Having always been fascinated with the weird and wonderful marvels of the natural world, Clio Saskia began her artistic journey with sculpture before moving into jewellery. Enamoured by the concept of her designs constantly on the move and alive whilst being worn, the London-based designer and goldsmith has continued to incorporate wildlife and nature into her playful designs.
Clio Saskia will exhibit for the first time at The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones on October 15th & 16th, 2021. At the show, you will be able to get up close with the playful and intricate jewels from her debut collection, Wild Things.
Read on to discover more about Clio ahead of this season’s show, and learn all about her curiosity for creatures, her stint mining for her own gems in Australia, her firm stance on ethical jewellery, and what you can expect to see at her display at the show.
Jewellery designer Clio Saskia at the bench handcrafting her jewels
How did your jewellery journey begin?
“I began my creative journey at Camberwell College of the Arts, studying Contemporary Sculpture. I focused on expressions of status, which led me to the world of jewellery. In 2015, I decided to throw caution to the wind and moved to The Gemfields in Australia [an area of the country famed for its rich gemstone deposits] to work on my own sapphire mine. Many of the stones I found there, I still use in my designs. When I got back to London, I developed my goldsmithing skills at the British Academy of Jewellery and received first prize at their Final Show for my life-sized Chameleon Ring with a kinetic tongue. I then turned my head to business development and undertook the Setting Out Program at The Goldsmiths’ Centre, which prepared me to launch my first collection. Just this year, I was awarded a Goldsmiths Craft & Design Council Award for my bejewelled Snake Knuckleduster, securing a place at the [gemmology school] Gem-A in London [as a prize].”
What is your favourite piece of jewellery from your personal collection?
“As a child, my grandma gifted me an exquisitely carved wild boar pendant. Even though I was very young, I vividly remember how amazed I was when she gave it to me. It inspired me to go on and create beautifully detailed and characterful pieces and to give my customers the same sense of wonder.”
What does the Clio Saskia brand represent?
“Clio Saskia celebrates and empowers all that is wild, weird and wonderful. Using the unique idiosyncrasies of creatures as our muses, we defy traditional jewellery conventions and focus on a detailed and playful aesthetic. Through vivacious, romantic and confident design, we express unspoken parts of ourselves with the world. We combine natural textures with intense colours to create vibrant miniature artworks, which celebrate unusual animals found deep in the sea or high up in the jungle canopy. Our materials are chosen with careful consideration for our environment and for the individuality of the wearer.”
Clio Saskia 18ct gold Lumpsucker Fish lapel pin, £2,995, shop at Clio Saskia
Where do you find your inspiration?
“I’ve always been drawn to nature. My greatest joy is discovering new creatures and learning about their behaviours. I have spent the past decade perfecting my sculpting skills in order to recreate them and their personalities as faithfully as possible. When I’m creating new designs, my questions are always: if this animal were alive, how would it interact with us and where would it naturally sit on the body? I am equally fascinated by human psychology, particularly self-perception and expression. There are many reasons why we wear jewellery, but my pieces are imbued with playfulness and a real sense of self.”
How are your jewels made? Tell us about your craft process.
“I call myself a miniature sculptor. I hand carve all my designs using wax carving techniques dating back to 3,700 BC. I combine this with traditional goldsmithing techniques to create the assortment of textures and forms seen in my designs.”
Do your jewels have ethical or sustainable credentials?
“Absolutely, I am a passionate supporter of ethical practices and education within the jewellery industry. My jewellery is made using 100% recycled precious metals, all of the gemstones we use are traceable and ethically sourced from suppliers equally passionate about improving industry practices.”
Clio Saskia 18ct gold and sapphire Bowerbird eternity ring, £1,395, shop at Clio Saskia
Tell us about your latest collection
“My first collection, Wild Things, is a celebration of our fascinating natural world and our place within it. By combining craftsmanship with a playful aesthetic, and through our use of natural textures, the collection showcases nature in all its glory. Our treasures wind their way around your fingers, ears and clothes, gleaming with movement, textures and gems.”
What will you be showing at The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones?
“I’m bringing a collection of designs created with recycled 18ct yellow gold and vibrant ethically sourced gemstones. And I’ll be displaying an array of earrings, rings, necklaces, pins and bangles. I also have a beautiful collection of gemstones from my time mining in Australia, and a selection of more unusual designs created to fit the body in unique ways.”
Why should people seek you out at the show?
“For some fascinating and wonderfully intricate jewellery. And to experience the natural world through my eyes; someone who loves to see the beauty in unusual things and translates them into wearable works of art.”
Clio Saskia 18ct gold and Australian sapphire Lizard ear climber, £1,195, shop at Clio Saskia
Clio Saskia will be exhibiting at The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones. The show will take place on the 15th & 16th of October, 2021, at The Royal Institution in London’s Mayfair. Book your ticket here