Natalie Adams

New designer Natalie Adams, by Ute Sanne.

Candied Spirals Necklace_Adams_2015_Jewellery copy

When you see Natalie Adams work you are immediately transported into a vibrant, exotic and colourful world, miles away from grey British skies.

Born in England, Natalie grew up in Hong Kong and Shanghai. She returned to the United Kingdom for her degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing at Edinburgh College of Art. Her jewellery is evidentially a reflection of her years in Asia: Modern, cutting edge architecture fused with the traditional lattice work of the old Shanghai, dipped in bright reds, pinks and greens .

The result is a mix of very intriguing 3 dimensional shapes, executed with great precision and attention to detail.

Her chosen materials are acrylic plastic tubing, enamelled coated wire, sometimes gold and silver.

Natalie’s work involves a great deal of precision work by hand:

  • The acrylic tubing is cut and sanded down.
  • All the grooves that hold the delicate wire are hand sawn.
  • Once everything is prepared, the tubes are hand dyed, giving the plastic such fun colours and delicious transitions from one shade to another.
  • Then the wires are woven through the grooves.
  • The colourful chain links are made from coils of jewellery wire and twisted to make double helixes.

Natalie Adams jewellery Sunset Bangle_Adams

I particularly love Natalie’s Sunset Collection: True statement pieces in a riot of pink, orange and blue colours!

Natalie is currently Artist in Residence at Edinburgh College of Art and her jewellery can be viewed and purchased from the Designer Jewellers Group exhibition at the Barbican Centre until 23rd December.

Natalie Adams has accomplished a fantastic first collection and I am certain she has a great future ahead of her!

Sheila Roussel

Sheila Roussel is one of the very talented graduates that has joined the Designer Jewellers Group at this years Barbican Exhibition. Sheila talks to DJG member Michael Carpenter about her jewellery and inspiration.

MC: Hello Sheila, how did you start making jewellery?

SR: Well I have been interested in making jewellery for several years, selling wire and beaded jewellery at crafts fayres. But I wanted to learn how to take my hobby further and knew I needed a portfolio to apply to art school. I first studied textile art and then went on to study at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and graduated this year with a 1st BDes (Hons) in Jewellery and Metalwork.

MC: How would you describe your work?

SR: My jewellery is inspired by keepsakes and interesting treasures, such as heirloom jewellery, photos, fragments of fabrics and lace and the sentiments attached to them. I have designed contemporary jewellery pieces conveying an individual story using sterling silver, silk, pearls and acrylic.

MC: You use a variety of techniques and materials in your jewellery.

SR: Yes, I create a series of personal keepsake brooches that use both photo etching and embossing to create an imprint of a wedding ring onto etched silver.

Sheila Roussel: brooch in hands cropped

The photo neckpieces have been created by taking perspex as the base and using cultured pearls to secure the silk photo images.

Sheila Roussel silk necklace

Another photo neckpiece has been designed using a silver “embroidery hoop” technique to secure the fabric image. Small perspex photo keepsakes have been laser etched and designed to incorporate a wedding ring.

I also laser etch lace patterns onto perspex with the addition of semi precious beads, and that has led me to develop wearable neckpieces and earrings.

MC: So what’s next for you Sheila?

SR: I was awarded the F & A Bradshaw bursary which enabled me to travel to Penland Craft School in North Carolina, and at the moment I am one of the Designers in Residence at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

I also work as a tutor to 2nd year jewellery and metalsmiths students, run an evening class for Adult Continuing Education and teach adults with learning disabilities.

I intend to continue to develop and explore new jewellery ranges.

MC: I can see you are very busy, thankyou Sheila.

You can see and buy Sheila’s work from the Designer Jewellers Group stand in the Barbican, London, until 27th December.

Maker of the month: Ulli Kaiser

Here DJG member Sarah Macrae writes about Ulli Kaiser, one of our associate members.

Ulli has always had a strong interest in the physical activity of making, of learning new processes and skills. She loves the research into and around an idea and developing it through into three dimensions.

Ulli’s exquisite drawings of ideas continue to evolve through the making process, it is important for her that the creative process doesn’t stop with the drawing.

Ulli originally studied fine art, painting and textile art at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and then as now she enjoyed combining different materials. Life, marriage and children saw her living in Hong Kong teaching art at secondary level for a while and then moving to England. On a trip home to Austria to attend The Vienna Philharmonic Ball, Ulli’s husband bought her a beautiful delicate traditional bead crochet pearl necklace.

Inspirational beaded pearl necklace from Austria

The necklace fascinated Ulli and she researched the technique and taught herself to bead crochet. Developing the traditional form into Ulli’s exciting contemporary pieces involved many hours of practice, learning to crochet over three dimensional forms, as well as researching and sourcing antique and precious beads. Her ideas led her to further study at West Dean College to learn silversmithing skills enabling her to design and make pieces incorporating silver elements and fastenings with the bead crochet.

A course in narrative Jewellery with Barbara Christie at West Dean inspired Ulli to want to bring more symbolism and meaning into her pieces, and a second course with Zoe Arnold led to this necklace based on a story about a French explorer visiting Guyana in the 19th century (the image shows both the back and the front of the piece).

Ulli Kaiser journey to french guyana5

The recent ACJ (Association for Contemporary Jewellery) exhibition ‘Icons’ provided a perfect project for Ulli to work to, giving her an opportunity to immerse herself in researching her chosen ikon, Mary Shelley. The resulting beautiful and extraordinary piece is a wonderful combination of materials including silver, a victorian doll, paper, Perspex and, of course, beads.

Ulli Kaiser icon neckpiece

Ullis future plans are developing some new beautiful pieces to exhibit at the Goldsmiths’ Fair in October, which she is very excited to have been selected to take part in for the first time.