Project: The Contemporary Jewellery Exchange

posted in: Commissions 0

Last summer I got involved in the international Contemporary Jewellery Exchange, a project created and managed brilliantly by Olga Raben, a Norwegian Jewellery Designer and Maker. Contemporary Jewellers from around the world are paired up by Olga, based upon the style of their work. They then get in touch and swap a few messages, gathering a sense of each other before secretly making a piece to exchange.

I’m a big fan of the postal service and letter writing so this project was really exciting – plus I got to meet another jeweller and work to commission for them. I was paired with Lynne Glazzard, a jeweller and enameller based in Yorkshire who has a wonderful eye for texture and the landscape. She uses etching in her work too and has a back catalogue of pieces which features some beautiful little silver buildings:

After we exchanged some long and detailed facebook messages we decided that I would make a ring for Lynne and she would make a necklace for me. She liked the use of pearls in my work and I told her how wonderful I thought her little houses and buildings were. That settled we then had to keep our work a secret, get it ready for a postage deadline and send them to each other as a surprise.

I had a lot of fun working on the ring, it felt incredibly open ended, while many commissions can be resistrited by a lot of perfectly logical specifics. I toyed with ideas for etching, playing about with the patterns that I wanted to use and eventually settled on working on something evocative of sea spray (Lynne was living by the coast at that point) with a bubbly, watery feel to it.

I used pearls, because Lynne had mentioned them, and set them securely in cup settings (like my tidal rings LINK) sitting at jaunty, wave rocked angles. I also mixed a little 18ct yellow gold in there, to really bring out the colour of the dark pearl:

Lynne’s piece to me was a gorgeous little bundle of textures, in the form of a slanted dwelling on a square link chain. Clearly my love of birds had come across too because there’s an enamelled charm hanging from the necklace too!

Lynne Glazzard for Becca Williams 2
Lynne Glazzard’s Pendant for me

 

It sits really well on me and is such a great piece for days when I want to make my jewellery a real statement. You can see the rest of the matches online at the Exchanges Facebook Page and it’ll soon be available in a book, from the website.