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Goldsmiths Fair 2013: Best Of

Wednesday 16 October 2013

 The stunning grandeur of the Grade I listed Goldsmiths Hall was home for a fortnight to the equally prestigious showstopping jewellery event, now in its 31st year. Described as an anti-thesis of mass production; this exhibition is a chance to be awed by innovative and exciting independent designer makers from 115 jewellers and 65 silversmiths (consisting of established jewellers, emerging talents and newly graduates). This event is an excellent opportunity to purchase directly from the designers, view their collections and talk about their techniques and inspirations, making the buying process all the more personal and enlightening.

Here I have composed my favourite independent designers exhibited this year. The list is sourced from my visit during the second week, consulting the Goldsmiths exhibitor list and finally the designers' website. Enjoy the feeling of awe, wonder and amazement.

Maud Traon

A truly fantastical and imaginative fairytale-esque encounter that beholds Maud Traon's wondrous ring collection. Where jewellery and art unite in an explosive mix of colours and medium, these miniature sculptures must be seen to believe. Though clearly sculpted in Troan's creatively planned vision, the collection nostalgically provides a sense of childhood experimentation with toys, art and craft, mixing it all together to form a delightfully mishmash magical artwork that only a child knows how. The collection also plays upon our psyche and internal befuddlement; our mind is a confusing network of activity. With inspirations coming from world issues, natural disasters, consumerism and post-apocalyptic landscapes, her work is not only visually pleasing but highlights current world issues.

Impractical at its best, but then again, who wants practicality? Wearable art is all about breaking trends with divided originality, Traon's has certainly achieved that. With added glitter.


The constant gardener
Oh toi mon Petit Poney
Precious metal
Precious metal
Oh toi mon Petit Poney

Disa Allsopp

What has first drawn me to Disa Allsopp's statement jewellery is her unique finishing of the collection. It's organic and natural aesthetics moves away from clean, minimalist and defined lines favoured by most, however this method is a personal characteristic in Allsopp's work and has a consistent theme, making her work her identity. 

Her collection is inspired by the ancient jewellery of Etruscans, Egyptians and Greek and Roman civilisations. Despite these historical references her work has a contemporary and timeless feel, thoroughly enhanced by the vibrancy of the gemstones. A new discovery, I will definitely be following her progress.


Green tourmaline ring
Oval citrine ring
Rectangular citrine ring

Mariko Sumioka

Bamboo brooch

I finally get the chance to meet Mariko after writing a group feature on geometric jewellery perspective here (which happens to be the most read post since I've started my blogging venture) Her current collection is even more inspiring than the last, nostalgically maintaining her theme of Japanese culture and tradition. Along with architecture and environment that forms a part of her collection, there is a silent yet significant concept that completes the formula; respect.

Respect is an etiquette that is an essential part of Japanese culture and taken very seriously. Mariko's collection evokes that expression with its orderly neatness and attention to detail, reflecting honourable reality.    

Pray for Japan brooch

Rokusyo no yane earrings

 Hee Young Kim

 Hee Young Kim's 'A Constructed way' collection reminds me of luxurious and minimalist living arrangements of a city penthouse floor plan. She explores inner hidden spaces and intriguing secrecy that innately applies to all human beings. She went further by constructing multi-layering of different shapes and sizes to refer to the complexity of the human psyche.

Clean, defined and geometric, Hee Young Kim went for a controlled and organised appearance. Wearing her piece will definitely spark intrigue for the wearer, arousing curiosity of the sense of space.


Kristjan Eyjolfsson

A visually stunning spectacular is how I would describe Eyjolfsson beautifully bespoke collection. An excellent alternative to a traditional engagement ring that will most certainly draw utmost attention to the wearer, the exquisite detail and its mysterious regal drama will see to that. Endless inspiration comes from his Icelandic background where its natural beauty and scenic environment forms a vital element in his collection. In terms of architecture, which is an additional source of influence, he uses the eras of Gothic, Renaissance and Art Nouveau to complete his design.

In 2012, the Queen wore his specially-commissioned Chelsea Iris brooch during the Chelsea Flower Show on the Diamond Jubilee celebratory tour.

Cathedral Trefoil ring

Gullfoss ring
Regal ring

De Anna Kiernan

Curve necklace

From just looking at her work you could immediately sense she has an architectural background. The distinction between architecture and jewellery is no longer blurred; in fact, architecture is a vital discipline in jewellery design due to the favoured resurgence of geometric shapes and clean lines. In her Curve collection, Kiernan uses the female form to create jewellery with soft sweeping motions to elegantly frame the gentle curves of the body. 

The Curve necklace as seen above works with the contours of the neck, it appears ever so natural, as if it belongs to the body. What's great about her design is that it goes with everything and can be worn frequently or for those special occasions. I would personally buy outfits to work around the necklace.


Shard earrings
Shard earrings

Ornella Iannuzzi

L'Exceptionnelle Emeraude cuff

I've been a huge admirer of Iannuzzi's one-of-a-kind jewellery for a while now. Befittingly described as an 'artist jeweller', she uses the beauty of nature and its ever-changing climatic landscape to create immortalised sculptural art, highlighting its beauty in a most revolutionary way. My favourite pieces are two rings from the Les Exceptionnelle collection as seen below. I find it fascinating how she uses a gemstone's texture and composition that is nonetheless blended in into the metal, replicating its structure and formation. It is almost like nature is adapting to its surrounding environment, or blend in to avoid detection. 

Note the way the precious gemstones are set in all her jewellery pieces, unusual settings are her forte.


Les Exceptionnelle Emeraude ring

Les Exceptionnelle Sur la Côte d'Azur ring

Coralline Reef ring

 Milly Swire
Audrey ring

Milly Swire's jewellery evokes lyrical poetry and intriguing drama when it comes to the influences of her collection. She is inspired by the harmonious movement within nature such as the waves in the sea and imprints left on a sandy beach. Like Swire's jewellery, these naturally occurring imprints are never the same, making each and every one of them unique. 

    The Audrey ring has a precious stone with such stunning depth that I can't help but stare and absorb into memory, with the metal matching the rough yet fluid texture of the stone. However the dark sapphire ring is my absolute favourite. The blue reminds me of the sea deep into the night, where sometimes blue can be mistaken for the depth of darkness. The undulating roughness of the precious gemstone creates waves that mother nature can only enforce. It's like a dream/nightmare right on your fingertip.

Augusta bracelet

Lily ring

Rough sapphire ring

Angela Cork

Oxidised sterling silver frame vase

I can't help but fall in love with Angela's vases of minimalist functionality. I like the idea of the unconventional and varying ways of controlling the positioning of the flowers.

Vases? That's almost...offensive. More like a piece of contemporary art that demands attention, not a background decoration.

Gold plated sterling silver oval vase
Sterling silver outline vase
Leaning wedge vase
Gold plated sterling silver rectangle vase

Sterling silver slim vase

Oval waterline vase

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