Goldschmitte 2018 skyscraper.
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Athens Jewelry Week 2018.

Blooming Jewels: The blossoming of the floral in contemporary jewellery

Exhibition  /  27 Apr 2017  -  03 Jun 2017
Published: 02.05.2017
Contemporary Applied Arts
Corinne Julius
Christiane Eck
Maud Traon. Ring: Untitled, 2017. Foam putty, glitter, silver, resin.. Maud Traon
Ring: Untitled, 2017
Foam putty, glitter, silver, resin.
© By the author. Read Copyright.

This special exhibition spotlights cutting-edge, imaginative and technically accomplished modern work whilst celebrating the long and esteemed tradition of depicting flowers and foliage in jewellery.

Artist list

Zoe Arnold, Flora Bhattachary, Jonathan Boyd, Donna Brennan, Sonia Cheadle, Gill Galloway-Whitehead, Anna Gordon, Dorothy Hogg, Kelvin J Birk, Andrew Lamb, Kathie Murphy, Lina Peterson, Wendy Ramshaw, Kayo Saito, Romilly Saumarez Smith, Hans Stofer, Rie Taniguchi, Christopher Thompson Royds, Maud Traon, Xenia Walschikow, Silvia Weidenbach, Rebecca Wilkes
Since the first human tucked a flower in their hair, blooms have been a part of human adornment. Each epoch saw new interpretations of the floral in jewellery. The Romans had their ivy circlets, the Tudors long necklaces of clusters of tiny blossoms, the Victorians their detailed panoply of symbolic blooms, Art Nouveau its sinuous floral forms and twentieth-century costume pieces sprays of foliage and flowers.  Despite this, the contemporary studio jewellery movement for many years rejected the prettification of jewellery and, as a result, the flower form in contemporary jewellery withered.
All of this is set to change with ‘Bloomin’ Jewels’, a new selling exhibition at Contemporary Applied Arts in Bankside, which sows the seeds for a regrowth of the floral motif. This special exhibition spotlights cutting-edge, imaginative and technically accomplished modern work whilst celebrating the long and esteemed tradition of depicting flowers and foliage in jewellery. Over 20 respected contemporary jewellers have been invited to offer work using the botanical as a starting point for the creation of jewellery. The results will surprise and dazzle anyone interested in contemporary jewellery, decorative arts, fashion, design and gardening. 

For ‘Bloomin’ Jewels’, the makers have employed varied materials and methods and, as a result, none of the works on show are ‘traditional’ in the usual sense. Although some makers have employed historical methods, working precious metals and gems, others have developed new processes using the latest technologies and non-precious materials such as resin and 3D-printed nylon. Their designs encompass the use of floral motifs and symbols, the incorporation of real flowers, whilst others simply take the floral as a starting point for a different aesthetic. The show will provide an unparalleled floral bouquet of stunning pieces.

As guest curator Corinne Julius notes We have selected jewellers across the gamut of contemporary making. The results are not what most people will think of as ‘pretty flower pieces’. They are unexpected and in some cases quite challenging, but then contemporary jewellery is wearable art.  As far as we are aware, there has not been an exhibition on botanical motifs in contemporary jewellery in the UK.
Makers have had the opportunity of handling historical works, says Corinne Julius and I am really thrilled to see their new versions of the Victorian en tremblant; jewellery that moves in response to the wearer’s body. They were a way for Victorian womanhood to express their feelings without words as they trembled and shimmered in line with the wearer’s emotions. It was and remains a very interactive form of jewellery.
The show will also include a small loan display of historical floral pieces.


Monday - Saturday 10 am - 6 pm
Zoe Arnold. Necklace: Untitled, 2017. Zinc, silver, gold.. Zoe Arnold
Necklace: Untitled, 2017
Zinc, silver, gold.
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Anna Gordon. Brooch: Plum Blossom, 2017. Oxidized silver, mother of pearl.. Photo by: Shannon Tofts. Anna Gordon
Brooch: Plum Blossom, 2017
Oxidized silver, mother of pearl.
Photo by: Shannon Tofts
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Kelvin J Birk. Brooch: Miami, 2017. Silver, crushed gemstones.. Kelvin J Birk
Brooch: Miami, 2017
Silver, crushed gemstones.
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Lina Peterson. Necklace: Flora, 2017. Lime wood, paint, silver, resin, glitter.. Lina Peterson
Necklace: Flora, 2017
Lime wood, paint, silver, resin, glitter.
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Rie Taniguchi. Object: Pika, 2017. Silver, enamel paint, enamel.. Photo by: Jayne Lloyd. Rie Taniguchi
Object: Pika, 2017
Silver, enamel paint, enamel.
Photo by: Jayne Lloyd
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Christopher Thompson-Royds. Necklace: Natura morta: poppies, 2017. 18k gold, diamonds, paint.. Christopher Thompson-Royds
Necklace: Natura morta: poppies, 2017
18k gold, diamonds, paint.
© By the author. Read Copyright.