Monday, November 22, 2010


The distinctive stone and granite towers of London, England’s Tower Bridge overlook the River Thames. It took eight years to build the century plus structure, with its hydraulic powered bridge, which is the only bridge of its kind in London. England is also home to featured jewelry designer Adele Brereton.

Such jewelry pieces as cross pendants, gold lockets, and circle necklaces are timeless, classic designs, and will undoubtedly remain popular trendy jewelry items for years to come.

While classic jewelry forms easily provide an understated, casual accent to any outfit I have to admit I feel a strong sense of playing it safe, and lack of daring in these designs.

In saying that, I am not suggesting that “daring" has to be elaborate or avant garde just any slight amount of differentiation. In my mind, the words timeless and conventional can be mutually exclusive.

Finnish brand Lapponia Jewelry is a great example of this type of deviation from the norm. For approximately fifty years, the company’s eclectic assortment of designers, which includes co-founder Bjorn Weckström, has produced the company’s signature understated, abstract forms.
Brereton’s aesthetic is also steeped in creating vague, simplistic yet interesting form. A graduate of London’s Camberwell College of Arts, and Scotland’s Edinburgh College of Art, Brereton calls upon the historic hand raising technique to build soft, oblong curves in sterling, oxidized, and fine silver, as well as 18-karat white and yellow gold.

“Hand raising is a traditional silversmithing technique where a flat sheet of metal is hammered into a hollow form,” says Brereton who also creates organic bowls, and vessels. “I draw inspiration from archaeological artifacts and interesting forms and textures in nature.”

Brereton’s quirky sterling and 18-karat gold jewelry resemble broken eggshells, and tiny, irregular cups. Instead of gemstones she implements found objects like a porcelain pipe or accents of briar wood, and stainless steel.

In the absence of gemstones many designers showcase the metal with arabesque or intricate cutout details; Brereton allows the satiny glow of the silver, its restrained textures, and unkempt, irregular curves to visually arrest an observer. The overall effect is a buoyant and distinctive visual language.

While I do not necessarily feel that every jewelry designer intentionally approaches their aesthetic to stand apart from the pack, I do believe they make a conscious effort to bring something personal to their designs.

Consequently, it is their design choices, selection of materials, and their personal interpretations that ultimately set their jewelry apart.
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Fine and Sterling Silver Necklace
Photo 2 (center): Sterling Silver and Wood Form Rings
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold, Sterling Silver and Wood Cup Earrings
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