Robin is an award winning gemmologist, previously working with private collectors. I really valued Robin's expertise to unlock some of the secrets behind how these amazing specimens form.
One in particular really fascinated me, it was large and matt with cube shaped hollows all over the surface this was an Epimorph.
A HOLLOW CAST LEFT BY A MINERAL THAT HAD GROWN OVER AN INITIAL MINERAL WHICH HAS DISSOLVED AWAY.
There would have originally been a specimen of fluorite, formed from crisp angular cubes which this other mineral had grown around.
There is a beautiful and intriguing example of an Epimorph currently on display in “The Vault” at the Natural History Museum.
The mystery of this particular example is that the original inner mineral should have dissolved before the outer box, so we're not sure exactly what caused this epimorph to form.
What is particularly beautiful is how another mineral has started to grow inside the cavity left behind.
So now, to investigate this amazing process further and how it links to jewellery see my next post coming up where I visited Glyndwr University’s jewellery and metalwork department the same week for a demo on Investment Casting.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com
So happy to be showing in this beautiful building for their Autumn Exhibition!
You will see some new some of my latest work exploring natural themes and processes. The pieces on show are all available to purchase to see in the new season of crunchy leaves and hedgerows heavy with berries. The Autumn Preview is this Friday, 12th September 6pm - 9pm. More details on their website HERE.
Sign up to my "Treasure Seekers" mailing list for updates on events and new work before anyone else.
Yesterday I was thrilled to give a talk at Manchester Museum as part of their "Collection Bites" series, allowing an in-depth look at items in their collection and showing their significance.
For me, the museum has been a massive influence since moving to the city to study for my degree and learning on the courses and at the events they put on with experts and curators.
As a local artist the Museum is a fantastic resource right on our doorstep and I have enjoyed researching the amazing objects on display as well as getting deeper into the artefacts with the curators and the objects in storage.
There are so many amazing objects in the museum, I had plenty to choose from. I spoke about the pieces that had influenced me the most and some of the contemporary designers looking at similar themes, inspired by nature but using modern materials and techniques to synthesise organic processes.
I brought with me particular pieces which I had made in response to what I had learned in the Museum and thanks to the assistance of Kate Sherburn and curator David Gelsthorpe I could show them with the museum specimens and curios that directly related to them.
The museum objects and my pieces sat side by side with other items from my studio.
I wanted to make something in the session too, as I find learning a lot more interesting if I get to create. To demonstrate one of the wonderful minerals which is a big theme and material in my work I brought along some gold cubes for people to assemble and attach together forming a pyrite sculpture, which will continue to grow and be displayed in our gallery. It s an idea I have wanted to make myself, but I didn't want it to be contrived.
By making it together with the assistance of others I like the organic way the structure develops, giving it an unpredictable shape. I am looking forward to seeing this develop and I will keep you updated on progress as more and more individuals add their own "cube".
Check out the feature from this weeks Benchpeg's Newsletter on the event I'm running on Wednesday:
"Jade Mellor is a sculptural jewellery artist based in Manchester where she has been researching at Manchester Museum.
She will be showing work there to demonstrate how important the museum collections can be for inspiration for contemporary design from the 4th June.
Jade will share a unique insight into her experimental processes and unique designs which have graced the pages of Vogue Magazine, The Contemporary Jewellery Yearbook and Swarovski Trends. To kick off a series of events she will be hosting a free ‘Show and Tell’ where she will talk about how she utilised the museum collections and the importance of having these resources for process led and conceptually driven work. This show will delve deeper than surface aesthetics where science and nature meets art and design to create something new.
She will also be getting some beautiful treasures out for attendees to look at.
Since studying 3D Design at Manchester School of Art, Jade has found a rich resource in the Museum’s collections, her research and discoveries shaping the pieces she makes
The purpose of the events held at the museum are to encourage others to make use of our amazing Museums and see them as somewhere for new discoveries rather than just old things!"
Date Wednesday 4th June
Time: 1.05pm – 2.00pm
Venue: Manchester Museum, Seminar Room, 3rd Floor
Book on: 0161 275 2648
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information:
Many thanks to Benchpeg for supporting this event, I hope it will lead to some inspiration for all of us! You can read about more news and opportunities in the jewellery world on their website here and also subscribe to their newsletter. It's a great resource for everything going on in jewellery and it's all free!
I am really looking forward to hosting my Collection Bites Event at Manchester Museum this Wednesday, 4th June. I have been to see many of the previous talks (and blogged about some including which you can read about here and here) and they have included a wide range of people who work with the Museum. From curators, artists, conservators and visiting experts they provide a personal insight into the influences the museum has and the importance of the objects it holds. My own talk will be a show and tell featuring the amazing specimens that have inspired my work and the pieces it has resulted in. I want you to experience the objects which have had an impact on me for yourself and hopefully we can engage in more of a chat sharing ideas and looking at some really cool things and some of my own one-off pieces, experiments and processes.
I may also be asking you to help me create something based on one of the objects!
Hope you can make it!
Sharing some of my inspiration...
I enjoyed a really fun trip to the beach last weekend. After a lazy day in the dunes, by the early evening the lively beach had nearly emptied and we took our time finding strange and unusual rocks to show to each other.
The geology class I finished this year gave me a deeper appreciation for them, but I will still have to do some homework on the things I found. Here's a selection of these wonderfully weathered formations.
If you have your own specimens you would like to know more about, Manchester Museum has lots of events where you can learn more from their experts. Here are some dates for things coming up...
How to identify a meteorite Wednesday the 21st August 2-3pm
Meteorites grab our attentions like nothing else. Join us to see fantastic examples from the collection and discover how to identify if your rock is from outer space.
Spaces are very limited so please email email@example.com to book your place.
Rock Drop - drop-in Geology Identification sessions
Our Curator of Earth Sciences, David Gelsthorpe, will be in the Collections Study Centre on the dates below to answer your questions and identify your rocks and fossils.
Come along on:
Thursday 18 July 2013, 2-3pm
Thursday 22 August 2013, 2-3pm
Thursday 26 September, 2-3pm
Thursday 24 October, 2-3pm
Thursday 28 November, 2-3pm
Thursday 12 December, 2-3pm
As part of The Rocks Exhibition at the Goldsmith's Centre they are hosting a range of activities combining geology and jewellery in interesting ways. Their Bling Pong is one that's on today 'til 9pm:
"Show us your sporting prowess and indulge in your artistic side with the most
creative table tennis you'll ever play. Beat your colleagues and friends at our
table tennis table and use the ping pong balls to create your own piece of
Not wanting to miss out on the fun I opened up my studio and invited some chums round to get creating our own rocky balls, complete with cakes, crisps and adult fizzy beverages...
If Gustav Klimt ever played Ping Pong...
I hope you're inspired to have a go yourself, it was a really fun thing to do together and reminded me of youth club days playing ping pong and reading Smash Hits magazine. To be honest, it was pretty much the same but with an issue of Vogue instead and no curfew!
Here's a link to the Guild of Jewellery Designers who have more information on these events!
A tremendous thank you to everyone who was involved in Museums at Night this year! The event on Thursday evening went fantastically well, The Manchester Museum has always been a big source of inspiration for me so it was wonderful return to this environment and present my response to their treasure trove of minerals and fossils.
I was so happy to meet such an enthusiastic gathering of jewellery and museum lovers and absolutely overjoyed to see some familiar faces and the new and old friends who came out to show their support, it was so good to have you there! I hope you are all inspired by your visit and I hope to see you soon...
Thank you! :)