Join us for our weekly BAJ:Insight on the latest industry trends by Rachael Taylor, a freelance journalist who writes about jewellery for a number of titles, including The Financial Times, The Jewellery Editor and Retail Jeweller. In her 10 years reporting on the industry, she has travelled the globe to visit key industry fairs, descended a Fairtrade gold mine on top of a Peruvian mountain, toured silver jewellery factories in Thailand, and regularly has access to the most sparkling jewels and people in the business.
When it comes to materials for making jewellery, the spectrum of choice is vast. You can go down the precious route of gold and gemstones, or make costume jewellery from pretty much anything you like, and there has been a trend of late to make jewels from living things, or at least things that were once living.
Flowers have long been a motif that has inspired jewellers, and for some, simply recreating them or even using them to cast is not enough. Swiss jewellery brand Bahina uses real flowers such as roses and daisies to create yellow gold statement earrings that are accentuated with gems like amethysts. To ensure the flowers last, they are preserved under a layer of resin.
Bahina’s jewellery collection
RFORM studio also works with real flowers, but instead of trying to make them last forever, it celebrates their transience. To keep them fresh for as long as possible, the large blooms used to create its earrings and chokers each have their own vial of water. The US brand estimates that the floral jewels will last for about 24 hours, making them “ideal for day to night”. One day and one night, that is.
RFORM’s Jewellery Collection
Instagrammer Pamazonwarrior, or Pamela to her friends, has been running a series of creative images titled RAW through her account that show her wearing jewels made with food. She strings fruit and vegetables together to create bright and colourful designs. Think slices of lemon and beetroot for earrings, a collier of radishes, stacks of cuffs made from rings of peppers.
Pamazonwarrior’s Jewellery Collection
Another Instagram account to check out is Arozona. This belongs to Australian Roz Borg, who describes herself as a botanical artist. Taping into the vogue for succulents, her creations to date have included across-the-finger and cocktail rings made from clusters of mixed succulents, as well as a succulent, flower and amethyst wrist corsage, and vibrant nail jewels.
Arozona’s Jewellery Collection
These jewels might not last forever, but their short shelf life is spectacularly lived.