Our Pick of Wearable Art Jewellery You Probably Haven't Discovered (Yet)
Wearable Art Jewellery is as much an expression of creativity and imagination as a form of personal decoration. Unlike more conventional forms of jewellery, status and brand matters less here than the emotions it conveys. For us, it's one of the purest forms of jewellery, and the one we enjoy wearing, buying and of course making more than any other.
We've prepared for you a curated list of ten of our favourite Wearable Art Jewellery makers from around the world. Our emphasis is on those names you're less likely to have come across before.
The people behind these works are all artists we admire. The list is in no particular order, but we have tried to cover some diverse forms that cover different looks and occasions.
For each of them, we mention anything that particularly draws us to the work, and tell you where you can find more about the artists and their work online.
As usual with our features, you're reading our own independent opinions, and there's no commercial relationship with the people we're writing about.
Finally, those who know us also know our roots lie in jewellery making, and Wearable Art is one of our signature styles. However, the spirit of this article is about helping you discover new names, so we resisted the temptation to include ourselves in the list!
1. JESSICA POOLE Juniper Shawl Brooch
When most think of jewellery they think of precious metals and stones. So let's start the list with a maker of fine jewellery: Jessica Poole is a fine jeweller with micro pave expertise.
We think this particular shawl brooch with sapphires looks stunning. The twist to the metal gives it a sense of movement, and the elegantly simple shape is full of subtlety when you look more closely.
A mixed metal look is increasingly popular today, but is actually almost as old as jewellery itself. Keum Boo is one of the oldest - an ancient Korean technique of applying gold sheets to silver. The next artist uses this technique to create fabulous pieces we definitely consider Wearable Art Jewellery.
Judith Neugebaur describes herself as someone with a:
deep awareness of and appreciation for movement, line and balance [which] I have always tried to incorporate into my jewelry designs
We love the graceful dancer movement and lines characteristic of her work. We have rarely seen jewellery that seems so alive and ready to move.
Andrea Williams is an eco jeweller who turns ordinary and overlooked material into wonderful jewellery. In her own words:
I use reclaimed precious metals in conjunction with seemingly ordinary organic materials to capture that sense of wonder in each piece.
We find each of her pieces breathtaking, and were hard pressed to choose just one to show you. Eventually we went with this plum blossom brooch, which can also be used as a pendant, as Andrea's contribution to our Wearable Art Jewellery gallery. It's made with Beach stones, Venetian glass and 18K gold.
We have always been fans of asymmetrical Wearable Art Jewellery. We keep a special eye open for artists who show how to create uneven forms and designs that still retain a sense of balance.
Jan Van Diver came to jewellery from a degree in Fine Arts, and creates exceptional work with metals and enamel. We loved her interesting asymmetrical earrings - this is an example where the colours and texture are as important to the appeal as the other aspects of the design.
A non-traditional jewellery material that lends itself to creativity is polymer clay. It's a medium we we enjoy working with for the unlimited possibilities it offers.
Cynthia Toops and husband Dan Adams are celebrated polymer clay artists regularly exhibited in a variety of galleries. We've highlighted this particular piece because it requires not only world class skills, but also painstaking effort.
To find more about their Wearable Art Jewellery in polymer clay, go to www.cdbeads.biz
8. DEBRA ADELSON New Wave Cuff
Our long-standing interest in exploring diverse jewellery materials means we were introduced to acrylic early on. Before then, we had associated it primarily as an art medium popular in the 60s. But there's some really clever work happening today with this humble material.
One of the exponents of acrylic Wearable Art Jewellery we think very highly of is Debra Adelson, and this brightly coloured cuff is a great example of why. She uses silver and gemstones as rivets on hand-carved acrylic, turning conventional attitudes to materials on their head.
Sarah is a jeweller who creates sculptural pieces using bioresin, and has been something of a pioneer in the use of this eco-friendly modern medium in the UK.
She mixes gold and silver to create mixed media Wearable Art Jewellery that we love for its shape and texture. We particularly like the way she achieves a sense of femininity and even sensuality in her work.
This list wouldn't be complete for us without at least one piece of ultra-colourful jewellery.
Our pick is from Hazel Atkinson, an established jewellery designer based in Nottingham, UK. She creates vibrant fun coloured anodised aluminium jewellery that we love. Its boldness creates a very different interpretation of anodised aluminium compared to the more conservative, minimalist styles you have seen. It should appeal to the young at heart 😉
That's it for now. We hope you enjoyed our selection, and we'd love to hear what you think. We'll be continuing to showcase work from creative talent that isn't found on the High Street. Sign up to get email updates on new articles.