Melanie Grant Selects
As Luxury Editor of the Economist’s 1843 magazine, journalist, curator and jewellery expert Melanie Grant boasts an impressive portfolio. The thread throughout her work is an appreciation for and elevation of jewellery as art, leading her to host talks at many national museums and galleries; giving our much-loved craft the same stature as some of the most respected fine art. In 2020 she published the book Coveted: Art and Innovation in High Jewelry.
Melanie has recently curated the ground breaking Brilliant & Black: A Jewelry Renaissance at Sotheby’s NYC.
See her selection of Goldsmiths’ Fair 2021 makers below.
Double garnet ring by Disa Allsopp
Garnets are a bit of an unloved secret pleasure of mine so it’s good to see Disa take us back to what feels like the ancient past with a combination of textured gold topped by twin stone towers. I like this ring for its simplicity and that gold feels like putty in her hands. She gives stones room to breath which takes discipline and experience.
‘Cloud’ ring by Leonid Dementiev
What’s not to like about a pearl cloud suspended in air?! The framing is exquisite and the classic Dementiev wave pattern, both delicate and purposeful. I wasn’t surprised to learn that he is self-taught because his work looks like no-one else, completely him and that is one of the highest compliments I can give a designer. The gemstones are irrelevant and say a lot about his ability to captivate with his design language.
Cuff by Graeme McColm
The power of this cuff is undeniable. It is architecture, sculpture and object d’art all at once and it feels darkly dangerous which is always seductive. I want to buy it just to watch the oxidised silver patinate and that quadrilateral rutilated quartz! Ooh la la, I’m truly impressed. The entire piece is masterful in it’s simple brutality. Fearless, genderless and quite possibly one of the best cuffs I’ve seen in a long time.
‘The Silk Road’ earrings by Francesca Marcenaro
I have a thing for vintage and antique kimonos so these leapt out at me because of the play of light against the glass granulation and silky undertones. They include anodised titanium, a brittle industrial material that is difficult to work with but possibly important in the future as we re-envisage the idea of what precious is. Miniscule freshwater pearls add points of light to these beauties.
Small Tulip brooch/lapel pin by Jane Adam
I find this staggeringly beautiful. What looks like a cheese grater perched atop a swoop of oxidised silver to bring harmony and contrast to an abstract tulip. It should be in a museum or at the very least a gallery that knows their way around wearable sculpture. This is a good example of the ‘finds’ one can make at Goldsmith’s Fair and collectors I’m sure will be overjoyed to discover this. Jane’s work is languid, sensual and provocative and it makes my heart beat a little faster.
‘Airstream’ earrings by Lucy Martin
I’m in trouble now! The yin and yang of these white and grey moonstone cabochons, top to tail like exclamation marks at the ear are just wonderful. Spiral cut rock crystal set in the cold, hard lines of oxidised silver feel a bit Art Deco in flavour, modernist in approach but really I applaud the fact that it takes a lot to be this simple, this streamline. I absolutely love everything about these and the discipline in terms of design to withhold colour and embellishment.
International Introducing: Angie Marie from NYC, USA
Angie does gothic jewellery I hanker after. It’s big and fierce and slightly sinister and I wouldn’t advise you to put your tights on while wearing it LOL. Her style is ancient Egypt meets Art Deco and it is intended to be worn as a talisman to ward off evil in modern times. The elegance and proportions of her design are eye catching but it’s the seductive frisson that I love the most. Angie recently took part in an exhibition I curated in New York at Sotheby’s called Brilliant & Black: A Jewelry Renaissance and her serpent earrings also had this edge, this coolness that speaks to what I like to think are strong, self-purchasing women. She uses Fairtrade and recycled gold, drawing her designs before making her own wax models and then rendering them in CAD. Sometimes she makes everything from start to finish by hand, sometimes she relies on specialist producers but every jewel looks like her and this is most definitely on my wish list.