Sunday, 13 October 2013

DISCOVERIES: A visit to Jessica McCormack's new Mayfair Gallery

I never made it to Clerkenwell, when she invited me to her workshop a few years ago but now, Jessica McCormack has opened an art jewellery gallery in Mayfair and I am certain I will be a regular visitor.  It is not very often that one enters a place and gets hit instantly by an almost overwhelming feeling of familiarity despite never having been there before. The space is completely eclectic but there is harmony, in a "there is a logic in my madness" kind of way. It is set in one of the most expensive and beautiful squares in London, as it belongs to a bespoke only fine jewellery house. However, the jewels are surrounded by Modern Art and Design, by many books and even by little objects that Jessica McCormack has collected during her travels and that have inspired a piece. It is not only a shop, for the rooms reflect her soul and personality, Jessica's rich universe, and I was immediately drawn to wanting to be part of it.

Jessica McCormack BT Tower Earrings
The pieces are funky, original, sometimes rough because she uses a lot of blackened silver but a common feature across all of them is the exquisite quality of craftsmanship. There are a few unique and distinctive signature features repeated along the bespoke creations; the replica of the Edwardian diamond setting, the mix and match of diamonds in the same piece using, not only different cuts and sizes but also, alternating diamonds set on the reverse; the inclusion of yellow gold no matter what the piece looks like; the blackened finnish and many others. The architectural inspiration, from the Manhattan skyline rings to the Eiffel and BT towers earrings,

Jessica McCormack's Wing earrings

Jessica McCormack's wing engagement ring

Jessica is a pen and paper designer and has been working with the same three goldsmiths since she started the business and mostly works on bespoke commissions only. She was born in New Zealand and her father had an auction house so she grew up surrounded by nature, the sea and art and antiques, difficult to resist ending up as an artist. When she was 22 and travelling around the world, she met someone that knew someone at Sotheby's jewellery department in London and she wrote and wrote until finally got accepted into an internship. And this was it, she found her place in the arts universe and decided to be a modern Jar. Jessica started designing and getting her pieces made in London and very soon hit the red carpet with Madonna and Rihanna amongst her fans. She created her brand less that 10 years ago and has already one of the most beautiful jewellery spaces in the world, success so quickly must be a bit frightening, yet her spirit is so rich of ideas and her world so inspiring that I have no doubt she will keep her creations true to herself to collector's delight.

Jessica McCormack

Read more, WSJ article