CSM says Sorry for the Inconvenience

There really was much for jewellery lovers to admire this week in London with London Jewellery Week underway, and a fabulous double opening of this year's Treasure and the Goldsmiths' Gold: Power and Allure exhibition at Somerset House. But our favourite show was at Central Saint Martins, where this year's graduating CSM students exhibited their work with 'Sorry for the Inconvenience, but We Are Trying to Change the World'.

This was the first year of degree shows since CSM moved to their new spectacular site at London's Kings Cross, a purpose built campus set around the frontage of an old Victorian goods interchange. The restored Granary building is quite stunning, with a historic brick frontage giving way to an industrial and modern interior space. All the college's disciplines have also been brought together under one roof for the first time and this week students from Fashion, Graphic, Ceramics, Textiles, Product Design and Jewellery showed off their work.

In the BA Jewellery 2012 show, we loved these pieces by Caroline Kernick. Inspired by 1920s French ballet and dance, a display of 5 highly intricate and elaborate necklaces, decorated with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, coral and pearls, immediately catches the eye. Look a little more closely and the surprising reality of the hand drawn designs and the material used becomes clear.


Each of the necklaces has been meticulously constructed from individual sheets of 270g dove-grey card, layered with gouache or fine drawing to recreate the impression of fine jewellery. Diamonds are presented with depth, dimension and light sources as if they were set. Even the seed pearls have been given a lacquered lustre and a characteristic flame effect has been added to the Melo melo and Conch pearls.



Designed as a necklace mimicking the scale and arrangements of the Ziegfeld Follies centralising three Melo paper-pearls and a Conch paper-pearl all surrounded by graduating impressions of coral beads, pink sapphires, zesty orange sapphires and South Sea paper-pearls. Finely rendered white diamonds suspend the central motif and lead to a multitude of paper-pearl strands. All gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 13 ½ ins

Amongst the other collections that impressed was a passionate collection, beautifully displayed with dripped blood-red wax, of yellow gold and red garnet jewellery by Qingqing (Sasha) Wu.

A set of luxury, handmade watches by Sophie E Ellis showed that some of the traditional skills are still respected. Impressively too, this was just the second time in the last 20 years that the intricacies of watch-making have (successfully) been attempted by a student.

The CSM degree shows are still open to the public until 21st June and, if you can visit, they are highly recommended and not inconvenient at all.

Image Credits:

With thanks to and copyright of Caroline Kernick

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