Designer Desire: René Lalique

Mosaic of René Lalique jewellery designs | H is for Home

Most widely known for his opalescent glassware – ranging from perfume bottles to vases – René Lalique (1860–1945) began his career as a jewellery designer.

I’m much more a fan of Art Deco than Art Nouveau jewellery, but Lalique’s exquisite designs are truly breathtaking. His pieces – hand-crafted from precious metals & stones, enamel, mother-of-pearl and, of course, glass – portray subjects taken from nature. He depicts insects such as butterflies, bees and dragonflies, birds, fruit, flowers and foliage.

If this post has whetted your vintage René Lalique jewellery appetite, there are lots of books on just that subject – I can’t afford to buy the real thing, so the colour photographs between the pages will have to suffice!

Portrait of René Laliquecredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs | Love is Speed | The Metrapolitan Museum of Art

Designer Desire: Björn Weckström

Mosaic of Björn Weckström designs | H is for Home

I just love chunky, modernist, almost brutalist Scandinavian jewellery and when I discovered the work of Björn Weckström it went straight into top spot on my wish list.

Weckström (born 1935) is a fine artist and sculptor but it is for his jewellery that he’s probably best known. His work is often inspired by ancient Greek mythology, nature and the landscapes of Lapland.

He’s a prolific maker – primarily for Finnish company, Lapponia – so examples of his work are readily available from outlets such as Bukowskis, eBay, Etsy. His pieces are mainly crafted from 18 carat gold, sterling silver, precious stones and pearls so they’re not going to be cheap. They’re individual, heirloom pieces – in my opinion, very much worth the investment.

A necklace entitled, ‘Planetoid Valleys’ and the ‘Darina’s Bracelet’, both designed by Weckström for Lapponia was worn by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in the closing scene in 1977’s Star Wars film.

Weckström has said of his work and the wearer’s relationship to it:

A piece of jewelry is a miniature sculpture with the human body in the background. When I first began in the early 1960s, I wanted to turn jewelry design into small-scale form of art and raise its profile on a par with that of modern sculpting. Naturally matt gold soon became my trademark. Wearers of my jewelry relate personally to it. Some think jewelry is art, others think it is an intriguing complement to their personality or a fascinating conversation piece. Some think that it is quite simply beautiful.

Björn Weckströmcredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet

Designer Desire: Oswaldo Guayasamín

Mosaic of works by Oswaldo Guayasamín | H is for Home

We’ve only recently discovered the incredible work of Ecuadorian artist, Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919-1999).

Guayasamín was a prolific producer of paintings, drawings, sculpture and jewellery. His award-winning works were often very political and sometimes controversial. He highlighted subjects such as poverty, injustice, political oppression, racism and the class divide in Latin America. His paintings can be haunting, unsettling and, at the same time, exquisitely beautiful.

If you ever get the opportunity to visit Ecuador, visit the Capilla del Hombre (Chapel of Man) in the capital, Quito where many of his works can be viewed. It reminds us of Kettle’s Yard, but on a much larger scale.

Portrait of Oswaldo Guayasamíncredit

Image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet | Christies | eBay | Invaluable

Christmas gifts of the day: Jewellery

Christmas jewellery ideas | H is for Home

You may think that buying jewellery for Christmas or any other special occasion is an easy option, but it isn’t always. What’s their ring size? Do they prefer gold or silver? Are their ears pierced? Do they have a nickel allergy? Do they even wear jewellery?

Some of these questions can be answered through simple observation. If possible, rifle through the intended recipient’s jewellery box and slide some of their rings on to your own fingers to gauge the size of their fingers. Don’t get caught though – you may be wrongly accused of attempted theft!

When’s their birthday? Give an item of jewellery that incorporates their birthstone. Get something personalised such as the fingerprint charm featured here (#5). It’s double-sided, so you can have the prints of two people impressed together for posterity.

  1. Amethyst & moonstone necklace: Pia
  2. Citrine earrings wrapped in 14k gold fill: Etsy
  3. Stainless steel cufflinks with brown leather inlay: John Greed
  4. LucyQ triple drip bangle (Size 7.75) in rhodium-plated sterling silver: TJC
  5. Fingerprint oval dangle charm: Hand on Heart

Price Points: Topaz jewellery

Topaz jewellery | H is for Home

It’s my birthday in (less than) a couple of weeks. Justin often buys me a ring or necklace – and hopefully this year he’ll get me some topaz jewellery.

I used to think that I had the most boring birthstone – a drab brown thing. I wished I was born in a different month – like February that has beautiful purple amethyst as its birthstone. It was only years later that I realised that topaz is also available as a blue, pink, green or clear stone… and I’ve actually grown to quite like the brown variety.

I’d be quite happy with unwrapping any of the above on the 24th… or even all three! 🙂

  1. Pink coated topaz stud earrings in platinum overlay sterling silver: £19.99, TJC
  2. Michael Kors rose gold tone topaz bracelet: £89.00, Goldsmiths
  3. Blue topaz gold ring – square stone: £341.63, Etsy

My Jolie Candle

Win a My Jolie Candle | H is for Home

A few weeks ago, we received a lovely parcel from My Jolie Candle. It was beautifully packaged and on opening the box, the aroma hit straight away – magical! The waft of caramel macaron made it almost good enough to eat.

Package received from My Jolie Candle | H is for Home

All the My Jolie candles are made from a mixture of natural vegetable and soy oils and waxes – no smoky, smelly paraffin here! The nine different scents are developed in Grasse, France; considered to be the perfume capital of the world. Here’s a 1-minute clip of the My Jolie candle story.

We’ve lit the candle a fair few times already and after more than 5 hours, the scent is still as strong as ever…

My Jolie Candle lit on a stool next to a leather armchair | H is for Home

I’ve chosen a ring candle but there are still a fair few hours burning time left before I find out what it is or how much it’s worth.

Lit My Jolie Candle with vintage industrial letters | H is for Home

To enter, simply tell us which one of the 9 scents available is your favourite. It’s that easy!

My Jolie candle

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