At nearly one hundred years old, Millesgården, located on the island of Lindingo in Sweden, is a thriving Swedish museum consisting of sculpture gardens and workspace for artists. Sweden is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Malin Nyman-Smallcombe.
Exploring alternative materials for use in jewelry design and creation is a central goal for many jewelry artists.
British designer Jane Adam's beautiful trinkets of anodized aluminum along with Dori Csengeri's (Israel) exquisite embroidered pieces are two examples of the high level of innovation, and experimentation key to many designers' aesthetic.
Smallcombe's five-year-old company, MALIN Collection, is known for its "eco-chic jewelry" that is composed of such materials as jute, silk, leather, cotton, and cashmere with accents of glass, wooden beads, and semi-precious gemstones.
Taking inspiration from the likes of jewelry designer Tom Binns, and late fashion guru Stephen Sprouse, Smallcombe combines some of the design elements of one collection to build another.
Her collections span the lofty elegance of Victorian lace, subtle arrangements that evoke African beadwork, and the illuminating hues of neon colors. Designs are constructed through a variation of knotting, twisting and looping.
"My work is a fusion of my experiences in Stockholm, London, and Los Angeles, California where I am now based, "says the designer.
Like Adam and Csengeri, and other like-minded designers, Smallcombe's bijouterie challenges perceptions of what is considered valuable in the world of jewelry, as well as provides consumers with options.
"I love the challenge of making something that people want to wear, and my favorite part of being a designer is the freedom that challenge gives me."
Photo 1 (top right): Bracelet from Neon Collection
Photo 2 (center): Necklace from Lace Collection
Photo 3 (bottom left): Palmero Bracelet with Jute/Cotton Cords and Ribbed Wooden Beads