Emily Kidson’s mixed media contemporary jewellery combines a minimal aesthetic with splashes of colour and clusters of detail. Her signature pieces incorporate laminate with wood, usually walnut, and silver. Each piece is made by hand in her South London studio. In 2015 Emily was selected to the Crafts Council’s Hothouse programme and was awarded the Design Trust Award at MADE LONDON 2015.
On her process and materials:
I chemically bond the laminate sheet to wood, leave this to dry overnight and then hand cut it using a jewellers piercing saw, before sanding and waxing it for a beautifully smooth finish. I work with silver using traditional jewellery and silversmithing techniques from riveting and fabrication through to granulation and burnishing. I often choose to oxidise silver, which gives it a lovely matt dark grey finish, which works beautifully next to the colourful laminate.
As a librarian I was lucky to work in an arts university that had a fantastic materials library. This was filled with all sorts of samples and it was here that I discovered laminate. Laminate is made from paper and resin under extreme pressure; it is very hard wearing and comes in an array of colours. I use laminate by Formica. I do like to explore other materials (for example, acrylic, paint, textiles, pearls and 18ct gold) depending on what I am working on.
Emily’s inspiration comes from repetition and small details; from spots on the pavement to stripy steps at a railway station. She uses her sketchbook to draw initial designs, shapes and compositions. Working intuitively with the materials, these forms then develop further and often the process of making drives her in a particular creative direction. Rather than working to specific jewellery collections, as a maker, Emily allows her work to develop naturally and spontaneously, making predominantly one-off pieces and only a few production items.