Introducing the first of our six carefully selected New Designers for 2013: Bola Lyon.
Bola is a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts at Rochester, Kent, and is interviewed here about her work by DJG member Shelby Fitzpatrick.
S.F. Your work combines interesting materials. How did you decide to develop this range?
B.L. The range developed out of a fixation with texture, I’d experimented with marking and manipulating metal. The tactile nature of porcelain allowed for a much finer and deeper texture, which freed me to explore the silver elements in a more decorative and structural way.
S.F. Have you had past experience with porcelain?
B.L. Yes, I’ve dabbled with clay since childhood. My mother was a ceramicist, clay was always available. I first used porcelain about 8 years ago. When I recently started to look at bones for inspiration, it seemed the perfect material to replicate not only the colour of bone but its delicate qualities.
S.F. The imagery you reference is unusual for jewellery. What triggered these choices?
B.L. I’ve always been intrigued with anatomy, the amazing continually changing patterns of veins and the intricate fibrous meshes within bone. It is unusual inspiration for jewellery but I try to reinterpret the imagery to highlight the hidden beauty and capture the fragility within the structures.
S.F. Looking at your exploration of the structure of bones, one wonders if you have studied biology.
B.L. I have a keen interest. I didn’t study it in the conventional sense but visiting exhibitions such as the Hunterian collection at the Royal College of Surgeons and ‘Inside Out’ at the Science museum, I’ve been able to appreciate the specimens from an artistic point of view. It is something I would like to pursue.
S.F. I could see you collaborating with a scientist to find common ground. Does this appeal?
B.L. Yes definitely, if the opportunity arose. I was amazed to find a jeweller growing bone with scientists. There are amazing medical and technological advances at the moment, it would be really interesting to see what could happen and get a deeper understanding of anatomical structures.
You can see and buy Bola’s work now, in the Barbican, London, until 1st January.