Manifest is a touring exhibition of jewellery by the Designer Jewellers Group to celebrate its fortieth anniversary. The Manifest exhibition showcases the work of 20 jewellers from around the world in a unique display, which is open to the public at Barbican Art Centre, London.
On the shelves above her desk stand jars of enamel powder and a rainbow of test cards swing beside the kiln. COLOUR is a vital ingredient in Harriet’s work and her surroundings are full of it; even the grey kiln glows red anticipating her next selection of powdered enamel dust.
She has an intuitive eye for pattern making, nurtured over the years through a love of sketching. Note books are filled with observational drawings, doodles and photographs which through a process of stylization and refinement flourish into a myriad of designs. New techniques, materials and private commissions also keep her artistic spirit afloat.
Harriet’s flamboyant style is fuelled by a passion for PATTERN and colour, so whether it’s drawing, creating, dancing, teaching or interacting with other people, the intricate shape of things around her become the inspirations for her work.
Asked why dancing is so important she answered “it’s a fun way to keep fit. Jewellery making can be an intense, laborious and isolating activity so exercise is vital to keep the energy flowing. Dance is a great way to do this, plus it makes you feel good”.
Harriet sifting powdered enamel onto a hand cut stencil over a copper leaf.
Harriet carefully lifts the stencil off the copper leaf.
The leaf with enamel is lifted.
The leaf ready for firing.
Harriet places the piece into the hot kiln.
The first coat of enamel is complete, and the colours emerge as the metal cools.
The excess enamel powder will get recycled.
Years of practice have honed this creative fusion… she makes it look easy! But there are many stages to produce her fine enamelled work, plus skilful craftsmanship to co-ordinate the finished piece. Things such as hand cutting paper stencils, knowing the exact moment to open the kiln, and when or indeed “if” to apply another layer of colour!
Harriet St Leger
Harriet trained at the Central College of Art, London (now Central St Martins) gaining a first class degree in Jewellery. Shortly afterwards she was awarded a New Craftsman Grant from the Crafts Council, enabling the purchase of a small kiln and materials to develop her enamels. Today Harriet’s jewellery is complemented by larger works, so in addition to traditional goldsmithing with precious metals, diamonds, gem stones and enamels, she also creates a range of bold and expressive wall panels.
Once again a small band of intrepid DJG jewellers have ventured forth into the fantastic New Designers show to select six of the very best new makers. As usual we surveyed the wondrous display of jewellery singly and incognito, gathering postcards from those whose talent shone most strongly as we went. Meeting up to compare our collections of cards and play a very democratic game of ‘snap’, led to us choosing a fantastic spread of jewellery made from a great range of different materials: rubber, textiles, porcelain, enamel, wood, and precious metals.
Accompanied by two staff from the Barbican we returned to the floor to issue invites: always a lovely thing to do as the chosen exhibitors are always so delighted! So, now that all the questions have been asked and answered, and the acceptance forms returned, I can reveal to you just who our chosen six are. Many congratulations to:
Sheila Roussel, who works with silver, silk, cotton, perspex and pearls, to create contemporary jewellery with a vintage vibe;
Jelka Quintelier, who works with rubber, laser cutting it into fantastic, dramatic pieces;
Harriet Rose Knight, whose intricately cut layers of birch wood are riveted with silver and gold;
Esme Parsons, with colourful and lively enamelled jewellery;
Mireia Rossell, who makes the most incredible flexible rings, bangles and pendants in silver and gold; and
Mirka Janeckova, whose beautiful and etherial jewellery is made from porcelain and silver.
Anyway, more about them, their inspiration and the techniques they use in due course. Right now we wish our rising stars a happy summer and autumn of building up their collections, and we look forward to showing – and selling – this wonderful new work to our Barbican customers in November and December.
This blog post was written by Christine Kaltoft, who co-ordinates our work with New Designers.
Many thanks to Catherine Hendy for photos of the New Designers and their jewellery!
DJG member Christine Kaltoft reviews her visit to Collect 2014, the International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects run by the Crafts Council at the Saatchi Gallery.
