Strikingly sculptural bespoke silver jewellery

Unusual sustainable designs with a seductively pagan quality

Meron Wolde’s bespoke rings are produced in sustainable materials including 100 per cent recycled silver
Meron Wolde’s bespoke rings are produced in sustainable materials including 100 per cent recycled silver

When Swedish-born metal artist Meron Wolde took her first steps into jewellery design, she found inspiration in her travels to Ethiopia and India, as well as to Eritrea, where her family have roots. “I found workshops that still practise with limited equipment yet produce astonishing pieces of art,” she explains. “It made me want to work towards my own self-sufficient and sustainable studio.”

The front of the silver brooch that Wolde made for Keiji Haino
The front of the silver brooch that Wolde made for Keiji Haino
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Her work today (rings, brooches, bangles and pins) is produced wholly in sustainable and fairly mined materials, including 100 per cent recycled silver and fair trade gold, and combines antique finds with a fascination for tribaltextiles, ancient stone and wood carvings. The results look as architectural and graphic as they do organic, textural and ­even pagan. “I work with simple lines,” she says. “I don’t want to overcomplicate the form. Yet the pieces become very sculptural when they are worn.”

The reverse of the brooch with the underside of meteorite poking through
The reverse of the brooch with the underside of meteorite poking through
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London-based Wolde’s designs, which start at £100 and rise to £5,000, are made to commission, with each one taking between a few months and – for the most complex projects – a year to complete. She’s created wearablesculpture in a vast array of scales and shapes, and from disparate materials. One of her most unusual pieces was a silver brooch for musician Keiji Haino, after he gave a performance at the White Cube. “The gallery’s owner, Jay Jopling, presented Keiji with a meteorite from the Russian Sikhote-Alin Mountains that had fallen in 1947,” recalls Wolde. “Keiji gave it to me the same night, and I created a brooch for him to wear with his favourite black velvet jacket. I set the rough-edged rock on tactile, textured silver. But the piece can also be worn on a pendant, so you can see the reverse side of the brooch with the black iron rock peeking through the burnished silver surface.”

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