Wednesday, May 14, 2014


24K Gold Vermeil Magpie Swag Ring 
with Smoky Quartz
As the capital city to not only England but also the United Kingdom London is an exciting locale to visit. 

It is a destination filled with historical sites like the House of Parliament, and the British Museum, as well as sites like Kensington Gardens for nature lovers.

England is also home to featured jewelry designer Claire English.

Where charm jewelry like star, heart or four leaf clover pendants provide a sense of warmth and security, English’s replications of various 24-karat gold vermeil magpie appendages are quirky and irreverent.

Nonetheless English’s unusual design choices reflect a sensitive artist in touch with her surroundings.  Highlighting semblances of limp matchsticks, asymmetrical partridge wishbones, and tiny mouse skulls is significant to the designer because they each have a story to tell.

“My designs are informed by an insatiable interest in the narrative potential of objects.  My interest in matches comes from how frightening they were as a child as well as the simple pleasure of striking a match and watching it curl as it burns down.  It is a fleeting moment I wanted to commemorate.”

Her magpie designs, however, are most prominent in gold vermeil rings, and pendant necklaces highlighting feathers, talons, skulls and feet. 

24K Gold Vermeil and Sterling Silver
Magpie Tail Feather Pendants
“Magpies are inherent to London and I find them endlessly fascinating.  They lead complex and rich social lives.  Research shows that magpies’ mental capacities have more in common with humans than with other birds!”

With Stephen Webster as a mentor, and increased visibility garnered through the BBC program High Street Dreams, English is carving out her niche in the industry.

“Having Stephen say that he believed in me and thought I was talented gave me a level of confidence that I would never have.  It also meant I got in touch with a lot of important people that I otherwise would not have met.  I see myself as a 21st century bricoleur,” she says. 

“I am adept at presenting familiar items in mischievous and unexpected ways.  I have a magpie’s propensity for gathering themes and stories to incorporate into my designs.”
24K Gold Vermeil Mouse Skull Stud Earrings

2014 Jewelry Trend AlertStrange and offbeat accessories were all the rage on the Lanvin runway, and English’s unorthodox style fits squarely into this trend.
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