Selected as this year’s Artisan Maker for The National Trust I have designed and made an exclusive jewellery range inspired by the formal gardens and parterres seen at many National Trust properties. The Parterre Collection reflects the signature embossed fine silver and rose bronze work of my earlier pieces, and features patterns taken from formal garden design with box hedges and striped lawns. Each piece is unique and handmade marrying the traditional craftsmanship of silver-smithing with contemporary design.
The National Trust has partnered with the Crafts Council which sponsors the annual National Trust Artisan & Craft Retail Open Call. The brief to makers is to develop a range exclusively for the National Trust inspired by the special places in their care. National Trust properties are charitable organisations that make accessible to visitors the works by master builders, designers and craftsmen, and by tending to our heritage create a legacy in both time and place. These designer/makers utilised skills and processes derived from earth materials, mineral or plant-based, designs crafted often reference nature; it’s forms, geometry, and structure.
My own work is also nuanced by a now cumulated interest and experience of working in gardens and with flower designers here and in France. And I was recently delighted to discover that my own grandfather was, after the war, a jobbing gardener for the National Trust at Croome Court. His own magical and overflowing garden a captivating place of wonder to me as a child and an inspiration to my mother, who as a flower arranger in both the Japanese Ikebana and western styles and horticulturalist, also tended and grew many specialist plants in her own private garden.
This next step in my work has been to consider the design elements of gardens, both the drawn maps and their layout on paper and in the structure of these plantings. The geometry, symmetry and repetition have a formal language that is defined within the English tradition, and a grammar that translates across many other design disciplines. I responded to the idea of formal contained spaces in which topiary, shrubs, flowers and lawns are edged and delineated, yet acknowledges the growing organic seemingly random nature of the materials.
I have distilled the essential softened geometric and symmetrical forms incorporated in these plans, particularly the box parterres, paths and edged spaces and the manicured striped frame of lawns that offset them. The patterns of mowed lawn are quintessentially English and as both a gardener and designer this is very satisfying to the eye. I have therefore created my designs using two embossed ‘surfaces’ one of tiny box leaves and the other of mown stripes.
This exclusive limited collection includes both, stud and drop earrings, two reversible pendant necklaces and a ‘landscape’ brooch. A very special ‘parterre’ edit of the Florists Choice necklace has been created with 11 individually designed elements, on a mixed silver and red brass tube chain, and also can be worn reversed for 2 subtly different moods. The necklaces and brooch are hallmarked with my sponsor/makers mark and the London Assay Office fineness and date marks alongside the traditional oak leaf of the National Trust.
The Parterre Collection for The National Trust will be available October 2019 exclusively at The National Trust as part of the Artisan & Craft collection both at their online shop and selected properties.
National Trust Stockists October 2019