'The thing with langoustines is that you have to buy them live, and then work out how to kill them. Last time I went to Billingsgate, I had to cycle home with one bobbing around in my rucksack.’ Noemi Klein is a jeweller, not a chef, but her work is inspired by a fascination with the ‘incredible geometry and constructions you find in nature’ – so much so that her gold rings are cast from moulds of langoustines and her bracelets from crabs’ legs. She is one of seven incredible jewellery designers celebrated in a new exhibition at the Museum of London.
Alongside its Cheapside Hoard blockbuster show, the museum is hosting an exhibition of contemporary jewellery, featuring a mini-installation for each of seven London-based makers (Jordan Askill, Imogen Belfield, Rachel Boston, Duffy, Husam el Odeh, Noemi Klein and Frances Wadsworth-Jones) and investigating their imaginative processes, working methods and inspirations.
A museum-based showcase of jewellery sounds like it could be about as compelling as a trip to H Samuel, but this one is quite different. Not just because of the jewellers participating – from the legendary Duffy, a caveman of a chap with waist-length hair who sculpts tremendous skull rings, to Frances Wadsworth- Jones, who’s made her name by beading exquisite brooches in the form of a pigeon shit – but because it reveals the unique ways in which they work, and brings to life their often eccentric influences. Klein has created a whopping great maximal version of one of her delicate langoustine rings, with a cluster of crustacean limbs the size of a fist, while Rachel Boston, whose work features antlers and toucans’ beaks, has created dioramas of woodlands and landscapes for her little muses.
Curators are often derided for organising fashion exhibitions when they could be focusing on ‘serious’ art. This is an event that suggests the two are not so very different. Katie Dailey