forged and carved lines run through the pieces, accentuated by flashes of gold, referencing geological fractures and lines and layers in stone.
Rhona’s award winning jewellery is made by hand in her studio in Glasgow, Scotland, and has been exhibited around the world, including the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Fair in London, and New York’s Museum of Arts and Design. In 2017 she was a finalist for Young Jewellery Designer of the Year at the Professional Jeweller Awards in London.
Susi Hines makes strong and highly individual jewellery, drawing from rich sources often using spherical forms as depicted in the Renaissance and experimenting with fractured and decaying surfaces. Working with diamonds, gemstones, gold and silver, Susi explores surfaces through engraving, etching and contrasting colour using juxtapositions of different textures with unusual stones and naturally coloured diamonds. Her pieces use mechanical complexity creating movement allowing the wearer to vary the way they can be worn. She delights in hidden catches in secret movement and tactile discoveries. She designs her pieces to be both handled and viewed. After leaving college Susi was apprenticed in Mayfair and understands the long tradition of craftsmanship that exists in this country. She set up her studio in North Essex in 2008, having previously taught full-time jewellery, drawing and design in London colleges including setting up courses directly linked to the industry. She now exhibits regularly at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London and was recently chosen to show her jewellery at the Royal Academy for the Anselm Kiefer retrospective in 2014.