Portrait of Jacqueline Mina creating a striptwist, in her studio, 2010. Photo © Harriet Logan.
Jacqueline Mina, one of the UK’s leading artist-goldsmiths, and Jerwood prize winner, celebrates 30 years of recherché studio work in a major retrospective exhibition, Dialogues in Gold, at the Goldsmiths’ Hall in London (January 31- February 26 2011)
18k yellow gold ring by Jacqueline Mina. Jewellery photos © Neil Mason
“ I think of my work as art in gold. I’m more interested in expressing an idea than creating a decorative object, although the decorative object is usually the result. Originally, I trained to be a silversmith, learnt to hammer, form metal, and then I switched to jewellery, and studied at the Royal College of Art. At first I struggled to reduce the scale of my work, but I relished the chance to acquire new techniques. I don’t regret the change."
Kinetic rings in 18k yellow gold set with vintage catseye sapphire and opalescent glass cabouchons, by Jacqueline Mina Jewellery photos © Neil Mason
“Nature is my main inspiration. Goldwork of antiquity fascinates me, and my work incorporates interpretations of ancient techniques like striptwist –tubes of twisted gold ribbon. Influences from fabrics in the Fortuny Palazzo, Venice and Cycladic sculptures in the Goulandris Museum, Athens have developed into significant bodies of work."
18k yellow gold bracelet by Jacqueline Mina, 2010 Jewellery photos © Neil Mason
"Form and texture are important: deforming squares or rectangles with impressions of circles; metal that resembles brocade and oxidised gold surfaces like antique fabric. I work directly in gold rather than drawing up an idea first, allowing ideas to come through applying certain techniques. This can be very exciting, leading to new directions."
18k yellow gold diadem by Jacqueline Mina, 2010 Jewellery photos © Neil Mason
"I have always loved gold; I use it as a medium for artistic expression. Its versatility sets it apart from other metals, and allows an endless variety of interpretations. I craft everything by hand in my low-tech workshop. Realising an idea in gold that previously existed in my head is very fulfilling."
18k yellow gold earrings by Jacqueline Mina, 2009 Jewellery photos © Neil Mason
"I use pale yellow 18 carat gold, but never as it comes from the supplier, I always affect it in some way, usually enriching surface texture or pattern. After 45 years I still seem to be working in the same way. I feel part of an ongoing tradition of goldsmithing.”