Imagine beautifully hand-crafted pieces of jewellery, sculptural in form and lightly textured in surface, inspired by architectural modernism. Well this is the work of architect turned jewellery designer Kate Trouw, one of my favourite U.K. makers. Geometric and organic shapes are combined to create a contemporary and clean aesthetic, whilst colours are soft creating a lightness to each piece.
Trouw’s background in architecture shines through in each design. When you are holding a piece of her jewellery it’s as though you are holding a piece of the city in your hand, a construction material. But it’s more than that. Each piece is light, it’s warm to touch. It feels strong and yet incredibly delicate. She has sculpted this material into a shape, giving it form with purpose and natural beauty. With her vision it transcends into a hand-crafted sculpture, a little work of art to wear around your neck.
Trouw works primarily with polymer clay, a malleable material which is shaped by hand and set by heat, and the best thing about it is that it’s free of harmful toxins. The properties of polymer clay is that it’s soft against the skin and, quite beautifully, the material is matt with a sort of egg-shell finish. The polymer clay gives each piece a hand-produced element to it, rather than being too industrial or too heavy. The same piece made in a plastic for instance would change the essence entirely.
Trouw has a small collection of jewellery pieces available online, which are hand-made to order so there is little wastage involved. She has recently relocated her studio from London to Scotland, where all items are now made and posted to the U.K. or internationally. Prices are reasonable, ranging from £15 for small earrings to £120 for a statement necklace, but mostly prices sit somewhere in between.
I own a piece of Trouw’s jewellery myself, with the appeal that it won’t go out of fashion because it’s classically modern in design. It can be worn on a daily basis and it’s something I take pleasure in wearing. Mark and I are trying to be more conscious in our decisions of consumption, and believe that buying something that’s environmentally considered and from a local start up designer is a better way to make purchasing choices. So much of what is available to us on the high street is trend-led so will go out of fashion, and is cheap so will break in a short amount of time, so for me, purchasing items that you care about and that are hand-crafted is surely better for a more sustainable future. Buy less, and make what you do buy have a purpose.
You can see Kate Trouw’s jewellery on her website:
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