Elements jewellery show, Edinburgh: we speak to two of the Scottish designers exhibiting at Lyon & Turnbull

This will be a showcase of silver and gold

Alison Macleod
Alison Macleod

Attention magpies. Elements is returning to Edinburgh.

This exhibition, which is a collaboration between The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust and Lyon & Turnbull, takes place at the auctioneer’s Broughton Place headquarters from October 28-30, and will showcase the work of over 47 designers and makers.

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This is the first time back for the seven-year-old show, after two years of holding the exhibition digitally.

Alison Macleod earrings
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It will also be held as a celebration of the late Dorothy Hogg MBE, who died in March year, and was the hugely influential head of Jewellery and Silversmithing at Edinburgh College of Art from 1987 until 2007. Her jewellery and drawings will be part of a display of Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council award-winning work.

The exhibition will also feature a selling fair, with work from Scottish designers, including the below.

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Alison Macleod, www.alisonmacleod.com

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Ellis Mhairi Cameron

“I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2003 and set up in business straight from there. After living in Glasgow for 10 years, my family and I moved back to rural Dumfriesshire where I grew up. We live in the lovely village of Thornhill where I have my studio on the main street. I love the slow pace of life and the friendly, creative community.

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I’m really looking forward to showcasing some new, one of a kind pieces at Elements. I’m going to be launching a collection of six alternative engagement rings. Each is made of Fairtrade gold with mixed tone diamonds, set on decorative bands. These will be nestled among best selling pieces like my Catkin Contemplation Bead Necklace, designed to be twiddled between finger and thumb in moments of deep thought.

I grew up in a house built in the gardens of an old, long gone, mansion. The magic of discovering relics in the undergrowth has never left me. I’ve always been fascinated by heirlooms and their sentimental value, which is often more precious than the intrinsic value of the piece.

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My work has moved on a lot in my 19 years of making. I started out working in silver and mixed media, with wood, mother of pearl and even little fastenings from bra straps making their way into my work. About 10 years ago I started dabbling in fine jewellery and haven’t looked back.

Ellis Mhairi Cameron ring
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It’s been exciting seeing the development of more ethical material choices. Being able to have a traceable supply chain has been revolutionary. Customers are asking all the right questions which can only push the whole industry in the right direction.

I promote my work on Instagram but as jewellers and metalsmiths we make pieces to be held and worn so you can’t beat a real live exhibition like Elements to connect with your audience. We’re so lucky to have an event of such clout in Scotland.

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There are so many other talents at Elements. I love Sian Evans’s beautifully simple forms. Michelle Currie’s brooches just blow my mind, I can’t wait to see them in person. And I’m actually really looking forward to seeing the work of the recent graduates from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. I didn’t get to the degree shows this year and feel like I really missed out”.

Ellis Mhairi Cameron, www.ellismhairicameron.com

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Ellis Mhairi Cameron's earrings

“I create sculptural gold jewellery inspired by my Scottish heritage. I studied Jewellery and Silversmithing at Glasgow School of Art before moving to London to undertake a Masters at Central St Martins, which I completed in 2017. I'm now based at The Goldsmiths Centre in Farringdon, but try to get back to the Highlands whenever I can.

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From a young age I fell in love with Scotland’s history; the ancient buildings, the rugged seascape, and the many artifacts and jewellery hoards that have been found buried within the earth. On my grandparents’ farmland, we’ve found segments of rings, vessels, knives and swords. These objects have informed my designs and they have also been inspired by the historical relationship Scotland has with talismans; objects created throughout our history and worn as forces of protection, as well as aesthetic beauty.

I use traditional techniques and hand skills, such as hand carving and casting, to give my pieces their signature erosive aesthetic. I have explored modern technologies but found hand carving to be the most cohesive way of creating my work; I like to create pieces that look ancient and wax carving lends itself well to this.

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Transparency and accountability are hugely important to me. My jewellery is cast in 100 per cent recycled gold using British suppliers.

Elements will feature work from all three of my collections, including one of a kind pieces. I have three 'seasonless' collections, which I add to twice a year - Origins, Excavations and Relics.

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Origins is the essential edit collection. It includes small studs, everyday hoops, stacking rings and delicate necklaces. Excavations is the alternative bridal edit. From organic engagement rings to molten wedding rings, the stones appear as though they have just been pulled from the earth. Relics is a collection of decadent, statement jewels, with shield rings, scatter bands, one of a kind earrings and stand out pendants, they’re collectable and unique.

I think Elements is a really important show, as it means my clients can meet me in person, and view all the collections. It's especially great if they have seen the work online but not in person, and want to understand the work more before investing.

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I love sculptural work, so Sheng Zhang's objects and structures I find really beautiful. Sian Evan's work in lapidary is exquisite - I love her use of Scottish stones. The whimsy and playfulness of Rebecca Joselyn's pieces are great too”.

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