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!
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.