Each piece of jewellery starts as a basic idea and is developed along a journey until the finished design is ready to be worn. Last year we created one of our favourite concepts – inlaid mother of pearl mosaic.
INSPIRATION BEHIND THE DESIGN
I’ve always been interested in mosaic as a technique since the days at Goldsmiths where I learned about architechtural elements as part of my design studies. Also as a child I had loved the colourful mosaics on mosques and buildings dotted around Egypt where I grew up. This was sparked in me again when I was in Barcelona last year (we go yearly for a jewellery trade show).
Everywhere you go in the city there is work by the artist Gaudi (much of it mosaic or pattern work inspired by bright colours and shapes of nature). I became intersted in how this might be adapted to work within our jewellery designs so started to sketch and experiment with possible materials and shapes.
MOTHER OF PEARL IN AN ARRAY OF COLOUR
We realised that coloured Mother of Pearl would be perfect for developing the idea. Although naturally off white, there is a long history behind creating dyed mother of pearl since the eighteen hundreds when experts in France perfected the technique for making extravegant fans. Today colouring tecniques are still closely guarded as the professionals who carry this out today still reguard the methods as industry secrets. We already partner with a studio in Thailand which is skilled in this area, which involves dying the shell before shaping and polishing. We worked closely with them to develop the palette of colours we were looking for.
Although much mosaic work we see around the world is brightly coloured and can be garish, it was important for us to work in a soft pastel base of colours as it was always our intention for these peices to sit within our Beachcomber collection. We always saw the designs as being contemporary and fresh to work as part of the carefree Scandinavian feel of the range.
We started with a palette of blues, jade green and ivory to be offset by mounting in Rose Gold. This became the Mosaic set. As we developed the idea we moved on to also create yellow and gold tones set in silver to be the Cloud Nine set and a subtle mix of pink, blush and cream set in silver which we named Lovelight. Rather than work with random shapes and sizes we worked to a set circle design in a nod to modern, minimalist designer styling.
We love the results and are sure to add new colours and variations to the range as we go so watch out for more inlaid work….