Contemporary Jewellery

As a designer, one is faced with the two core aspects of your work – on one hand you have the process that validates the product. When you have rigorously adhered to this process,  your work can be proudly passed on as a design piece. On the other hand one has to be able to explain themselves and this process.

I have looked at Art sometimes – paintings particularly and asked myself, or the maker to explain inspiration behind the piece of work. I once got so caught up in a piece of work and just asked an artist- more like demanded “explain yourself” to the dismay of my the person I had attended the show with who happened to be a polite Brit. There was a moment of shock and then he had to say what it was all about.  He then thanked me as no one had asked him that question.


I think it comes form being a teacher – in my distant past. I was ‘nice’ teacher, taught biology and Art to 14 year olds in the school where I had been a student. I was 19 then. I managed to balance between telling them stories about what school had been like for me and taking them through the theory and process of binomial nomenclature.  I digress…


Back to design – these two threads go hand in hand and when one labels their ideas are contemporary what do they mean. When I started making jewellery – I made an internal vow that I will move to the ‘contemporary’. In my mind, what I wanted to do was to design jewellery that is modern. That it will embody all we perceive as being modern through the use of artistic and design elements. To take some kind of minimal approach in the use of particular or specific materials or combinations of these material in the creative process it is both right and wrong.


How de we contemporize jewellery – the answer is to contemporize the ideas behind the inspiration of the pieces. We strive to be more expressive and provocative and create a platform where we can interact with the object and deem it contemporary – of today.


Contemporary jewellery embodies the qualities off expressiveness and provocativenes and communicates symbolic relationships with the object – Carles Codina


We are increasingly pushed to traverse deeper and different limits. This requires a more collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to create ideas that are of today that solve the needs of the day.

For centuries, jewellery has been hung up on metal and precious stones. This is not the case anymore. Uniformity of style is of less importance than the convergence of style brought about by difference in material and concepts. Material can be anything from paper to diamonds and as for techniques – we have mokume gane – bronze casting – bone carving to laser cutting and 3D printing. Some of the best work I have seen come from student who have a greater freedom to travel with concepts and experiment with material. Their work is so full of enthusiasm and innovation.


Technology has also led to more freedom. There are fewer constraints in jewellery to follow tradition as it was in the past. Craft is adapted to the expressiveness of the jeweler. There is more freedom in decision-making and in the creative process. This is to be a contemporary jeweler.




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