Highlands

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Merlin Planterose’s studio in the woods                    Lochbroom

Merlin’s studio is immersed in the Highlands, so it is no wonder she can produce such attractive jewellery when she is constantly being inspired by this rugged landscape and its historical narratives.

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Lady Grange Collection

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Merlin Planterose, Lady Grange Collection

The concept behind Merlin Planterose’s Lady Grange Collection comes from the true story of Lady Grange, a woman imprisoned by her husband in the 1700s. She was confined on the archipelago of St Kilda where the beautiful but unforgiving land inspired this collection. The harsh conditions Lady Grange went through are communicated through the rough-textured metal and the finer elements of the stones and gold refer to the Lady’s status. The style of these adornments is very traditional with a contemporary edge. Lockets have long been worn on chains around the neck with memories of loved ones inside, and pearls are a classic adornment to the body. These elements are juxtaposed by hard textures and embedded stone on the silver surface that cradles the treasure.

Lichen Collection

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Merlin Planterose, Lichen necklaces

The moss and lichen growing in the woods of Leckmelm stimulated the making of this collection. Merlin Planterose finds most of her inspiration from her surroundings, which happen to be the spectacular Scottish Highlands. I find it very interesting that Merlin focused on the small, insignificant growth of the lichen in the wood, when the beauty of the landscape comes across as so huge and overwhelming. I can personally relate to this attraction, as I find the things that are usually overlooked are so fascinating. Throughout my practice I like to expose a beauty that may commonly be considered unattractive or irrelevant.

15 Years – Graduate Jewellers at DJCAD

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Merlin Planterose, Lady Grange Collection

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design held an exhibition called 15 Years, exhibiting works by Scottish jewellery design graduates from the past fifteen years. This was held on the last few days of Scottish Jewellery Week. I was lucky to be able to see my allocated jeweller’s work in person; Merlin Planterose displayed select pieces from her Lady Grange Collection. The fine chain she makes by hand really fascinated me, the skill and intricacy is quite stunning. This style is very different to my own practice but her heavy-handed process and obsession with texture have me inspired to approach my own works in a similar way.

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Mariko Sumioka

Mariko Sumioka is another jeweller from the 15 Years exhibition that I am interested in. Her use of colour is very simple and the blemishes in the enamel really appeal to me. I love collage jewellery and Mariko achieves such a clean and fashionable form. Her contemporary style has a sophisticated way of connecting precious and non-precious materials.

Merlin Planterose

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Lady Grange Lockets

Merlin Planterose is a 2011 graduate from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. She now resides in Leckmelm Wood in the stunning highlands with her studio overlooking Lochbroom- a great view to inspire contemporary jewellery practice! She works with silver and precious stones, making for exhibitions, also stock and commissions for her business.

On a visual level, Merlin’s works are very fine and intricate, but her process in creating these pieces is far from delicate. She hammers silver with stone through a raising technique and shapes the metal into vessels and domes. The most interesting part of this process is that the powder from the stone is embedded into the silver, giving the metal’s surface an organic appearance, as well as an aged look and consequently a history.

Check out Merlin’s website http://www.merlinplanterose.co.uk/