Monday, 27 September 2010

A Goal, Some New Beginnings and Fascinating Surroundings

I have left London to attain my goal of teaching in a college environment and to reach even further when the time is right.
I have ended up in a place simultaneously known and unknown; filled with lush greenery, beautiful birds, flowers, butterflies and monkeys...

Some say, "An adventure....
I say, "Of course, that's life."

I leave you with pictures of my new "Gherkin"...

I am very interested in how these new surroundings, with their battle to keep nature contained and the sharp clean lines of civilization stark and true, will affect my work and perceptions.

Who knows what's on the horizon?

Until the next update...Tally-Ho!


Declarative, Speculative and Suggestive: Active and Passive Statements in Jewellery

Summer of Fun

I wanted to take my summertime and do something different.  I wanted to explore the fun side of jewellery as a backlash to some heavy issues that were weighing on my mind. 

I chose to experiment with inexpensive materials that have little connotation of precious. 

That choice came directly out of my experience of the Pop Up Jewellery Shop and the re-branded ink pens I made for that.  I received interesting  reactions to those pens.  From sniggers and outright laughter to one gentleman being provoked to an angry outburst in which he forcefully swung the pen on its display string back at the wall and proclaimed them  as “...such a mockery!”

This fuelled my wonder on the usage of language and its interpretation. 

Are we saying what we mean?

So my summer became all about humor and interpretation.

Headlines taken out of context; taken away from their signifiers -- the paragraph on a page.  But by the way I have used them they keep the speculative, suggestive and declarative nature of their meanings.

Speculative and passive.  Highly interpretable.

Speculative with a socially charged undertone thanks to the “white man” went dark with this one.

Suggestive - Death becomes active not passive.  A Momento Mori of sorts.

Suggestive: A good use of double entendre. The vertical orientation and its subsequent resting area on the chest when worn further that suggestion.

Speculative and Declarative: A challenge as a necklace.

Declarative - It is why I chose to create a brooch from this headline.  It makes a statement.

Declarative, definitely. Very active.

A new context enhances their meanings and even makes them more powerful statements through placement and the use of further signifiers to direct their interpretation. 

All Jewellery and Photographs by Rae Mearkle.

Sir John Cass School of Art Media and Design MA Degree Show 2010

London Metropolitan University's MA by Project 2010 Degree show put on display some very good work.
A strong balance of concept, craftsmanship and display made the show especially successful.

As there were many great works in this show I am just focusing on the jewellery designer/makers in this blog post.

Most of these artists I know very well as we started at London Met together but they took the 2 year part-time route within their course.  I understood their initial proposal ideas but saw very little of the evolution of the work until this night. I was very impressed with the why, what, and how they moved their work into the final permutations.

Dyana Ripero's work (above) is all about movement and how adornment can be used to demonstrate personality, character and a raw sexuality. It is very fashion and performance oriented and punk rock to the core!  The fun, edgy side of jewellery!


De Anna Kiernan's display demonstrated how her work was about the fit and how it was worn on the body.  The sensuous curves and smooth textures of her necklaces felt at home nestled into the divots and slopes of a woman's neck.  (This isn't just speculation.  I know this personally as I was one of the models for her work.)

She wanted to not display the necklaces by placing them on the body but to display the body using the necklaces.  To call attention to the beauty every woman holds.

Ms. Kiernan's design skills were recognized by the Adler Company during the Adler Design Competiton in June 2009

Her work will also be featured in the November 2010 issue of UK Vogue
and during Brilliantly Birmingham 2010 (weblink unavailable at posting time)

You can see more of her work and contact her through her website:


Isabelle Busnel developed jewellery around ideas of concavity and unusual forms of attachment using magnets and tension.  Her work is whimsical and innocent but has the ability to be very provocative if used properly.  A playful poke at two ways jewellery can function.  She mostly works in enameled copper and steel but there were two fascinating brooches with wonderful play of inside and outside made of silver. I just love them particularly -- that little peek inside...

You can contact Isabelle at her email:


Kelly Nacht's jewellery is based on Islamic patterning and the geometry of pattern itself.  She hand pierced each piece and layered them to create depth and to pull the viewer into the work.  When displayed on the skin the shadows of the geometry flow and undulate across and around the body in a fascinating display of light and dark.


Peta Bush has developed an idea that has long been needed -- attractive medicinal jewellery.  She took the techniques of Eastern trigger point release therapy and adapted them to wearable art. Her jewellery is designed to put pressure on certain point of the body to help in pain and tension reduction without being clunky, ugly, or to utilitarian in aesthetic.  These items are smooth, organic and attractive. They call attention to themselves not the person wearing them nor their medical problem.  A big "Amen" to that is what I have to add.

You can delve further into Peta's  research in her blog at: 


Monday, 21 June 2010

Pop Up Jewellery Shop

It was a challenge to create works that would retail for 20 GBP and still have significance for me and be interesting conceptually and visually.

The logical considerations for making a feasible design monetarily were:

Option 1:  Use free or very inexpensive materials and expend my TIME.

Option 2: Expend no time and spend cash on materials.

I chose Option 3: Two free materials, One expensive material used sparingly, and a sensible amount of time.

The connotations of the materials and the multi-layered
interpretations those connotations afford were my over-riding focus.

A pen given away for free by one of the UK's largest banks.  22-kt gold leaf applied to the ink reservoir and white house paint.

A pen worn clipped to the shirt pocket.  A thoughtful gift given.  A tongue-in-cheek work of art calling attention to an unstable basis for economic feasibility.

It is the thought that counts.

Needless to say, this is a departure from my usual jewellery visually but it shares the subtlety of my other work. It is not an obvious one-line statement. You have to pay attention to catch all the nuances.

All the rest of the participating artists chose their own interpretation of what £20 jewellery should be and worked that into their personal styles.

The opening went very well with lots of participants and attendees.

and there will be a second opening this Friday June 25th from 4 until...

So come join us and see the plethera of works for £20!

Past Exhibitions

Pop up Jewellery Shop -- Dialogue 9,

Jewellery for 20 Quid!, 146 Columbia Rd., London, UK

June 11-June 27. 2010

THE ROLE OF ART, Luxury Goods IX, Courtyard Theatre, London UK

April 27-May 2, 2010

FLUX, Brilliantly Birmingham, Birmingham Musem of Art, Birmingham, UK

November 2009 – February 2010

PAUSE, MA Degree Show, Sir John Cass School of Art, London Metropolitan University, London, UK

September 2009

NEW DESIGNERS, Business Design Centre , London, UK

July 7- 14, 2009

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