Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Oxidized Silver Fragment of Ornament Brooch
with Trillion Garnet
Today we visit one of Scotland's most prominent architectural structures, Stirling Castle. Situated upon a volcanic crag, and surrounded by steep cliffs, the castle maintains a foreboding, spectacular presence.

The castle's fully functional amenities include artillery fortifications, The Great Hall, and a modern cafĂ©. Scotland is also the home of featured jewelry designer Marianne Anderson.

Ornamental designs in architecture have been around for centuries and is seen everywhere from India to Egypt. The intricate decoration has been replicated often in pottery, textiles, and wallpaper.

Anderson takes a special interest in exploring the historical significance of this decorative style. "My interest is rooted in how we learn and draw from the past and return frequently to motifs, patterns, and designs of historic and symbolic significance," she says.

What I find particularly fascinating is that Anderson works with only four materials: freshwater pearls, red garnets, 18-karat gold, and oxidized silver. What may initially seem like a limited range of creative options, Anderson's fantastic skill in cultivating varied designs quickly diminishes the notion of limitations.

Some items like her earrings and brooch pins resemble Victorian cast iron decorations I have seen on porch railings and chairs.

Although the jewelry can be considered vintage, to me she gives it a more modern edge with her use of blackened silver. The overall result is highly distinctive pieces.

"I love embracing the contrasts of order and disorder, the structural and the florid. I love taking a pattern and completely stripping it down into its components," she explains. "I love using ornaments in a scale that works with the human form."
Oxidized Silver Rosette Ring with 18-Karat Gold Accents
Anderson recently held an exhibition at the London Craft Fair. Exhibitions for her unique jewelry have also been held in the United States, Switzerland, Japan, and Scotland.

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