After falling head-over-heels in love with pearls late last year, it’s been my mission to create a collection of pearl jewellery, and I’m almost ready to unveil it. Inspired by Roman and Byzantine designs and taking cues from art forms throughout the ages, this collection shares stories of women and deities from history who made wearing pearls iconic.
I think it was in November last year that I became obsessed with pearls. It was almost like falling in love. Suddenly, I had to have them, and I had to learn everything about them. I started by learning how to hand-knot pearls and began my gemological research. During my summer break, this enthusiasm quickly escalated into a fascination with the history of pearl jewellery and ancient designs.
With history comes mythology, and the stories about the women and goddesses who wore pearls became my obsession. Research rabbit holes ensued, and once I had come up for air, I knew I had to create a jewellery collection that tells stories about what I’ve discovered.
Inspired by Roman and Byzantine designs and taking cues from art forms throughout the ages, I slowly started designing my collection. I made it my mission to seek out artworks and stories of goddesses and women who famously wore pearls, reading scholarly articles and ancient texts and taking inspiration from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.
After the ease and excitement of the first few months researching and sourcing pearls, I found the ensuing months more challenging, where I sourced inspiration, drew my ideas and began making prototypes.
Earrings were designed, only to be re-designed when I discovered they were too heavy, too long, didn’t hang well, or were impossible to recreate. Necklaces also had their challenges. To help tell its story, it was important for a piece in the collection to contain 100 pearls, which quickly turned into an engineering project. I spent days tweaking my sand casting technique to create a shallop shell shape that feels weathered over time. Nothing came easy, but I can see now that it has been worth it.
After diving in and making pearls my obsession this year, it still feels like love, but my feelings have matured, and I've reached a new appreciation and understanding of these marine gemstones and their varied history. I have learned and gained so much from this research and story-based approach to design, and I can't wait to unveil the Pearl Collection on the 1st of July, 2023.