Monday, September 27, 2010


A natural wonder composed of limestones and coccoliths has inspired songwriters, novelists, and poets. Located along the British coastline near Kent, England is the White Cliffs of Dover. England is also home to featured jewelry designer Clara Breen.

It is always interesting to see how a jewelry designer conceptualizes something as everyday as leaves, hair or paper into designs that are truly works of wearable art.

The designer jewelry of Nel Linssen (Netherlands) and Kiwon Wang (Korea) devote their respective collections to reinforced paper and nylon thread, and stacked, paper discs accented with pearls, while among Pawel Kaczynski’s (Poland) assortment of daring jewelry is an incredible metal bracelet in the form of a single, dreadlock.

It is a fascinating process of transference when a designer hones in on the understated nuances of an object—manmade or natural—capturing its essence within gold or sterling silver.

A graduate of the University of Brighton, Breen holds a bachelor’s degree in Three-Dimensional Crafts. Like her contemporaries Linssen and Wang she shares an attraction to paper, as well as leaves.

The focus of Breen’s aesthetic is twofold: first, she implements “fragments of found paper” such as train tickets, leaflets, and receipts into designs paired with sterling silver. The combination of materials are ridged, crinkled and curved with oxidized sterling silver earrings developing into forms resembling tiny seahorses.

Second, the designer takes individual sterling silver and 9-karat gold sheets forging the metal into finely textured forms that are reminiscent of the withering leaves of fall.

Everything from the gold necklaces offset with freshwater pearls, to silver rings with paper settings to crunched sterling silver earrings seem so weightless and delicate in their distinctive, organic forms.

“I create bold strata-like constructions with found paper combined with silver. The forms suggest a “personal landscape” composed of many mundane experiences,” says Breen.

“Attaching these apparently worthless paper items to gold and silver expresses their value to me, as tangible remains of a personal experience.

The visual language of geological stratas, corrugating metal and the forging process allows pieces to grow into unique forms. No two pieces are exactly the same.”

Breen’s dainty jewelry is available to buy online at, an affiliate website of the online gallery Dazzle Exhibitions.
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Textured Necklace
Photo 2 (center): Sterling Silver and 9-Karat Gold Textured Bracelet
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Layer Pendant Necklace
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