"Damn it Granite, I love you!"

I was recently asked to transform a customer's own cube specimen of pyrite into a ring for a surprise gift for their partner.

The pyrite for their commission was more of a gunmetal colour than most gleaming "Fool's gold", and after discussing different colour options, we decided together that it would be a great contrast to use a pale pink for the ring.

The pyrite cube provided was gun-metal grey, metallic with hard edges.

Bringing together these opposites, a crisp cool metallic with something so soft and delicate seems unnatural, but we can find references in nature. Think of pink granite!

Granite is an igneous rock is formed from the crystallisation of magma below the Earth's surface. It's composition from many different minerals including quartz and feldspar give the colours white, pink and grey with dark flecks.

Pink Granite

Pink Granite

We encounter granite everywhere in our daily lives inside and outside our homes:

We run our hands over cool, smooth counter tops,

We are warned not to slip on floor tiles when it's raining,

We are impressed by the grandness of pillars, stairs and building fronts,

We carve in it the names of those we wish to remember

 

I love plundering the rich resource of rocks and minerals for less obvious uses of colour to evoke and appreciate them.

If it is found somewhere in nature there is still a harmony to be found.

 

 

I walked past this lamp-post everyday in Manchester and it was part of my inspiration for my Modern Ruin series.

 

 

Although man made, the bark like texture from the natural rust made this painted metal pillar pleasing to my eye, and I grew to love it in the same way I would instantly connect with  a tree in the woods.

 

The commissioned pink pyrite ring

The commissioned pink pyrite ring

One of the leading PANTONE colours of 2016 is ROSE QUARTZ, one of the components of granite.

"A persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Like a serene sunset, flushed cheek or budding flower"

"Rose Quartz reminds us to reflect on our surroundings during the busy but light-hearted spring and summer months."

I hope this specially commissioned ring is able to also carry these properties to the new wearer it was made for!

If you have your own mineral or materials and you would like to know more about how it could be made into an object to keep or wear, just drop me an email.

I'm happy to answer your questions or have a chat about some ideas: info@jademellor.com

 

Let's go For a swim at Kalithea

This is one of my favourite places to instantly melt any cares away. Over these few years we have seen the Spar be restored to it's former glory and eaten lots of tzatziki in the little cafe overlooking the beach and it's straw parasols. The most blissful hours have been spent in the cooling waters on baking hot days, encircling the volcanic rocks and spying crabs and colourful fish.

The traditional Spar, now restored

The traditional Spar, now restored

The baking hot beach-too hot to stand on the sand!

The baking hot beach-too hot to stand on the sand!

Lovely textures of volcanic rocks where gases bubbled and the shells of  prehistoric sea creatures fused with them.

Lovely textures of volcanic rocks where gases bubbled and the shells of  prehistoric sea creatures fused with them.

Shell mosaic made from pebbles in the floor of the spar

Shell mosaic made from pebbles in the floor of the spar

Mosaics in the spar carry motifs from the sea and beach around it.  I also found inspiration in the shapes of these sea creatures to create a special present.

I incorporated sand from the beach we all visited together into a pair of cuff-links. The two shapes are taken from my cast of a real pre-historic ammonite, and a perfect pink shell I found on the beach on our holiday.

I hope this present is a little reminder of the wonderful holidays we have spent so far, to carry a bit of those happy times away with us.

Silver & resin cuff-links, using sand from the beach in Greece.

Silver & resin cuff-links, using sand from the beach in Greece.

Dirt Pattern Material

Accidental patterns

 

Love this idea from Mair Wennel. Called "Dirt Pattern Material" the beautiful, random patterns on this cotton shirt are created with everyday household substances which often mark and ruin clothing. By purposefully layering up colourful splashes of these pigments they have created the perfect camouflage for a piece of clothing that can happily incorporate many new additional marks from accidental spillages from every day life.  

 

 

Many a slip 'twixt cup and lip.

Party On

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!

Give Me A Spoon, Exhibition at Atta Gallery

This Fantastic exhibition at Atta has been extended until  Sat 15th Nov! 

The jewellery gallery in Bangkok is currently home to a collection of amazing wearable objects, all developed from the idea of a simple spoon.

The artists featured all have their own unique approach to this humble utensil, demonstrating various techniques and a utilising a variety of materials.

Albert Setyawan, ceramic wearable "spoons"

Albert Setyawan, ceramic wearable "spoons"

Ho Koo's side scoop spoon and precious  "grains"

Ho Koo's side scoop spoon and precious  "grains"

Poly Nikolopoulou  unusual, textured spoons

Poly Nikolopoulou unusual, textured spoons

Simon Cottrell's spoon  Silver +10% Zinc alloy, Monel, Recycled woven nylon cord.    You can see Cottrell's work at Schmuck Munich, where he has been selected to show next year!

Simon Cottrell's spoon Silver +10% Zinc alloy, Monel, Recycled woven nylon cord.

You can see Cottrell's work at Schmuck Munich, where he has been selected to show next year!

 

I am a lover of spoons, using them to mix and make my work which themselves become records of the colours and textures that I use.

One of my Hewn rings and a spoon from my studio.

One of my Hewn rings and a spoon from my studio.

The idea is to challenge artists to create something that they do not normally create and exercise their creativity by translating their practice into a new kind of work. Most importantly, it is for the artists to have fun!" - Vipoo Srivilasa, Curator (you can view the website here)

 

For this exhibition it was a chance to take an everyday object and explore it's shape, symbolic meanings or function with the individual artists creating their own interpretation of a spoon. The simple brief allows exploration of ideas and materials leading to a fabulous array of textures and shapes and making a familiar object into a wearable, thoughtful piece of art.

Yiumsiri Vantanapindu

Yiumsiri Vantanapindu

Whether a usable object or decorative, spoons have many meanings. Love spoons were a folk tradition, made by young men and given as a token of their affection to a woman they admired. The wooden carvings were a chance for them to show their skill, taking time and patience. The complicated shapes and symbols  communicated how deeply they admired their loved one. If a girl accepted a spoon form a suitor she might then wear it or tie it to her clothing to show that she was taken, in a similar way to an engagement ring. Even more of a reason for them being the perfect focus for a jewellery gallery!

For practical purposes wearable spoons make sense. In a nomadic lifestyle you would carry the objects that you used daily. They were useful, and therefore precious and important. 

Spoons in my studio

Spoons in my studio

Easily overlooked, the spoon is simple & reliable, perfectly formed for it's purpose and a daily necessity. I am happy to celebrate this essential tool (and I couldn't polish off my dessert without it!).

Hooray for the beautiful, useful spoon!

You can see plenty more pictures from the exhibition here on the Atta Facebook page.

 

 

 

"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)