Something about the warmer weather always has me reaching for an extra bangle, longer length necklace or more dramatic pair of earrings to complement my Summer wardrobe.
I guess the arrival of the sun has me daydreaming about holidays in more exotic climes with a relaxed boho vibe and, while I still like to keep my accessories fairly simple and chic, I always end up finding the odd tribal etching or more overtly decorative design creeping in.
Here are a few of the lovely pieces I’m lusting over right now:
Hannah K works with chain and solder to create fine jewellery that is reminiscent of ethnographic textiles, bead-work patterns, and modernist weavings. Far more opulent than my usual go-to style, her pieces – available from General Store – are a precise balancing act between tiny, carefully constructed chain link patterns and textured geometric shapes. I think the hanging multi-strands of these Confetti earrings would be the perfect way to dress up a long flowing black linen dress on a summer’s evening.
While it was the beautiful brushed brass finishes on their sculptural designs that first attracted me to Made, it was discovering that each piece is hand crafted in Kenya using ethically sourced local materials that really piqued my interest. Made’s workshop in Kenya was founded in 2005 with a view to creating sustainable jobs that harnessed the talent and skills of local artisans, whilst providing a safe working environment, long-term job security and training. Made’s signature style comes from reclaimed brass which has sourced in the region surrounding their workshop, and bought for a fair price to help both strengthen the local economy and empower small businesses. My favourite pieces have been sand casted to create a beautiful rippled texture on the recycled brass, and I also find myself drawn to the statement arm cuffs and layered brass bar necklaces – perfect boho accents for a breezy summer dress.
I’ve been following Vrai & Oro on Instagram for a while now and without fail find myself ‘liking’ every image they post, such is my affinity for the brand’s minimal approach to both their products and photographic styling. Vrai and Oro, which means Truth (in French) and Gold (in Spanish), is a fine jewellery brand built on three key values: quality, simplicity, and transparency. Producing all of their designs locally in their native Los Angeles, Vrai & Oro focus on simple everyday designs that shy away from gold-plating and vermeil in favour of 14k solid gold, and they sell direct to their customers to ensure there are no hefty mark-ups. All of their designs feel effortlessly timeless – the kind of pieces you wear that become an extension of yourself and rarely take off. I’ve got my eye on the delicate rose gold Twist ring and Bar necklace (which you can personalise with a name or date), but to be honest I’d happily settle for any piece from their collection, just in case anyone were thinking of treating me.. wink, wink.
I met Jenny from Nordic Muse at the Northern Quarter Makers Market recently, and immediately snapped up a dainty pair of drop circle earrings and a slim twisted ring from her stall – everything there was simply beautiful and super affordable, starting from just £5! All the designs are clean lined, contemporary and decidedly Nordic, and handcrafted by Jenny right here in Manchester. There really is something special about getting to meet a designer and hear them talk passionately about their business, their city and their customers, so hers is definitely a stand I seek out at every market (which moves around the city from week to week). There are a handful of designs available on her website but most items are made for her stall and sell-out on the day, so if you’re as smitten with her designs as I am you should keep an eye on her Instagram to see where her stall will be popping up next (she’s at the Lowry Outlet this weekend).
Another jewellery designer you can meet at a weekly market is Rebecca Gladstone, a Margate-based jeweller who has a stand at Netil Market in Hackney, London, every Saturday. Her handmade jewellery pieces use traditional silversmithing techniques with a strong emphasis on geometric forms. ”My pieces are designed to be an extension of the wearer not an intrusion,” she says, “my focus is on the linear and pared down geometric forms creating a minimal, bold but classic style of jewellery.” She has 3 distinct lines —Solis, Coast, and Geometrics— and whilst all are stunning, my favourite has to be the clean geometric angles of the latter – those Silver Mountain Studs are high up on my wish list.
I’ve written about the designs of Brooklyn-based jeweller Jennifer Sarkilahti before and her brand, Odette New York, remains one that I return to time and time again. Influenced by her background as a fine artist, Sarkilahti’s designs are inspired by organic and geometric shapes, ancient symbols and primitive forms, and this summer I find myself drawn to the graphic De Stijl collection, which is especially timely since 2017 celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the abstract artistic movement, founded in 1917 in the Netherlands. I particularly love the chunky Yves ring and Kaj hoops, both of which would be great for dressing up a simple denim skirt and white T-shirt combo for a chic summer city look, don’t you think?
Are there any other contemporary jewellery designers you think I should check out? Let me know below!
All imagery © respective brands.