Cultures as a source of inspiration: Rachel Entwistle

I have been lusting over Rachel Entwistle’s jewellery for a few weeks now and it’s driving me crazy! Can my accessory drawer really take another ring and bracelet and necklace and maybe two of each!? I give up! I can always wear them to sleep I guess…

Inspired by different cultures and her journeys to Mexico, Guatemala and India, designer Rachel Entwistle translates her travel experiences into intricate and edgy designs. All pieces are handmade in her studio, using metals such as sterling silver, black rhodium and gold.

A look from her Alchemical collection

Looks from the Milagros collection


Entwistle graduated from Cultural studies before she went on to Jewellery Design. With her background in Cultural Studies, she immerses herself into the local culture, customs and superstitions during her travels, using these experiences as her source of inspiration. Anthropology, symbolism and mysticism are the main inspirations behind her collections.

A winner of the International Jewellery London Editor’s Choice for Originality and nominee for New Designer of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards 2012, Entwistle is also the co-owner of Thor & Wistle-a specialist jewellery boutique in Shoreditch, featuring works by jewellery designers Kamilla Thorsen, Jana Reinhardt, Dominique Lucas and more.

I especially love the Milagros collection. The cross rings are beautiful and would make lovely pinky rings or knuckle rings. I can’t wait to get my hands on one!


x Sybil

(Images from Rachel Entwistle)















Kerry Howley: Hair on your neck

Hi everyone! I’m back, you may not realize that I haven’t been writing any entry for the past month or more because Sybil did such a great job holding up the fort. A million thank you’s and a heart full of gratitude!

BLUEPRINT was a great experience meeting buyers and like-minded creators, there was just so much energy and insight, making friends and getting feedback. After rushing for BLUEPRINT, I spent some time figuring what I want to do after hearing feedback from the buyers. I am still in the process of serious soul searching which includes a lot of ups and downs but once the direction is set, it will be a full sprint forward.

Anyway, I’ve learnt so many things about myself since I started my label and one of them has been my strange obsession with hair. There’s just something about knowing that there is someone’s DNA inside which makes it so mysterious and probably repelling to some at the same time. Here’s someone who seems to share my obsession.

Kerry Howley, a contemporary jeweller and jewellery artist who graduated from Middlesex University, London, creates intriguing neck pieces woven with human hair. She is fascinated by the power materials have to influence our emotional response to jewellery, with a particular interest in how these emotions can be conflicting.

“Attraction/Aversion is a material exploration of how people can feel seemingly opposing emotional responses simultaneously. The necklaces are made of human hair, a familiar material that we take pride in. However once off the body, hair becomes an innate source of aversion. Kerry wanted to see if she could make discarded hair attractive again. Through the familiar form of a necklace, and using patterns and symmetry that are instinctively pleasing, Kerry has created a delicate balance between the viewer/wearer’s feelings of aversion and attraction.”- Kerry Howley’s Homepage

That is the exact same thought I have. I love that it looks so beautiful aesthetically but yet, the fact that it is hair kind of makes your hair stand.

These works were done in 2011, but it would definitely be interesting to see what else she can come up with!


X Alex

(Images from Kerry Howley)

Increasing Value: Lauren Vanessa Tickle


$32.00 Brooch, US Currency, Silver, Latex, and Monofilament, 2012

It’s not the first time an artist is working with money, more specifically currency notes but it is the most wearable I’ve seen thus far.  Lauren Vanessa Tickle has created a series of jewellery using currency notes craved out so beautifully, the reason is earrings, necklaces and brooches that are unexpectedly feminine and delicate.

Tickle explains, “I force wearers and observers to reflect on the concept of adornment in our society. One of the most conscious actions humans undertake is the decision of what to wear or not. My work takes underlying materialism and makes it explicit, imploring evaluation from all sides in each social context.”


$300.00 Necklace, US Currency, Silver, Latex, and Monofilament, 2011


$54.00 and $22.00 Brooches, US Currency, Silver, Latex, and Monofilament, 2012

Tickle graduated in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts, Jewelry and Metalsmithing. She is also one of eight young contemporary jewelry artists chosen to exhibit work in PREZIOSA Young.  The PREZIOSA contemporary jewellery Young Exhibition was shown in Munchen, Germany in February and will be travelling to Legnica, Poland, for the Silver Festival in May to June 2013 before concluding in Firenze, from 21 June to 20 July 2013, at the Marino Marini Museum for Contemporary Arts.


Weighing $16.00 Earrings, US Currency, Latex, Silver, and Monofilament, 2012

I’m always fascinated with the conception of buying money with more money and Tickle’s artistic process is transparent.  You can buy the $16 earrings for $150.  Take it or leave it.

X Sybil

(Images from Lauren Vanessa Tickle)

Statement Jewellery by Paula Mendoza

Raw, bold, polished, elegant; all these describe Paula Mendoza’s jewellery.  Each piece is one of a kind because the designer combines natural elements with precious metals.  Never the same, Mendoza’s designer are daring and different, which is why I like them so much.  I just wish I can afford them.  We caught up with the designer on what inspires her.

Chivor Necklace with Brazilian Agate as the centre stone

Tell us more about yourself and how you became a jewellery designer when you were working as a journalist.

I’m just so passionate about fashion and I think accessories are the perfect way to change your outfit over and over again.  When I was in the university studying journalism, I made jewellery on the side for some extra money to buy things or to travel.  The jewellery I made then were more experimental or more “hippie” as my friends said.

