It’s an exciting year for Vanilla Ink and here at IJL Towers, we’re excited about them too. They got the industry talking by bursting onto the national scene with a unique crowd-funding scheme. This raised money, so that they could achieve their dream of exhibiting their stunning jewellery at IJL. They smashed their target as the industry and press rallied round to support these exciting designers, keen to see them at the show. We wanted to introduce the designers creating such a buzz…
Vanilla Ink Founder
Kate Pickering founded Vanilla Ink, Scotland’s unique jewellery studio, with the aim of developing new talent by providing a supportive incubator ‘pod’ for a year. Pickering says: “Vanilla Ink enables the UK’s best new designers to develop and grow their business in a fully equipped workshop. We are also proud to offer our ‘inkers’ unlimited access to workshop space within a collaborative studio, peer support, mentoring and professional development workshops. Vanilla Ink allows the designer to find their feet and make their mark in the industry - we’re making more than jewellery, we are making jewellery work.”
Award winning Scottish jeweller Joanne MacFadyen graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design with a BDes (Hons) specialising in jewellery, and a Master of Fine Art. Artist in Residence at Vanilla Ink Studios, she is working on new collections to be launched later this year at IJL. Her work uses precious metals, precious metal clays and gemstones, creating a whimsically organic aesthetic to each piece.
Sally Anne Fenton’s work focuses on preserving a loved ones memory through jewellery. Inspired by her grandmother, she sets fabrics from her clothes into silver as a way of honouring and remembering her. This has evolved into her new collection, bringing a more commercial element to her designs. Black Lace translates elegance and timeless beauty into contemporary jewellery pieces. “Using vintage fabrics found in charity shops, I know the fabrics have been previously worn and loved,” Sally explains.
Award winning jeweller Filipa Oliveira graduated in 2011 with a first class in Jewellery Design from Duncan of Jordanstone College. Her work is impressive - from her first collection, Black Preciousness, to her latest collection, Golden Honey. Inspired by crafts, especially filigree, she uses this ancient technique in an innovative way to lend detail and heritage to her delicate work.
The Beauty of the Macabre
Victoria Kelsey is inspired by the marks and traces of age left behind on discarded objects that she found at flea markets! An avid collector of all things beautiful and macabre, Kelsey says: "I see beauty in the layers of dust, grime, rust and filth gathered over many years. I am fascinated by the uncanny nature of how these dormant objects fall into disrepair altering their original form". She is a passionate believer in the British handmade, and currently developing a new collection to further explore the overlooked details in the world, in particular ruined abandoned buildings and iridescent insects that live within.
Scarlett Erskine has created a range of uniquely textured jewellery. Taking her inspirations from the skin, Scarlett highlights the beauty contained within the detailed structures of skin cells and the textures of the skin. Within her collection Scarlett creates both wearable and statement pieces of jewellery. Using various techniques, Scarlett works with precious metals to create contrasting textures along with the elegance and colour of precious and semi precious gemstones.
Structure and Geometry
After leaving university Leanne T Evans set up a business creating silver contemporary jewellery. She creates the imagery for this through drawing architecture. This has made her first collection very structural and geometric in design. Her first collection featured the use of lots of handmade squares. “Vanilla Ink is allowing the idea to progress forward into a commercially viable business and I’m developing my work into a new collection, which will be launched at IJL,” says Evans.
World Famous Fabric
Ruth Morrison was born and raised on the island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides and you can see this woven into every piece of jewellery she makes. Ruth has spent years collecting samples of both rare and one off cuts of Harris Tweed and incorporates this hard wearing world famous fabric into her jewellery design, making her work truly original. She also takes influence from the landscapes of her home to create jewellery that while elegant and contemporary also has an elemental feel to it. The designs are created using precious metal and the technique of riveting.
With a career in jewellery and retail from the time he left school, and a degree from the School of Jewellery in Birmingham in the middle, Robin Bell now delivers a service that genuinely caters to the customer. He can be found weaving metal into 3D forms, taking inspirations from basketry old and new.
Another graduate of the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Audrey Reid finds inspiration in both natural and man-made structure, especially metalwork and window frames – she says: “maybe as a result of having worn glasses since the age of 5!” Her debut collections are inspired by one of her favourite places; the Victorian glasshouses of Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden. She often uses a combination of silver, stones and resin in her work and traditional metalworking techniques, together with processes usually associated with textiles, such as crochet and needlework.
Watch this video to find out more or click here to read a press article on their IJL story.