I’m working with Brigitte Adolph to make silver jewellery from my lace designs. Brigitte is a wonderful designer, a fully trained goldsmith who is fascinated by lace and textiles in her work. She describes her work as ‘only revealed through touch’, which is so apt- when looking at her precious creations, one assumes it is a textile, such is the detail captured in the process.
I first met Brigitte in May 2011, during a trade show in Karlsruhe, Germany. She subsequently visited Nottingham as part of a Creative Twinning exchange in October. It was then that we decided to see if we could work together on some designs. The first pieces made by Brigitte were from my existing ‘Trefoil’ collection, two beautiful bracelets and some stud earrings, which we launched as the renamed ‘Nottingham heritage’ collection at Inhorgenta International Jewellery Fair in Munich. Unknown to me, Brigitte entered the large ‘Nottingham Heritage’ bracelet into the ‘Schmuck’ (German for ‘Jewellery’) magazine annual awards. We won first prize in the ‘Klassik’ category which was an absolute thrill.
I was lucky enough to gain access to the Nottingham Trent University Lace Archive which supplied us with inspiration for our second collection, ‘Madama Butterfly’ -based on Japanese style designs.We chose to work from design pages which had been donated to the archive by a Nottingham firm (sadly we don’t know which one). These drawings had actually been created by a company called Schultz based in Plauen- the centre for decorative lace in Germany. We were excited by the idea of the original designs coming from Germany to Nottingham, returned to Germany in lace and back again!
Madama Butterfly silver lace collection, photos by Ash Brown
During my second visit to Karlsruhe in May 2012, we were able to spend some time discussing and sketching ideas together. Emails and photographs pinged back and forth during the summer and the hard work was rewarded when the jewellery arrived in Nottingham. This collection has recently been on show in Nottingham Castle.
It can be quite tough working with a designer in another country, but we are becoming more familiar with how each other work and what we require for our design process. We email A LOT when we are designing and send photographs of work in progress. We are constantly refining and improving the work and have become firm friends too!
If you are in the UK, you can buy the Nottingham Heritage collection from Thexton’s in Nottingham, or contact Brigitte for other stockists
Find out more about Brigitte and her jewellery on her website www.brigitte-adolph.de