Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Little Glass Clementine


Some of you may recall that at last September's London Fashion Week I posted about the work of jewellery designer Little Glass Clementine. I caught up with her at February's London Fashion Week and got a preview of her Autumn/Winter collection.  This time the designer Clementine James was there herself to answer my questions about the detail that goes into her intricate creations.

Each necklace is a wearable work of art painstakingly created from recycled objects.  The wearer is guaranteed individuality as each piece is a one off which is literally jam packed with vintage charm.  This is couture level upcycling.  Her work recognises the aesthetic qualities of objects as being something to herald, making no distinction between the raw beauty of those from the natural world such as shells, wood and gems, to that of the artificial sheen of the smelted, wrought, engraved, painted and polished trinkets made by man.  In each piece both worlds are allowed to collide in a harmonious chaos that celebrates their visual delights on an equal footing creating a poignant, poetic reminder that one set is not possible without the existence of the other.

Amongst semi-precious stones lurk discarded treasures like old timepieces, daintily painted ceramic, buttons and pieces of vintage costume jewellery.  You can spend ages spotting and identifying the individual objects making up the whole.  There are buttons from an old Chanel jacket interspersed between curtain ties, a silver Sardinian button charm, miniature Venetian masks, parts of brooches and earrings, pieces of daintily painted ceramic, even metal eyelets for curtain rails.

In a world dominated by the voracity of mass produced goods it is heartening that someone has the vision and creativity to see the shrapnel at the other end of the process of consumerism as being objects worth retrieving to be given a new lease of life.  So much of the Earth's precious and increasingly rarer resources go into the creation of material things for our often too brief pleasure and when they cease to please us it is somewhat tragic that they are given over to waste.  In producing beautiful works that restore unloved adornments to their former glory as valued and treasurable objects, designers like Clementine James make a statement of the beauty we can be blind to in the things we choose to throw away.

For more information and pictures of Clementine's work visit the Little Glass Clementine website.


  1. I could spend hours and hours giving these little beauties a good old fingering. You're right, each one is absolutely jammed with amazing vintage bits and bobs - so beautiful!! I would wear every single one - what an amazing talent and patient artist!! xoxo

  2. I love these, particularly the last one. Such an original way of recycling these beutiful little items. M x

  3. Abdolutely stunning, and the thought that they come from recycled objects, makes it even more interesting and precious.
    Thank you for sharing magic.

  4. Veshoevius, These truly are works of art of the most special kind! I love it when someone can take cast offs and make unique pieces! Thanks for sharing this! Hugs! ~Serene

  5. These are stunning pieces. I'm particularly taken with the ones showing amethyst quartz. A long, long time ago--I was a teenager--I visited Bavaria and took back those chunks of quartz as souvenirs. That's why I'm drawn to this piece--it's like looking at my own recycled history.


  6. I remember these beautiful creations from last year, so clever and such a great eye. x

  7. What a beautiful pieces of jewelry! Love the one with the mask - so gorgeous and misterious <3

  8. I love upcycled and unique objets d'art! These are beautiful pieces.

    And yes, that was me in the blog photos ;-) The chameleon effect may have been due to my fake curls, previously used for the Victorian Act I of "The Nutcracker" ballet!

  9. These are gorgeous. I remember seeing her pieces at LFW and more so, the incredible window display she had for Selfridges, when they were promoting upcoming designers. I agree it's a great idea to use vintage elements to create something new. I jewelry designer I know in Germany specialised in this as well - you could even bring in your own old jewelry and have it redesigned into something else.

  10. I love it when designers take vintage pieces and make them into works of art. My favorites are the necklace with the timepiece and the necklace with the natural stones. There's a line of jewelry called Grandmothers buttons that uses vintage buttons and I have a watch and some earrings from that line.

  11. The beauty of these pieces takes my breath away. A feast for the eyes and for the heart.

  12. OMG the last one with the clock is awesome! It would make any black dress glamorous & special.


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