SHOW PREVIEW: New Designers


Get a preview of the designers showing before doors open on Wednesday.

Discover the freshest jewellery talent out there with our New Designers show preview, as Rachael Taylor brings you highlights from this year’s graduates and last year’s success stories to be found at one of June’s most exciting design shows.

New Designers is a firm favourite on the design calendar and this year the show is proving to be a particularly enticing one for brand new jewellery talent.

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Part One of the show, the part which applies to jewellery and takes place at the Business Design Centre in London’s Angel from June 29 to July 2, is split into two sections: 2011 graduates that make up the main New Designers show and One Year On, a selection of returning designers who graduated in 2010.

Whether sourcing new finished products from the One Year On exhibitors, scouring the New Designers hall for talented graduates to cultivate or simply just keeping an eye on the design styles emerging from the colleges, New Designers is well worth a trip.

Professional Jeweller has been a champion of emerging jewellery talent since its inception and this is why we’re proud to link up with New Designers as its official trade media partner.

Read on for a selection of highlights from both new graduates and returning designers.


There are a huge range of colleges and universities making up the jewellery contingent of New Designers this year; Birmingham City University, Bucks New University, Central Saint Martins, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Edinburgh College of Art, Farnham College of Art and Design, University College of the Creative Arts, Middlesex University, Sheffield Hallam University and Truro College, to name but a few. Some students will offer up fantastical conceptual wonders while others will have finished, more commercially ready pieces on show but all give an insight into the new wave of jewellers ready to stake their place in the market. Here are a few of our favourites.

LUZ BLAIR, Farnam College of art and Design
Luz Blair specialises in 3D metalworking and has used these skills to create minimalist silver jewellery that captures light and emphasises movement, and she lists anthropological, organic and mechanical art forms as her inspiration, as well as world culture, including her own Venezuelan roots.

LOUISE MCKAY, Middlesex University
Louise McKay has used ceramics in her avante-garde graduate jewellery collections. Hanging from industrial-sized chain links are what appear to be broken pots that provide a link between tablewear and jewellery design.

LAUREN DAVIES, Farnham University of Creative Arts
Lauren Davis specialised in 3D design at university and has applied these working methods to create silver cage structures that translate into jewellery in various shades of polished and blackened silver.

ROSIE BREEDEN, Middlesex University
The rustic forging of Rosie Breeden’s jewellery makes it look as though it is a historical artefact unearthed after centuries under ground. The burnt effect of this untitled bangle creates an intriguing design and within it is hidden a rough cut stone.

WILLIAM HUYNH, Middlesex University
William Huynh could well be a fashion jeweller in the making. With a great name and a strong display of understanding of the links between catwalk and cuff, this piece looks Vogue ready and the wing and dome combo is instantly striking. Promising stuff.


With so many recognisable names on the list of jewellers participating in One Year On, such as Myia Bonner, Ros Millar and Elizaveta Gnatchenko, it is hard to believe that it has only been a year since these designers were fledgling graduates. The One Year On section of the show, occupied by designers who were new graduates last year and have now been working in the industry for a year, is a rich segment of the exhibition with a serious tour de force of emerging design talent that can offer retailers the chance to discover jewellers on the rise that are more seasoned and shop-ready than the graduates. Here are a few of our picks.

After graduating last year with Birmingham City University Li-Chu Wu is back with a more developed range of jewellery made from multiple layers of paper stacked together and cut beautifully to make necklaces, brooches, rings and bangles.

As well as exhibiting last year with London Metropolitan University, Jasmin Giles won The Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office Technology Award in 2010. Her work is beautifully constructed from gold and silver wire to make organic shapes that is then finished off with a mix of traditional techniques and new innovations such as laser welding.

Since exhibiting with Middlesex University last year Myia Bonner has gone on to win the inaugural Unsigned competition run by London retailer EC One. Bonner draws her inspiration from subcultures, trends and traditions and her playfully naive jewels – such as this Rough Diamond pendant – challenge the viewer to find the correlation between object and objective, the obvious and the concealed.

If there was ever a jeweller to truly work the nostalgic trinket theme, it’s Molly Perrin. Her work, which is made using precious metals, has humorous narratives and features hidden compartments, keyholes, escutcheons, spy holes, and moustaches.

Back at New Designers after exhibiting with Farnham University for the Creative Arts, where she is now an artist in residence, Sadie Chesterman-Bailey mixes her knowledge of metalwork and jewellery making to specialise in one-off commissions with a quirky touch, such as this Grandfather clock necklace.

Since exhibiting last year with Duncan of Jordanstone, when she won The Goldsmiths’ Company Award for Jewellery, Elizabeth Humble scored a coup when her Fragments Collection launched exclusively with Astley Clarke this year. Back in the One Year On section, Humble will be showing a range of her work that takes inspiration from the dramatic landscape of the west coast of Scotland and translates it into jewellery design by layering wires together to create beautiful structures and elements in silver using hand forming and casting techniques.

Just one year on from graduating from Sheffield Hallam University Ros Millar has been making a name for herself in the industry picking up a handful of stockists including Little 15 Jewellery and making it to the shortlist of the
Professional Jeweller Treasure competition. Her work is an intriguing mix of black oxidised silver and rose gold vermeil that is based on an organic cuttlebone design.

When Elizaveta Gnatchenko exhibited last year with Central Saint Martins she took home the New Designers Associate Jewellery Prize. This year she is back with her collections of elaborate and jewel-encrusted wares that offer serious luxury and craftsmanship.

London Metropolitan University graduate Lynsey Pluck has a string of awards attached to her name including being the Goldsmiths’ Company Foundation Degree Award Winner in 2010. Pluck works with precious and non-precious materials, but she will only use those that are ethically sourced. Parts of her proceeds are donated to charities promoting fair trade and ethical practices within communities that the materials come from.

Janice Zethraeus has refined her delicate silver jewellery ranges since she exhibited with Metropolitan University last year. Her visually bold work perfectly portrays fluid lines in a variety of organic designs.


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