February 21 2012
Scottish jeweller Alison Macleod spends a lot of time in her local junk stores. “I find the jumble exhilarating,” she says. “I love to imagine the stories connected to each discarded artefact.”
These imagined stories provide the starting points for her designs and, when combined with her passion for Victorian keepsake jewellery, explain the appealing, nostalgic aesthetic that characterises much of her work. Work such as the sterling-silver Web brooch (£245), which is a witty and highly contemporary take on a traditional cameo brooch, and the 1920s-style Long Fragments necklace (first picture, £450), with its string of aventurine beads and pretty bobbles of semi-precious stones.
Macleod has done all she can to make the online buying experience easy. The various departments are self-explanatory (“Bracelets and Bangles”, “Brooches”, “Earrings”, etc), the thumbnail images are clear, and when you click on one, you’re presented with a close-up photograph, a detailed description and suggestions for co-ordinating pieces. There is also a useful ring-sizing guide, complete with an international conversion chart – relatively common on major jewellery retail sites, less so with boutique designers such as Macleod.
But the best thing of all is the speedy delivery service. I fell in love with the Venetian Dotty Stack ring (third picture, £290) on sight, and the fact that this beautiful sky-blue glass ring, with its encircling pair of 18ct gold bands, could be on my finger within 10 days of ordering made “adding to basket” a must. (The matching Gold Berries Cameo Stud earrings, second picture, £420, helpfully suggested as an accompaniment, are top of my wish list.)