Alison Macleod

The aesthetic of my jewellery was initially informed by my photographs and abstract drawings of Edinburgh junk shops. The ideas within these chaotic collections have fuelled me ever since. Contrasting materials and textures sit together in tranquil chaos. Brass door knobs lie among worn hammers and plastic buttons. I find the jumble exhilarating but I am equally fascinated by the individual objects. I love to imagine the stories connected to each discarded artefact. The mysterious narratives of peoples’ pasts are suggested by the dents and scratches on each piece. The junk shop becomes a museum of memories. 

Jewellery has traditionally been used to keep the memory of a loved one close to the heart. A young Victorian lady keeps a lock of her fiancé’s hair in a gold locket in his absence. As time passes the keepsake is passed down from mother to daughter and so on through the generations building layer upon layer of significance. Through my use of traditional shapes such as the cameo I reference jewellery’s significance and its intrinsic connection to memories.
Through using a wide range of materials, techniques and imagery I reflect the eclectic nature of my subject matter in a quirky way. By finely soldering silver beaded wire into clusters I reference the intense decoration found in Victorian jewellery. My silver clusters are saturated with tiny curios of different textures and colours like in a junk shop. To create this variety I combine techniques such as individual wax casting, sheet silver piercing, reticulation, stone setting and bead stringing. These techniques allow me to combine silver and gold with semi precious stones and found objects to create thought provoking pieces.

Born  1980

  Edinburgh College of Art, BA (Hons.)
Jewellery and Silversmithing First Class.

Prizes and Awards:
 Glasgow Craft Makers Award Scheme, Grant for stone setting masterclass. 
2008  Best Jeweller, the Contemporary Craft Fair, Bovey Tracey.
2006  Craft Set Up Grant, Scottish Arts Council. 
2004-06  4 separate Professional Development Grants to help with the cost of exhibiting my work internationally, Scottish Arts Council.
2004  Business Start Up Grant, Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust.
2003  Helen Rose Bequest Award, Edinburgh College of Art.
2003  the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council, Craftsmanship and Design Awards, Commended in Diamond Jewellery section.
2002  the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London, Bursary.

Selected Exhibitions
  Origin, Old Spitalfields Market.  
Ornament, curated by Angela O’Kelly, Rua Red, Dublin.
Alchemists, New Brewery Arts, Cirencester.
2010  Eu-nique, Karlsruhe, Germany.
Portage- Finger Symbols international rings exhibition, Lerwick, Shetland.
Meet Your Maker, The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Origin, Somerset House & Old Spitalfields Market London.
The Contemporary Craft Fair, Bovey Tracey, Devon.
2009  Collect with Craft Scotland, The Saatchi Gallery, London.
Rings, The Craft Centre and Design Gallery, Leeds.
Duo Show, Diana Porter Contemporary Jewellery, Bristol.
2008  The Contemporary Craft Fair, Bovey Tracey, Devon.
The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Manchester.
2007  Five Gold Rings, The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire.
Beads, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.
Luster, the Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham.
Origin, Somerset House & Old Spitalfields Market London.
Handmade, New York International Gift Fair, New York, USA.
2006  Contemporary Scottish Jewellery, Manchester Craft and Design Centre.
Christmas Showcase, The Crafts Council Shop at the V&A, London.
2005  Edinburgh Comes To Clerkenwell, Lesley Craze, London.
Contemporary British Jewellery, Bielak Gallery, Krakow, Poland.
Gifted, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Chelsea Crafts Fair, London.
2004  Focus x 3, the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh.
Wish You Were Here, Crafts Council Gallery Shop, Islington, London.

Selected Press
 Berries Pendant featured in Coast Magazine
April/May issue.
2010  featured in: ‘Jewelry Design Handbook’ (booqs publishers, Belgium).
Berries Pendant featured on front cover of Country Living Magazine October issue.
Homes piece featured in The Herald’s Scotland’s Homes Magazine.
2010  Jewellery featured, ‘Meet your makers’ article, Crafts Magazine.
2009  featured in: ‘Mixed Media Jewellery’ by Joanne Haywood (A & C Black Publishers Ltd).
2008  featured in: ‘Bijoix. Illustration et Design’ (MoaMao publishing, Spain).
featured in: ‘Adorn’ by Amanda Mansell (Laurence King Publishing Ltd).
featured in: ‘Jewellery from Natural Materials’ by Beth Legg (A&C Black Publishers Ltd).
featured in: ‘Necklaces and Pendants’ by Angie Boothroyd (A&C Black Publishers Ltd).




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