Visiting Collect was a priority for me this year: now that I live in the country it’s easy to feel out of touch with the cutting edge, and Collect surely represents that as far as contemporary craft goes.
Nan Nan Liu
I wasn’t disappointed. Right inside the door was the Bishopsland stand, and it was great to immediately see the work of two of our DJG New Designers: Nan Nan Liu and Kathryn Hinton. I was also wowed by the amazing gold jewellery by Jacqueline Mina, which was simply stunning.
The Dutch galleries always have great jewellery, and what caught my eye this time was the way that Iris Bodema had displayed a series of brooches. Each was mounted on a piece of white painted hardboard with – I guess you’d call it mark making rather than drawings – on it. Apparently purchasers get a pair of boards with each brooch: they really are works of art. I was persuaded to try on a brooch, which was actually very nice on: cotton and semi-precious stones. As one of the things I like best about Collect is the people watching I rather liked this picture showing the lively crowds!
In the next room ceramics by Pippin Drysdale sung out. I also loved the wooden jewellery by Flora Vagi. Several jewellers used wood but Flora’s was a bit different and beautifully crafted.
The Design Flanders stand had some great work, especially by An Alleweireldt, one of our members. Her stand was particularly busy, and customers were obviously drawn to a gold ring which the Crafts Council had featured on their website. I also loved the fluid gold necklaces by Jeanne Opgenhaffen and ceramic wall pieces by Ria Lins.
Another piece I found totally captivating was this bangle by Kazumi Nagano. It was woven from fine gold wires and nylon threads. Amazingly light, flexible and shimmering in the light: it really was quite wonderful.
Exhibition Space APJ
A couple of laser cut pieces caught my eye: some steel jewellery that was just like insects wings and incredibly beautiful and delicate, and also a vessel of laser cut metal that had been gold-leafed and hand-raised. Unfortunately it was displayed on wood and so the photo cannot do it justice, and I realised later that the maker’s name doesn’t appear anywhere, hence the name of the gallery only.
Another DJG New Designer, Mariko Sumioka, and DJG guest exhibitor Jessica Turrell were also exhibiting their new work, which was great to see.
Armel Barraud mascaron
Virginie Rochetti embroidery
As I love lines, I was drawn to the very graphic work of Armel Barraud, who used traditional lace-making techniques to create wire pictures. Virginie Rochetti’s computer aided embroidery was fascinating in many ways. Her hand drawn sketches are either taken into the computer or drawn directly on the computer, and then the embroidery is stitched by machine. I didn’t know it was possible: not on this scale anyway. Quite incredible.
The Saatchi Gallery
Steps in tube station
Anyway, coming back down to earth – because a lot of the work in Collect is quite rarified – I could see Sasha Wardell’s simple, elegant ceramic lampshades in my home: they’re on the wish list. I loved the mixture of old and new architecture in the gallery itself: the shapes, colours, and light. And finally, with my senses heightened, even the steps in the tube station looked beautiful!
Christine and An’s jewellery are on sale on the Designer Jewellers Group stand in the Barbican now until 1st June.
We are proud to say we are part of this fantastic show, held last year for the first time to great acclaim- a show who’s reputation grows, and promises to only get better. Made London showcases the very best and most original makers, exhibiting the highest quality in contemporary craft and design. It opens it’s doors again this coming week, from Thursday evening…
We will be showing together as a sub- group of twelve members in the beautiful venue that is the Sir John Soanes Church, downstairs in the very atmospheric Crypt.
Our group consists of: An Alleweireldt, Annie Ruthven-Taggart, Catherine Hills, Christina Hirst, Christine Kaltoft, Emma Farquaharson, Shelby Fitzpatrick, Harriet St Leger, Misun Won, Tom Mc Dowell, Ute Sanne, and Sarah Macrae.
Also showing independently of the group elsewhere in the building, are members, Jane Moore, Petra Bishai and Li-Chu Wu, and Associate member Henrietta Fernandez.
241 ticket offers are still available through the Made London website: www.madelondon.org