This brooch is surprisingly large, at 8cm across and made of silver. The simplicity and sharpness of the design immediately attracted me, usually when I am considering purchasing a brooch I ponder for a while. I might place it on a ‘wish list’ or continue to wander around a fair before making a final decision. But with this brooch, it was love at first sight. Gilly Langton was exhibiting at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, one of my favourite venues for purchasing new brooches.
Gilly is a contemporary jewellery designer based in the remote Highland village of Plockton on the West Coast of Scotland, close to the Isle of Skye. My brooch was inspired by the boats bobbing about in Plockton harbour. Gilly has most kindly shared the images that inspired my brooch.
She describes her design process as “very much old school, using lots of visual references from my environment, picture taking and constant sketchbook work.”
A couple of Gilly’s working sketches. You can see clearly a build up of the shapes and patterns. I think it is fascinating to see how a design develops and grows. Gilly says “I have always worked with a sketchbook since a small child and refer back to sketchbooks to revisit ideas and designs.”
Gilly has been making jewellery since 1997, she specialises in creating silver, gold and hand dyed elastic jewellery. She uses traditional silversmithing and jewellery skills, making each element by hand, she does not use casting, preferring to have complete control over the piece.
The next Goldsmiths’ Fair is at the end of September 2020. If you would like to find out more about the fair I wrote two articles for Rue Pigalle a Canadian travel company, Goldsmiths’ Fair Week One and Goldsmiths’ Fair week Two. The third picture in the week one article is a photo of Gilly Langton’s stall at last year’s fair and if you look carefully you can see my brooch on the top shelf. You can also see her other work, Gilly says “my colourful work comes from the colours of the sea, hues of blue and green, fading into the water.” I have my eye on something in one of these vibrant colours to add to my collection.
Look out for next month’s Brooch of the Month, a stunning 1940s piece by Miriam Haskell, written by my friend Jacqueline Rehmann author of ‘Classic American Costume Jewelry’ .