Designing with Pearls at CSM 2015 - Part III

Here we feature the final part in a series of short interviews with graduate jewellers designing with pearls at the BA Central Saint Martins Jewellery 2015 show, including in this article – Fiona Kakei Chong, Yuanming Dennis Song, Qinying Queenie Wang and Danya Xie.

For the third year, we have been working with the students of the Central Saint Martins Jewellery Design course. We will be awarding a Winterson Prize to one of the students for ‘The Best Use of Pearls’ at Jewellery Awards Evening on 25th June.

Read about some of the other designers in Part I and Part II of the series and the Winner of the Winterson Prize 2015.

UNTITLED COLLECTION - FIONA KAKEI CHONG

Fiona Chong

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I divide my time between three countries, and I like to collect and create things.

What was the inspiration for this collection?

My initial inspiration was the elaborate hairstyles seen on Ancient Roman busts. Seeing Ancient Romans taking hairdressing as seriously as nude bodies, I had this idea of a tribe where its noble women would crown themselves with lots of and solely seashells.

Fiona Chong Headpiece

What have you discovered about working with pearls?

As soon as my fingers touch a pearl, their temperatures equalized. It is with its warm and organic feeling, and the contrast with metal and porcelain, that makes a jewellery piece alive.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?

Karl Fritsch. He likes to make ugly rings with precious materials and found objects.

What’s next for you after CSM?

I wish to work for a creative company or jewellery studio.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?

I would like Natalie Portman to be part of the shell tribe.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?

A jewellery piece that is able to draw a line between now and then.

 View more of Fiona's work here.

THE BEAUTY OF TIME FLOWING - YUANMING DENNIS SONG

Ring by Dennis Song

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have studied Jewellery design at CSM for 4 years since Foundation and I really enjoy it. My final collection is all about 3D-printed fine jewellery.

I love using pearls in my design, pearls have played significant roles in all the pieces from my final degree show collection.

What was the inspiration for this collection?

Time is a magical thing which can not be seen, touched or felt but everything in this world is experiencing it in every single moment. Time, flowing like a river. Illustrating the flow of time through a piece of jewellery has always been an extremely powerful idea in my mind.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?

Working with pearls, I have learnt many things, such as the different qualities in pearls, how expensive that one pearl can be and the true value about pearls.

Feather Ring by Dennis Song

I have found that pearls as a precious material can magically make a piece of jewellery to be very elegant and feminine. I have not used pearls in a traditional way. I make the pearls roll and move in the piece, also because movement is a significant part in my collection.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?

Wallace Chan, Gustav Klimt, Jeanne Toussaint.

What’s next for you after CSM?

I will stay in London and start working,I haven’t decided which brand I am going to work with.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?

Any elegant and mature ladies, such as Monica Bellucci, Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Helen Miller or Sharon Stone.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?

Unique design, a special element and the meaning behind the jewellery.

REFLECTION - QINYING QUEENIE WANG

Reflections by Queenie Wang

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Born in China, I moved to the UK and began to study Fine Art in my A-level years. I specialised in jewellery design 4 years ago and I believe that all forms of art are interlinked and connected.

What was the inspiration for this collection?

Water reflections were my initial inspiration for the collection. Influenced by Evelie Mouila, I tried to explore the relationship between wearer and jewellery, and her photography got me to rethinking the meaning of “wearing”. Based on the concept of reflection, I mainly focused on mirror reflections.

Mirror Reflections by Queenie Wang

Women are always staring at the mirror; admiring their jewellery and themselves. My collection aims to enhance the luminosity of our own bodies and appreciate our own specialness.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?

To work with pearls was a new experience for me. Pearls are always giving us a feeling of being elegant and graceful. I was able to find many possibilities by mixing different materials with pearls.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?

Gijs Bakker’s works are always influencing me strongly.

What’s next for you after CSM?

I intend to pursue a Masters degree after CSM.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?

The Minimalist. And women who have their own personal styles.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?

The one that could broke through time's boundaries, with a strong story or concept behind it.

WONDER OF NATURE - DANYA XIE

The Twining Wood Neck Piece by Danya Xie

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a Chinese girl who likes collecting natural materials and using them into jewellery.

What was the inspiration for this collection?

I find my inspiration in nature. In my work I visualise the relationship between man and nature. I am fascinated especially by the human interference in nature; the traces that are left behind by taking care, organising or controlling nature.

This unpredictable power of life is for me a source of inspiration. This dialogue between control and freedom has become the general theme for my jewellery.

What have you discovered about working with pearls?

Pearls always give people a sense of the gentle, the delicate and the feminine, but I found pearls are actually a material with potential to be strong and powerful.

Which designer or artist do you most admire?

It’s hard to say who’s the most important, but Sam Tho Duong, Andy Goldsworthy, Henrique Oliveira did inspire me for this collection.

What’s next for you after CSM?

Natural materials will always be my inspiration for making this art jewellery.

The Twig Necklace by Danya Xie

And pearls and wood are my favourite ones; I think I will keep working with them.

Who could you imagine wearing your jewellery?

The women who enjoy natural materials like I do.

What is it that makes a piece of jewellery a design classic?

The connotation, the story behind the piece and the refined finishing would make the jewellery classic.

View more of Danya's work here.