IMOGEN BELFIELD

...designing experimental jewellery insipired by architecture and nature

Inspired by her surroundings, Imogen’s experimental jewellery takes influence from both architecture and nature – from the tallest building to the shyest flower. Delicate porcelain fragments are enrobed in the textured metals of bronze, silver and gold to dramatic effect, creating breathtaking yet wearable pieces. Pendants, rings and collars take an organic, creative twist at the hands of this skilled designer. Creating casts from paper, plastics and even fruits, Imogen Belfield’s work is at once beautiful and challenging; modern yet classic, bold yet subtle.

A jewellery graduate from the Sir John Cass School of Art, Media & Design at The London Metropolitan University, Imogen’s work has won awards from the British Jewellery Association, The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and South Square Trust alike. She has exhibited to great acclaim at the Islington Design Centre and the Structure and Function Gallery in Soho, London Fashion Week ’09 at Felicities PR Showroom, and most recently in "Flux On"; a presentation during Coutts London Jewellery Week and Camberwell Arts Week to celebrate the rising stars of Flux Studios.

Her Collection ‘Architectural hors d’oeuvres’ and ‘The Unshores’ reflect how the city has become my muse, inspiring the way in which the porcelain forms nestle within the protective grip of the metal. The creation of these porcelain forms juxtaposed with mild steel, silver, gold and gemstones are only made possible by an uglier material being formed, filled and kilned. It is through extensive experimentation with processes, that I am able to sharpen my knives and tuck into a dainty dish of materials, exploiting and utilising their qualities.

Nothing inspires me like…
Brick Lane and East London in general. Plus strange and intricate rock formations. I like to be geekish and amuse myself for hours at the Natural History Museum, sketching the wide range of rocks and crystals exhibited there. (I also love the dinosaurs, but this has no real influence on my work, apart from the scale maybe)!

I hope…
To be able to develop my use of porcelain further, and to experiment with all these ideas I have written in my sketchbook, but haven’t yet pursued. I want to experiment with lots of different ways to colour the porcelain, other than the whites and blues I use at the moment, and then fuse the colours with metal.

Cultural influences…
By wandering down Brick Lane, I find the most amazing looking fruits and vegetables with incredible undulating forms. I then cut them up and collage them in different ways, and then take plaster casts from these forms. After many different processes, a fragment of these fruits will then be transposed into a metal piece or part of my jewellery designs.

I got where I am...
Because I am obsessed with the making ability of hands.

Fashion can sometimes...
Be really tough. New designers/ graduates need more support, whether it’s through funding or through an avenue to promote their work to a wider audience. This is why NJAL is an amazing opportunity to exhibit collections and to connect with the fashion industry.

Cake makes me…
Ill. I’m a Coeliac, so can’t eat wheat, but I can bake a great wheat-free brownie.

I have never…
Been to New York. But that’s my next destination in mind. I plan to complete a gemmology course at the GIA.

NYC/London/Paris/Milan is…
Where I want to live. I’ve spent time in Paris and it’s a place I want to go back to. NYC is next, London will always be my home, Milan…one day.

I live East…
London. The juxtaposition of industrial steel and glass skyscrapers with the buzzing markets of Spitalfields and Brick Lane make for a tasty treat of inspiration.

Studios make me…
So happy. If I could, I would spend most of my days in my workshop/studio trying new things and being creative. Plus the light in there is amazing, which always makes me more alive.

There's a new...
Diffusion range "Bel by Imogen Belfield". A collection of silver, gold, porcelain and gemstone pieces that range from £50 - £250.

I'm a perfectionist…
An obsessive perfectionist.

My goal…
Is to finish my next collection. And then to take a month to experiment with ideas and processes.

The earliest memory...
Is having a bath in a sink!