MAKER'S WINDOW: JADE MELLOR & KOSTADINOS KARANIKAS

We have been sharing the jewellery made by our very own Gill Wing team, past and present for the past two weeks. For the third and final Maker's Window we are showcasing textured treasures from Kostadinos and Jade Mellor. These designers are inspired by the rugged beauty of the natural world.

Deep Sea treasures by Kostadinos Karanikas

Deep Sea treasures by Kostadinos Karanikas

Greek designer Kostadinos is influenced by the volcanic rocks and sealife of his home country's beaches. Cheshire born Jade is inspired by geology near and far, from fossils and minerals to meteorites in museum collections. They share an insight into their processes and their time here at Gill Wing...

 

JADE MELLOR

When did you start work at Gill Wing? What do you like most about working here?

Jade Mellor researching meteorites in a museum

Jade Mellor researching meteorites in a museum

I joined the gallery in November 2014. It was daunting moving from Manchester but I found a real family here straight away. To be working alongside good, kind people who were so interested and passionate about the same things as me just gave us all an instant connection. We all share an appreciation for craft and all are trying to make a happy, creative life for ourselves, and help others to do that too by selling and promoting their work. It’s a shared ideal for us and the other jewellers we show.

Jade Mellor's colourful pieces find their inspiration in rocks and minerals

Jade Mellor's colourful pieces find their inspiration in rocks and minerals

 

What are the benefits of working in a jewellery gallery?

I learn something new everyday! My colleagues are an amazing encyclopedia of knowledge as we all have different experiences and work in different mediums ourselves. We problem-solve technical issues together, but also their opinions and their enthusiasm means so much when you need a pep talk to keep you motivated!

 

Have you had a favourite moment working at Gill Wing?

Everyday!!! I have genuinely never been so happy in a workplace. I am continually grateful that I share happy moments on a daily basis with customers and colleagues. It’s a pleasure to share the amazing talents of so many people and jewellery is such a magical medium. You feel you’re making a connection between the maker and the wearer for objects that are purely to be enjoyed and shared, like delicious food or music. A luxury, yes, but without these things, well this is part of being alive at the fullest.

Meeting the jewellery artist Tamara Gruner with her ecclectic, organic work at Munich Jewellery Week 2017.

Meeting the jewellery artist Tamara Gruner with her ecclectic, organic work at Munich Jewellery Week 2017.

Munich jewellery week in March was also an unbelievable highlight as it was a real celebration of jewellery. I loved how passionate everyone was and the international diversity united by the common appreciation of every kind of jewellery. I am really excited by the makers which we met which we may be introducing to the U.K for the first time. To be able to show really wild and creative talent like this on the high-street is very important.

Jade Mellor's Work bench during wet-work. The resin residue makes patterns on the sandpaper.

Jade Mellor's Work bench during wet-work. The resin residue makes patterns on the sandpaper.

 

Tell us about the objects/processes on display. How do they relate to your practice?

I’m probably showing some weird objects compared to a silversmith or traditional jeweller! My methods are based on seeing and feeling, both in a tactile sense and in an emotional sense, so there are no high-tech or fast paced processes. It’s kind of a cross between cooking and sculpting with lots and lots (and lots!) of sanding and polishing. I’m also sharing my favourite rocks and minerals like pyrite and malachite! Some are incorporated into the resin or used as my inspiration for shapes, colours and textures.

Mixing spoon encrusted in resin in Jade Mellor's studio

Mixing spoon encrusted in resin in Jade Mellor's studio

What is your inspiration?

I look to the unbelievable beauty of the earth and it’s natural formation, motivated by a sense of curiosity and the thrill of discovery. From volcanoes to meteorites or ancient tiles to the tempting sparkle of minerals embedded in rock. As I learn about them and how they have come into being they become even more amazing, even more rare and even more precious. Every piece I make is an homage to try and capture that feeling of wonder.

One-of-a-kind marbled resin and pyrite ring by Jade Mellor

One-of-a-kind marbled resin and pyrite ring by Jade Mellor

Kostadinos Karanikas

When did you work at Gill Wing? What did you like most about working there?

October 2012 to November 2014. The team when I was working was fun and super creative. As everyone in the team was a jeweller or maker of some description it felt as if it were an extension of a workshop environment.

 

What are the benefits of working in a jewellery gallery?

The continuous exposition to the creative forces of so many makers and their individual language and point of view was ever exciting and thought provoking; saying this so was observing customers' reactions to these collections and pieces as well as the fascinating conversations ensuing. Jewellery is such a personal thing and no other place as a jewellery gallery can one be exposed to so many personal stories and reactions. 

 

Kostadinos Karanikas rock textured rings

Kostadinos Karanikas rock textured rings

 

Have you had a favourite moment working at Gill Wing?

Every time a customer wore a piece of jewellery they saw behind the glass cabinet and their eyes glistening with glee and excitment as they wore it and felt as wonderfull about it on them as they did observing it moments earlier. 

 

Tell us about the objects/processes on display. How do they relate to your practice?

I have chosen to display a small example of burrs, the variations of which are many, that I use in the finish of my work to best express my designs and intentions. The result I aim to achieve with my work is of organic forms with energy and power and these little instruments allow me to achieve this by utilising them in many different ways; not necessarily for what they were made for. 

Kostadinos carves his sculptural rings from wax before casting them in precious metal 

Kostadinos carves his sculptural rings from wax before casting them in precious metal 

 

What is your inspiration?

 

The point of departure for my work is the natural formations and shape of rocks and minerals around us above and below water; the impact the intense powers of tension between tectonic plates, the eroding force of waves and water, the endless balance between the elements and the footprint of this relationship on the surface. 

Oxidised silver and pearl rings by Kostadinos Karanikas, more pieces available at Gill wing Jewellery

Oxidised silver and pearl rings by Kostadinos Karanikas, more pieces available at Gill wing Jewellery

Thank you for the feedback you have been providing about our Maker's Windows for our colleague Eden Silver-Myer's MA research.

There is still this week to come in and see the last Maker's Window and share your thoughts,  every entry will be entered into a prize drawer for a £100 Gift Voucher to thank you for you efforts!