New special bespoke jewellery launch for The Weekender at Old Granada Studios

I am really excited about bringing this new special project  to Manchester this Saturday and Sunday for The Weekender at Old Granada Studios 20th 21st June.

The concept of this ring is to involve you to make your own contribution to create a unique piece  just for you.

 

Inspired by the wonderful world of nature, it is the Caddisfly's clever larvae which helped to create the concept of this new piece. 

To give themselves protection when they are in their young state they create their own tailor made casing.

They build their homes from the natural materials around them, each marvellous creature crafting their own perfect fit using their own choice of organic objects they find.

The artist Hubert Duprat even created an environment of minute gems and  golden nuggets so that the larvae that lodged within could en-robe themselves in the glittering treasures. I was blown away by this when I saw them in Paris at the Dries Van Noten exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs.

For this new collection of rings I want to allow each individual to be the crafty caddisfly collecting for their own ring.

Bejewelled cases left behind by the craftings of a clever Caddisfly larvae thanks to the artist Hubert Duprat.

Bejewelled cases left behind by the craftings of a clever Caddisfly larvae thanks to the artist Hubert Duprat.

I made the very first of these rings for myself to signify a big change in my environment and keep a piece of it with me and I am really looking forward to allowing others to wear a part of the places that mean something to them too.

 

For each bespoke commission you can find your own materials which I can use to create your own beautifully encrusted ring. 

This could be a little sand from your favourite beach, or some gravelly debris from your very own doorstep.

I will be at The Weekender, the free designer festival at Old Granada Studios this weekend to meet you and chat about this special project, but please also feel free to email me at info@jademellor.com with any questions ideas or just to say hello!

"What Is Jewellery?" Exhibition Piece No.1 Gold Cubed Ring

 

Jewellery is... DESIRE

Gold Cubed Ring, metal, resin, metal dust, Jade Mellor 2014

Gold Cubed Ring, metal, resin, metal dust, Jade Mellor 2014

Box of pyrite specimens: A cube of cubes...

Box of pyrite specimens: A cube of cubes...

In the exhibition What Is Jewellery?" curated by Eve Redmond the purpose was to show unorthodox materials being used by artists today. This ring is made from resin, very different to jewellery traditionally created from precious metal. The piece is also inspired by another material which I use a lot in my work which is Pyrite...


"Pyrite is one of my favourite minerals, the cubic formation has always fascinated me, it looks manufactured with it's crisp metallic edges but builds naturally in this way because of it's unique structure. I love learning about the formation of our environment, triggered by unusual finds like this and researching in Manchester Museum's amazing stores of specimens. This ring is my homage to the beautiful mineral. If Fool's Gold is called so because it appears like gold, this must be (Fool's) Gold Cubed." (my description for this piece)


So with this first ring I want to explore the aspect of jewellery meaning DESIRE: To want something for how it looks, the glint of metallic catching your eye with the magpie's instinct to swoop in and fly off with these shiny treasures. 

This ring was inspired by pyrite. The sparkling mineral nicknamed "Fool's Gold" could be all about it's appearance for those who would be tricked into thinking it was the real thing. 


 
Five "Fool's Gold" Rings of mine,  all using real specimens of the mineral pyrite available now at Craft & Culture  HERE

Five "Fool's Gold" Rings of mine,  all using real specimens of the mineral pyrite available now at Craft & Culture HERE

 


I am attracted to pyrite for how it looks*, it's natural facets twinkling and the smoothed areas gleaming make it a good choice for jewellery, as who doesn't want to wear something that lights up the room in such a way? However the benefits of using this mineral instead of expensive real gold is that I can manipulate it more and I am not afraid to experiment without knowing what the final outcome may be. Gold is a wonderful material to use, but it's preciousness makes it a material you plan for, savouring it, using just enough to make what you intend. Pyrite is much more available to me, this means the exciting part comes from how I can push it. I can smash it, I can grind it, I can use the BIGGEST GOLDEN CHUNKS of it for maximum impact. And when it is worn in this way, it is not showing off value and wealth in the way that a giant 24ct medallion might. It's golden glow is great, but after the wow of the initial impact, there's the head tilt and the chirrup of the curious sparrow. What IS it? How did that come to be? To realise these angular nuggets or magnificent cubes have formed in that shape by themselves as a wonder of nature, that is the thing that continues to excite me, the thing that I love, as well as desire which will never lose it's lustre. 

For some excellent insights into materials and exploring their values vs appearances and how they are being used in contemporary art jewellery today check out the latest CURRENT OBSESSION: FAKE  ISSUE. These guys are the cutting edge of what's happening right now...

 

 

The following posts will look at the other rings in the exhibition. It's been good for me to take the time to think about why use certain materials in my work. Be great to hear what you choose to make your work with! Sometimes having limits can even be the best way to be inventive...

 

 

*(call me a fool, but an honest fool)

 

What Is Jewellery? Exhibition at Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Very excited to join the work of some amazingly talented artists in this exhibition, hosted by Manchester Craft & Design Centre and curated by Eve Redmond. Showing during the Free For Arts Festival from the 3rd - 12th Oct. Preview starts at 3.30pm this Friday, event details HERE hope to see you there!