Peacock Feathers

Inspiration... where does it come from? It's differrent for everyone I suppose. Colours that we see on a memorable day, a feeling we have after an experience, a childhood memory, a desire for change; endless possibilties.

The Arts & Crafts movement that began at the end of the 19th century was a yearning for the more natural & calm against the industrial age. From that, the organic elements became the inspiration - flowers, fauna, wood, animals, birds & the handmade & hand crafted. William Morris was one of the most noted designers of that movement & if you're not familiar with him there's a great introduction at the V&A's website & also at the William Morris Society. His design approach still has a huge influence for those seeking something calm & pastoral.

Madeleine's unique jewellery designs are also inspired by nature & the organic elements. One of her earlier jewellery designs was a silver cuff-bracelet inspired by the peacock feather. Originally it was decorated with brass wires, now she uses gold vermeil & the gemstone is set as the peacock's eye. This has proved to be very popular so she's still making it & includes it in her jewellery collection along with the more recent design of the Peacock Ring, in various different gemstones. The colours of the peacock feather, are also reflected by the gemstones she chooses. The blues of the peacock feather can be seen in the gemstones Blue Topaz, Kyanite, Blue Chaledony & Blue Quartz. The greens she reflects using Peridot, Lemon Quartz & Rough Emerald. The mother of pearl effect from the the tails of the feather have a purple shimmer to them reflected in Amethyst.  Nature gives a never ending supply of ideas. 

It's fascinating how a designer, whether jewellery, fashion, interior etc. can translate a shape, form or idea into something else, to be worn or used & each designer has their signature. Madeleine's is the dragonfly. Originally the siganture dragonfly was plain sterling silver but more recently she has been decorating the dragonfly dangle earrings with a gold vermeil tail. It really catches the light on the dangle earrings. It's a nice unusual touch. That's also the case with her bee collection, she adds gold vermeil to the tummy of the bee. A honey bee ! 

Unlike Madeleine I didn't go to art school & don't paint, or should I say can't ! In these off & on lockdown days I wish I did, but at least there's plenty online to get engrossed in. Disappearing down the Google wormhole the other evening, & still on the theme of inspiration, nature & calm, I discovered a virtual art exhibition on the Royal Academy's site 'The Flowerbank World' by artist Tom Wudl & they're also showing films of Raffaello, Picasso, Edward Hopper & Andy Warhol, so well worth a visit.

And they're free !