Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Today we stroll along George Square in Glasgow, Scotland. The area is a civic region populated by the Glasgow City Chambers, the Queen Street Station, and the Millennium Hotel. Scotland is also home to featured jewelry designer Sarah Keay.

It is always great to learn about jewelry artists who boldly enlist a unique design approach, incorporating an unusual assortment of materials to render captivating jewelry.

A graduate of both the Glasgow School of Art and the Edinburgh College of Art, earning a masters and bachelor degrees in silversmithing and jewelry, the designer's fascination with landscapes and sea creatures informs her vivid aesthetic.

"My creative practice is heavily influenced by botanical elements, and I mirror natural structures like tree branches, sea anemones, and lacewing eggs with the repetitive techniques I use to produce the pieces," says Keay.

Implementing such components as Crystallized Swarovski Elements, precious beads, enamel, wool, florists wire, gold, and platinum, Keay creates cuffs and neckpieces that possess theatricality reminiscent of British designer Anoush Waddington's work with polypropylene.

Many neckpieces resemble undulating feather boas, while others have a modern, urban vibe with large, multi-colored chain links.

Ultimately, however, I feel that Keay's collection is ultra feminine in its ethereal and buoyant proportions of thin wires and luminous colored crystals. There is an Old World sophistication about the jewelry that seems to fit perfectly on the lithe models of a Paris fashion show.

"The main technique I use with the florists wire is French knitting. It is a really basic yet old technique that I started doing when I was about five years old. Once all of the elements are combined to cultivate a piece it is lightweight, and sculptural," explains the designer.

"Once the piece is worn against the body it comes to life with movement, evoking creatures like sea slugs to entire coral reefs, suspended from the wearer.

Experimentation with new techniques and materials allows me to continually develop and diversify my jewelry."
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Pink Bangle with Monofilament and Enamel
Photo 2 (center): Sterling Silver and Enamel Wire Link Necklace

Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Bangle with Swarovski Crystals and Enamel
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