Modernity and minimalism unite in Jenny Sweetnam fine jewellery, which marries a preoccupation with clean forms and graphic silhouettes to create modern jewellery pieces. Jewellery is characterised by offbeat placements and unexpected tweaks: diamonds punctuate the end of a loop of gold around the finger, while necklaces slot open, offering secret spaces for trinkets.
‘I’ve always experimented with creating graphic linear forms in my work, which appear on the one hand minimal but reveal unexpected twists such as a play on scale or articulation, or most recently with opening up,’ says Sweetnam. ‘In my recent work, I’ve been exploring the idea of value in fine jewellery, through pieces that invert in some way, opening up to reveal diamonds hidden inside. The idea is that the diamonds are for the wearer to know about, rather than for displaying to the world – that’s where their value comes from.’
The pieces build on the alternative engagement rings Sweetnam has previously created, where diamonds are subtle embellishments rather than the focus of the design. ‘Now I’ve created the “Enshrine” necklace, which opens up to reveal not a diamond but empty space, for the wearer to enshrine a sentimental object – an object that could perhaps be as precious as a diamond to the wearer. I wanted to explore the idea of creating a very personal jewel, something with a deep connection to the wearer that takes on a magical quality, like a modern amulet,’ Sweetnam adds.
In these minimalist pieces, diamonds become part of the form itself, adding a punkish edge to fluid silhouettes. ‘In the “Silent Diamond” earring and ring series, diamonds punctuate their graphic linear forms. They are tucked away, only occasionally glimpsed when the jewellery silhouette moves. I am thrilled by the idea that it is the feeling of wearing such a valuable element, rather than the show of it, that empowers the wearer.’
Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.
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