LONDON, April 11, 2015 - The annual KickStart Bursary Programme, which supports the best of design, offers ten outstanding designers a place on this unique mentoring initiative.
Winners benefit from exhibiting on a group stand at this year’s IJL Diamond Jubilee show and receiving valuable marketing and industry support from both IJL and the British Jewellers Association.
IJL's Trend partner, the leading jewellery forecaster, Adorn Insight, will once again give the Adorn Insight Award to one outstanding KickStarter, which includes a year's subscription to their jewellery market intelligence resource and bespoke mentoring.
Sam Willoughby, IJL Event Director, said: “Now in its seventh year, KickStart has an enviable track record for identifying some of the most innovative emerging UK designers.
“The KickStart stand at the IJL is popular with show visitors as a trend barometer. All the lucky winners benefit hugely from this commercial launch pad which enables them to move their businesses forward with the support of the industry. This year’s line-up is especially exciting.”
The 2015 KickStart line-up revealed:Flora Bhattachary
Flora creates dramatic fine jewellery with a couture edge. Inspired by her family’s links with India since the 18th Century, Flora draws on Asian influences and an interest in patterns to create her bold designs. Mixing historic artefacts, family history, Islamic and Hindu art, Flora is “devoted to telling a story not in words or paint on canvas, but in gold and precious stones” (Maria Doulton, Telegraph Luxury). Flora combines CAD technology and rapid prototyping with traditional drawing, hand wax carving and fine jewellery skills. She mixes new technology with ancient traditions to create timeless pieces. Specialising in using vibrant gems and rich colour combinations, Flora’s work is unashamedly opulent and seductive.
“Being selected for KickStart at IJL 2015 is an amazing recognition of my work and a huge opportunity to build my business. It’s an honour to be chosen to exhibit alongside such a talented group of designers. My focus now is on retail and expanding my stockists – and IJL is the perfect platform to meet international buyers and connect with the industry.” Andrew Gold Neilson – GoldNeilson
Andrew Gold Neilson's route to jewellery designer is far from conventional. He was a Consultant Chemical Engineer for many years, practising the science of how materials form and flow. His creative outlet at the time was photography which turned from a passion into a new career. Ten years on, his family run Neilson Photography, one of the most respected jewellery and fine product studios in Europe. Having shot literally tens of thousands of pieces of jewellery, he began to see that making pieces could offer him a new challenge and a fresh source of creative expression in a directly physical way. He studied conventional jewellery manufacturing techniques, combined with jewellery CAD design, and then went to Europe to study stone-setting with one of the world's best setters. Andrew loved the idea of hand-forged, mixed metal pieces, finely hand set. The concept of directly fusing these metals became a reality with developments in laser welding technology - a process that intrigued him and was relevant to his experience of metallurgy, with materials which he could now apply to precious metals. His first two collections, Coalescence and Air, realise the combination of mixed metals with his love of stone-setting, geometry and structure.
“I'm simply delighted and honoured to be selected! My jewellery is unique, and it’s humbling to have leaders in the industry I’ve worked so closely with for a decade feel these pieces deserve a place.” Mirka Janeckova – Mirka Janeckova Jewellery
Mirka is a Czech jeweller, living and working in London. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2013, and then continued her practice as Jewellery Artist-in-Residence before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Art. Mirka's ‘White Collection’ is inspired by the colour white, surrealism and the deep sea. This collection has won several awards in the UK and internationally. She only works with ‘white’ materials, such as porcelain and silver, to create these playful, poetic pieces. Her jewellery is designed as a container for the wearer’s emotions, memories and hopes. Each piece explores the relationship between people and their subconscious mind. She is currently developing an innovative way of applying traditional metal-smithing techniques onto porcelain. Her forthcoming wedding collection ‘Pearls and Porcelain’ will be shown at IJL.
“I am very excited to be selected for such a prestigious event and looking forward to showing my collection to a much wider audience. Being exposed to a 10,000 strong audience is a living dream and will enable me to grow my business to the next level. Meeting fellow exhibitors and receiving support from jewellery industry experts will be such an important part of the show experience for me.” Francesca Marcenaro
Francesca creates unusual pieces of jewellery, mixing different techniques, in her drive to deliver organic and tactile results. She recently started to make pieces in oxidized silver trying to find the same black-blueish colour of the raven’s plumage. Inspired by granulation, a traditional technique from her home country - Italy- and the opalescent glass often found in Art Deco, she has developed a technique of using crystals as granulation on her pieces which gives a sparkling effect and tactile texture. All her pieces are inspired by fairy tales and nature: through every piece she narrates the story and gives it meaning.
“My Fairy Tale is becoming my Reality. KickStart is a great opportunity as a window to the jewellery world and to be selected is an honour for me." Rosalie McMillan
Rosalie makes unique, handmade, contemporary jewellery from unusual re-imagined materials. Her recent collection combines recycled sterling silver and gold with a beautiful material derived from coffee grounds. Her jewellery is striking, asymmetric and angular, inspired by the properties and form of the materials she works with. Through reinventing materials into covetable pieces with depth and originality, Rosalie hopes to inspire our own sense of creativity and potential. Rosalie supports the communities of people growing coffee through donating ten percent of her profits to her chosen charity, Coffee Kids.
