Rachael Taylor selects her favourite jewels from this year’s fair, which for the first time in its 38-year history has gone digitalSeptember 30, 2020 By Rachael Taylor
Good jewels can and should stop you in your tracks. It is an occupational hazard that often afflicts me – and, unfortunately, any visitors walking directly behind me – at Goldsmiths’ Fair.
I was glad to find that even though we must traverse the show digitally this year that some of the brilliantly curated selection of designers still hold the ability to make my stomach flip falteringly in delight through the screen.
Being Scottish myself, it is easy fall in love with Ellis Mhairi Cameron’s tales of Medieval hoards unearthed in the Highlands. The way she has textured the gold, and her choice of rugged, rusty-hued diamonds transports me to another time with dreams of buried treasure as vividly as any historical adventure novel might.
Lucie Gledhill is always top of my list when I visit Goldsmiths’ Fair, as I really enjoy seeing how she moves her work with curb-link chain forward from year to year. It is such a classic motif, yet she somehow always manages to make it feel fresh and exciting, and the satisfying crumpling of the links as you push them over your skin is irresistible.
It is so rare to have a British gemstone or metal to celebrate, which makes Jacqueline Cullen’s work with Whitby Jet all the more noteworthy. I have found her Dark Matter collection particularly engaging, with its cracked edges and black holes that project that feeling of crushing awe I always get when contemplating the vastness of the cosmos.
Isla Gilham’s jewellery is fun, and that is something we need in heftier doses at the moment. Her Bitten collection, with the ridges of greedy teeth hand carved into gemstones, amuses me every time I see it. These humorous carvings serve a dual purpose, as they also allow us a glimpse beneath the surface of the gemstone, revealing its natural striations.
I find that form can so often be evocative in jewellery, and the offbeat shape of this Mirri Damer signet ring both calms and delights my subconscious. The graduation of the diamonds, in both colour and size, and their submergence beneath shimmering matte gold was inspired by sandy sunsets in Cornwall, of which I’ve enjoyed many on family holidays.
There is something utterly energising, and actually quite hypnotic, about the vibrant green-blue colour of the indicolite tourmalines in these Sorrel Bay earrings. Matched with warm yellow gold, they make me yearn for summer nights, and their discovery story – responsibly liberated from volcanic bedrock in Afghanistan – calls for a bottle of wine to tell it over.
This story was originally published on the Goldsmiths’ Fair website. This year’s digital edition of Goldsmiths’ Fair, which is free to attend, will run until October 6th, 2020