CAMILLE BESPOKE EARRINGS
HOW I DESIGNED CAMILLE
Narisa and I have been friends for more years than I care to say, we went to school together so you can do the maths! She is a super intelligent and crazily talented artist, musician and interior designer.
So no pressure to design something good then….! We had hatched a plan for me to design her a pair of earrings for her wedding reception (she had a traditional buddist ceremony which meant traditional dress and understated jewellery) that would be the wedding present from all her school friends. I wanted to create a peice that represented her and Akira as a couple so set about infusing the design with as many elements of their heritage and interests as possible.
I didn’t need to ask her my usual first question, I already knew that she loved Camellia’s as she had always had a photo of the huge bright pink Camellia plant that grows outside her family home in Chaing Mai (Thailand) on her bedside table at school to remind her of home. This also provided a rather convenient link to school, as all of the school friends attending her wedding used to sing in the school choirs together - whose rehersals all took place in the Camellia house, a beautiful victorian glass house designed and built to grow these beautiful flowers.
I wanted to include a pearl in the design because of their long association with wedding jewellery. When I looked in detail at Camellias I realised that the central petals look very much like a pearl and all the petals fan out from them. So the pearl became the centre of my design. Narisa and I share a love of art deco styles as well as scottish heritage which gave me the perfect excuse to fuse together these two elements. The petal pattern I designed that radiates out from the pearl is actually quite simple but it repeats in an interwoven manner that is simultaneously art deco (same pattern repeating but growing larger) and celtic (the interwoven aspect). The pattern is also a reference to art deco wall hangings and decorations and Narisa’s own interior design work.
The shape of the camellia leaf is influenced by the beautiful paintings that adorn buddist temples as well as the amazing architecture of their roofs. Akira is an arcitect so this was another reason I wanted to incorperate elements of the temple roofs.
Narisa’s heritage is Thai, Chinese and Scottish, while Akira’s in Japanese and Colombian. I had ticked off Thai, Scottish and Japanese (a Camellia’s latin name is ‘Camellia Japonica’) by this point. Which left me with Chinese and Colombian - so I sourced the pearl from a family run pearl farm in China and the gold from Colombia to complete the set.
I kept the design a secret from Narisa - at her request but showed all our friends before starting making it, it got the green light and I’m happy to say all parties were very happy with the end result.
It was a real honour to see one of my oldest friends wearing a piece of jewellery I designed on such a special occasion.