"I’m thrilled to be selected for KickStart which will provide the perfect launch pad for my new Java Ore range of jewellery made from coffee." Laura Parra – LaParra Jewels
Laura combines traditional jewellery techniques with contemporary silver-smithing, as well as drawing on her background in fine art and restoration. In her collection “Enlace”, each piece is handmade and designed to show a relationship or connection between the stone and the metal. The pieces are built with overlapping drops of metal, an unusual technique that creates an organic, soft shape containing intrinsic textures. The collection “Rocks” uses different gemstones and every piece is unique and influenced by the gemstones, often set with sapphires and diamonds to compliment them.
"I am absolutely delighted to have been selected to be part of KickStart. My work is my passion and to be recognised by professionals at this stage in my career is a dream come true.” Samantha Rose - September Rose
Samantha Rose has worked for ten years as an aerodynamicist and now uses her understanding of fluid dynamics, together with a love of ballet, to evoke a sense of fluidity and grace in her work which creates a liquid quality in form and finish. The essence of her brand, September Rose, is beautiful design, honouring nature's treasures and ethics without compromise. She is inspired by Georgian and Art Nouveau pieces, ancient symbolism and the natural world, especially the soft flowing curves of flowers and the reflection of light. She strives to create the purest form of luxury and every raw material used to make September Rose jewellery is traceable from source to jewellery box. She was one of the first jewellers in the world to be awarded a Fairtrade Gold Licence and the first British designer to hold a Fairtrade Fairmined Gold Licence.
"I am looking forward to the whole KickStart experience, learning new skills, exhibiting to the trade for the first time at such a prestigious event and meeting all the designers; it is always great to meet new creative people.” Lauren Rowden - Ellie Air Jewellery
Lauren fell in love with jewellery straight out of school. At nineteen she was apprenticed to a jeweller with 60 years' experience and her fascination with fine jewellery, precious gemstones and the tools and techniques of a modern jeweller, has continued to grow ever since. Lauren was inspired by the work of milliner Philip Treacy, which has led her to take the "norm out of adornment" and put a contemporary spin on more traditional fine jewellery designs; blending precious mixed metals and gemstones with minimal, linear shapes to create something delicate, beautiful and unique.Combining skills learned studying Contemporary Jewellery in Florence with more traditional techniques, Lauren creates pieces that are timeless and can be worn for generations to come. Florence and the Italian language are the soul of Ellie Air Jewellery and her new collection, Firma - "signature" in Italian – will be released in September and shown for the first time at IJL.
“KickStart is an excellent scheme and I’m so excited to have won a place in this year’s Top Ten. I can’t wait to start working with the other selected jewellers and the KickStart team to make Ellie Air Jewellery even better than before.” Ilene Steele – Ilene Steele Jewellery
Ilene Steele is a jewellery designer, born and raised in NYC and now working out of her workshop in London’s Hatton Garden. Her bold unconventional style pays homage to both cities. After training as a photo-journalist and working as a financial systems analyst, Ilene’s response to the increasingly digital world was to retrain as a jeweller and join the 'Hand Made in Britain’ movement. Ilene, never one to be held back by convention, designs and constructs simultaneously. Her debut collection, The Wave, is a clear demonstration of her innovative style. The playful array of cocktail rings, stacking cocktail rings, earrings, bangles, pendants and cufflinks, is inspired by the unpredictable nature of life. Throughout the collection, the boat-like settings of precious metal are loaded with semi-precious marquise gemstones and presented in unexpected sea-faring positions as a metaphor for the erratic and exhilarating experiences of everyday life.
“I am both nervous and excited but ready to throw myself into the fray. I have been working on this collection for over a year now and I am looking forward to exhibiting at IJL with the help and support of the KickStart team.” Ana Thompson
Ana Thompson is a Colombian jewellery designer based in London, who aims to ‘inspire and create wonder’ by capturing the meaningful details of magnified natural structures found within the macro-micro world and transforming them into elegant and versatile pieces of fine jewellery. Implementing the use of cutting-edge technologies by combining digital manufacturing with traditional craftsmanship, she weaves precious metals into delicate lattices and intricate structures encapsulating precious stones. Her approach focuses on the intersection of design and science, blending contemporary production techniques with a fascination for revealing the hidden beauty and wonders discovered in the unseen world. Her work is based upon her passion for creating something personal and undiscovered, telling a story of new hidden worlds.
“I am delighted to be selected as one of the emerging designers for IJL KickStart 2015. It will be an excellent platform to launch my latest jewellery collections and a great opportunity to gain exposure, meet with industry experts, generate new business opportunities and reach a wider audience.”
The industry will be invited to vote for the ‘People’s Choice’
– the KickStarter who they feel is the one to watch. All potential KickStarters also will be encouraged to campaign for votes. The prize is a free stand in the Design Gallery at IJL 2016. Voting begins on May 4 and closes on June 1. Find out more about KickStart and the People’s Choice directly at www.jewellerylondon.com/kickstart2015 IJL 2015 will run from 6 to 8 September 2015 at Olympia GRAND, London.