Here we look at the many ways that jewellery can be made architectural as a celebration of World Architecture Day. Architects love putting on different creative hats within the design world. The humble chair is often the focus of their attentions, but they are equally inclined (rather than reclined) to turn their hands to the decoration of necks, fingers and ears. Architectural jewellery is a term, it seems, used for what modern architectural forms can bring to design, rather than the incorporating of the columns and domes of classical architecture into collections-which is frankly a shame.
However Vicki Amberly Smith doesn’t shy away from this creating recognisable mini-structures in meticulous detail. From Palladio to Lubetkin’s Penguin Pool in mini metal models, you can sport a whole building on your hand from her ring collection.
Starchitects who have dabbled in the jewellery world include Frank Gehry in collaboration with Tiffany & Co and the late, great Zaha Hadid with Georg Jensen.
As we know, the lure of jewellery making is strong and many a former architect has turned full-time jewellery maker, to the good fortune their customers and inspirational joy for us. Great jewellery is something you want to inhabit. It makes you feel good, just as a well-considered built environment should do. Jewellery should be as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional and improve the quality of your life (not a lot to ask. Is it?). It’s the kind of high-level design work that architects do for their clients, thinking about their needs, lifestyles and use of materials. I think we should feel privileged to be in the company of makers like the following converts Amanda Li Hope, Jeanne Marrell and Yeena Yoon.
Images: Juliet Sheath
These pieces by Jeanne Marrell highlight the precise and intricate use of materials in her work.
Reminiscent of an iconic building that may not have been built yet, Ute Decker makes pieces that are both sculptural and architectural in their flowing forms.
The bold, brights of Finest Imaginary are often directly inspired by architecture, making versions of houses that can travel with you – clearly better than just one home.
Usually it’s the buildings that an architect leaves behind that become their legacy. While jewellery can be a reminder of a loved one who has passed away. But in the case of Luis Barragan, artist Jill Magid ensured that the memory of the prominent Mexican architect was immortalised in a diamond ring. A 2 carat diamond ring was created from his ashes as an offering for his archive.
Of course, you may want to put your heart and soul into your jewellery making, but maybe not your mortal remains. So if you are feeling like you could be inspired by architecture, visit us at our new digs for the day at the RIBA. We will be partnering with the RIBA for a Wax Carving Class in magnificent Art Deco surroundings on Saturday 3rd November.