When I started working in a communications company, I felt like I was missing a creative way to express myself, so I just decide to go for it.  I left my job and I start making jewellery for living.  First I went to Brazil where I learn about stones, and then I went to Peru to study the very old fashion techniques and finally I studied Jewellery as a form of sculpture in Washington DC.

What inspires you as a jewellery designer?

The desire to create things with my hands and to express myself through that process.

Do you have any favourite designers?

I really respect Dominic Jones.

Venuz Bracelet

Double ring with two Lapis Lazuli stone

Tell us more about your creative process and how you incorporate your storytelling into your craft.

It is really funny; sometimes I get ideas when I’m walking, sometimes I have to look for inspiration in museums or other places.  I love to travel and breathe new air into my collections.  However, it is people who really inspire me.

Your designs make gorgeous statement pieces. Why do you think everyone should invest in a statement jewellery piece?

Because it is the perfect way to change that little black dress and look like a million bucks each time!

Bataki Earrings

Are all your materials sourced from Colombia?

Yes, some stones are from Brazil too.

What does Colombia means to you?

My roots!

What do you love about it?

The warmest of the people.

As Mendoza has mentioned, a statement piece can transform an entire outfit.  All of us need one, so why not start with one from Paula Mendoza?

x Sybil

(All images from Boticca)

Arata Fuchi – Pulverization is my identity

As promised, this is the first of a series of interviews with a selection of amazing jewelry designers whose works I like.

Born in Japan and based in Florence, Italy, Arata Fuchi is probably more of an artist than a designer.  He believes that “artificial shape doesn’t exist in an organic life, mysterious power operates, and beautiful shape comes.”

His pieces are therefore not merely decorative but extremely conceptual and aesthetically minimal, just the way I like it.  We spoke to the designer over email and you can really sense the ‘artist’ within the designer, or perhaps there is no difference between a jewelry artisan from a visual artist after all.

White ball with palladium studs ring


How did you become a jewelry designer – did you teach yourself, train as an apprentice, or go to art school?

I graduated in Industrial Design at Tokyo Zokei University in 1999, and worked as a watch designer in Tokyo until 2003.  I then completed my jewelry education at Le Arti Orafe Jewelry School & Academy in Florence, Italy, in 2005, and since then have worked professionally in Italy and Japan, also exhibiting my work internationally.

What inspires you as a jewelry designer?

Beauty of form that nature, not artifice, creates. I take inspiration from the vitality of nature, childhood memories, and a sense of beauty that is inherent and unique in the way that the Japanese see the natural world.  Interesting shapes are made when the regular and the irregular unite.

Do you have any favourite designers? Who are they?

I don’t really have any favourite jewelry designers in particular, since I seldom get to know other jewelry designers’ work. However, my favourite artists are Caravaggio, Henri Matisse and Rembrandt.

Black ring with fine gold studs

Grey ring with gold foil sprinkled

Black earrings with gold foil sprinkled

Tell us more about how you developed your own technique of pulverization.

I was searching for a way of creating a method by which I could find this very specific and original texture.  I repeatedly experimented using various methods (e.g. applying chemicals, burning etc.), which helped me gradually establish my method.
What does pulverization mean to you?  Why do you choose to work with this technique?

It is my identity and is my self. I very much like the color which metal takes on after undergoing the process.  Therefore, the jewelry I make is made using only metal. However, I was beginning to feel that there was a certain limit to how expressive I could be using only existing metalwork techniques, therefore I began to explore my method of pulverisation by means of trial and error, and eventually arrived at this original technique.

Do you have any plans to expand your craft beyond jewelry?  Tell us more.

Since I believe that there is a certain limit in expression when making only jewelry, I would like to explore other means of creation, such as solid work like sculpture.

I am very attempted to get myself a piece by Fuchi before he becomes a visual artist.  In any case, I leave you with his words ” I think I can give life to jewelry that uses only an inorganic material by receiving the inspiration from an organic life.”

X Sybil

(Images from Boticca)

Carrie K. Artisanal Jewellery

One thing about me is I am a proud Singaporean.  Yes, you may not know much about Singapore, or think that somehow, Singapore is in China, but no.  Singapore may be a little red dot on the atlas, but we are our own independent country.  I am especially proud when I hear about local designers getting exposure around the globe.  One example is Carrie K.

Although it was only launched in July 2009, Carrie K’s label has reached other parts of the world and is currently also stocked at Carter and Bond in London (men’s cufflinks).  She has 6 collections available – Charmed, Liquid Metal, Mint, Leather, Raw and Odyssey and even does customised jewellery.

Here are some of my personal favourites.

Large Silver Bead love to shop Amethyst bracelet (Charmed Collection).  I like that it looks like a rosary.

Convex Ring (Liquid Metal Collection).  Love the curves.

Medici Heart Ring (Mint Collection).  I like the brilliant colours and how fun it looks!

Purple Mangle (Leather Collection).  For gents who want to add a little pizzazz into their outfits.

Labradorite Pebbles Gold Earrings (Raw Collection).  I love labradorite because of its unique colour, especially how the blues, greens and purples mingle.

Silver Spartan Ring (Odyssey Collection).  Love how this ring kind of looks imperfect, with jagged lines and bumpy finishing.

“I started creating jewellery that showed off imperfections because I like the uniqueness flaws bring. I find that featuring imperfections require even more careful, thoughtful craftsmanship in order to make the imperfection a feature that is appreciated.”

How is it that we sometimes forget that nothing is perfect.  It is finding the beauty in the imperfections that makes life so much more interesting.

Anyway, it is the festive season and these would make perfect gifts. (Gift wrapping available!)

Happy shopping!


X Alex

(All images from Carrie K)

%d bloggers like this: