Spotlight on: Jean Scott-Moncrieff
Based in rural Sussex, she originally trained as a graphic designer and was working at a publisher, when she happened upon jewellery-making. Thrilled by her new creative outlet she immediately set up a workbench in a closet under the stairs and continued learning and experimenting in short courses under guidance of skilled craftsmen. It is the three-dimensional nature of jewellery and the fitting together of all the different pieces that speak to her in particular.
From her early days at her makeshift bench, she has now progressed to a purpose built garden studio - a timber framed workshop she helped design. “It was important to get the lighting right. As you heat precious metals, you need to be able to see their colour change to cherry red.”
Jean’s inspiration is rooted in her love of the artefacts of ancient cultures. She admires the textures, colours and purity of design, and to see the marks of the tools that made each object beneath the subtle patina of age is to see their makers’ workings back through time.
It is why she likes to use the very simplest tools - like her favourite tool the bow drill, which was used by ancient Egyptians. She feels it keeps her in touch with the ancient jewellery – Roman, Egyptian – that inspires her. “I look at the jewellery created at that time and think, if they could do it, using the simple tools that they had, so can I.”
In a direct link to those ancient craftsmen, Jean’s jewellery is often process driven and each piece is unique. She uses traditional hand tools and techniques to work with the metal – piercing, hammering and shaping. Her pieces are hand finished with fine emery papers, with edges brightly burnished. The result is a contemporary matte finish with contrasting bright edges that gives an old world feel to the final pieces.
Simplicity of line and form enhanced with carefully selected gemstones including pearls, spinels, coloured diamonds and topaz. Evolving continually, the collection radiates her flair for design and attention to detail. Her work requires great concentration. “I try not to have too many distractions – rather wonderfully, the phone in my studio is out of action. I have such a nice time hidden away. I feel so lucky to be let loose on all of this beauty.”
Jean's work is available on our website, or book your appointment to come see Jean Scott-Moncrieff's work in person in the gallery.