Thursday, 9 April 2009

Theme: Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside!

A few weeks back I travelled down to the Dorset coast to stay with a friend in Bournemouth where, barely an hour after stepping off the train, I found myself riding a bike along the seafront in glorious sunshine. How I had missed the great British seaside!

Stopping further down the coast at Sandbanks, watching the families playing in the shallows and the dogs bounding through the surf, I greedily soaked up the sounds, sights and smells of the beach. You see, with essay deadlines and my final university exams fast approaching, I won't be back by the sea for some time... But all is not lost - I've got these gorgeous sea-inspired pieces to keep to keep my beach-loving self satisfied.

Alissa Frazer, who works under the name Agrigento, creates nature-inspired jewellery that's simple-yet-wearable. Working in sterling silver and gold vermeil, her sea-themed jewellery features shells, starfish and seahorses. The perfect way to accessorise a lazy summer day on the beach.

For a bit of classic by-the-sea fun, look to Tatty Devine's SS09 collection, which features wooden crab necklaces and brooches. Last week I couldn't help but take a peek in their Brick Lane shop and came over all nostalgic about my childhood holidays to Mevagissey and Combe Martin, sat on the end of the harbour, crab line in hand... The best times of my life!

Pebble London have a never-ending and truly decadent range of semi-precious gemstone and organic material jewellery, including seaside favourites such as coral, pearl and shell. Pebble's designs are eye-catching and - in most cases - unique. Their long pearl necklaces are perfect for layering up with wooden beads to create an earthy feel, whilst the sterling silver and abalone shell ring, below, has a somewhat Grecian feel to it.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Designer: Sarah Herriot

I met Sarah Herriot at last month's Desire show in Richmond; a friend of mine who was also showing told me to go and take a look at her designs - and I was suitably impressed. Following a decade of teaching herself how to design and make precious jewellery, Sarah's past and present collections reflect her unique style: heavy, yet wonderfully sculpted pieces with an air of longevity. It's no surprise that her designs have won her several awards, most notably the IJL sponsored Fine Jewellery Award at 2008's Goldsmith Craftsmanship & Design Awards.

Her recent collections feature fabulous, egg-shaped rings and long, chunky pendants designed using a CAD programme, which translates the designs from the images in Sarah's mind to the pieces adorning her client's bodies. The Manhattan and Twist and Shout collections are bold and intricate - they speak of hours of hard work and are superbly eye-catching.

Her technical bangles are also a success. Using the tension of the metal, the mid-section 'clicks' in and out of place, allowing the wearer to take the bangle on and off with ease, whilst creating a clean, smooth surface whilst it's on. With such mindful design, the awards are thoroughly deserved.

Working from a studio in Clerkenwell, London, Sarah is currently partaking in Future In The Making, a programme endorsed by the LDA which provides 12 jewellery designers the brilliant opportunity to expand and develop their businesses. It'll be interesting to see what else Sarah can develop into precious metal - and I have no doubt that, whatever it is, it'll be as daring and as beautiful as her current collection.

If you can't make it to London to see her pieces, Sarah's designs are also stocked at FSDS in Rottingdean, near Brighton and the Polkadot Gallery in Exeter.