Products, fashion and style

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Update your jewellery collection at Dazzle. Words: Louisa Pearson

az/le's got a huge following now. but the great thing about it is a lot of people still son of fall

upon it because it‘s always in the centre of

towns or in theatres.’ So says (irainne Morton. one of 5-1 internationally renowned designers who will be exhibiting at this year‘s (ilasgow instalment of the contemporary jewellery—fest. From humble beginnings at London's Royal lixchange Theatre 21 years ago. the brainchild of Tony (iordon and (‘hristine Bola has grown into a celebratory phenomenon loved by stars and ‘ordinary" folk alike.

Morton is something of a Dazzle veteran. A graduate of

lidinl‘iurgh (‘ollege of An she first exhibited there in 1995: ‘A lot of the time people don't know we exist or about the sort of jewellery we make because it's usually found in galleries. and unless people are real collectors they don't tend to go into them.’ she says. "The great thing about Dazzle is it brings contemporary jewellery to a wider public.’

Morton’s distinctive style stirs up feelings of nostalgia. all familiar materials in miniature or trapped in compartments. ‘l‘ve collected small things since I was a child and this has just moved into my work.‘ she says. ‘I

love patchwork and old cottage industries; the idea of

making something out of nothing.‘ Look out for her earrings. brooches. necklaces and cufllinks.

A relative newcomer to the exhibition scene. Dot Sim graduated from Dundee's Duncan of .lordanstone (‘ollege in 2000. A former theatre professional who moved back to Scotland after having her daughter. she had previously dabbled in jewellery. ’About twenty years ago I went to evening classes and pottercd about at the kitchen table.‘ she says.

Things are rather different now and since graduating she's won several awards and has exhibited throughout the country. Mostly rising precious metals (‘I like the idea that

these materials are durable; if you go to a museum. some of

112 THE LIST " {‘1'

the oldest artefacts we have are pieces of gold and silver

jewellery"). Sim makes tactile rings. neckpieces and bangles.

some of which are aromatic. ‘Aromatic jewellery"s been around for a long time. but it‘s generally little bottles concealed in the piece.‘ she says. "I‘his is in the piece itself you just drip the perfume into the perforations and top it up.‘

This range has elicited particular interest from artnnatherapists. and a friend of Sim even wore a ring with concentration-enhancing essential oils to help while sitting an exam. For Sim the attraction of Dazzle is that it provides an outlet not always available in Scotland: ‘lt‘s great because you can see a huge range of contemjmraiy jeweller under the one roof.‘

There are several other Scotland-based designers exhibiting this year. including Nicola Becci. Based in the West find of Glasgow. Becci has a decade of experience in jewelIery-making and her work is in the collections of several galleries and museums. not to mention the homes of Dame Judi Dench. Amanda Burton and Carol Smillie. Instantly recognisable. her work has a wealth of influences: 'My work is an exploration of decoration using many sources of inspiration. the main ones being the symbolism of the (‘atholic Church. the trappings of royalty. playing cards and chess. calligraphy. with food and confectionery being the source for some of my most recent pieces.~

Becci works mainly in silver and brass with some ()ct gold detail. etching and oxidising to give a quirky feel. Like (irainne Morton. she‘s also intrigued by little things: ‘l'm fascinated by secrets and hidden compartments that allow the wearer to decide how much he or she reveals.‘ she says.

Dazzle is at the Merchant Square, Candleriggs, Glasgow until Sunday 7 April.


‘Some of the oldest artefacts we have are pieces of gold and silver jewellery’