Jessica Turrell

The intimate scale of jewellery is a central factor in my practice. I strive to create work that has a tactile delicacy and that rewards the wearers close attention with an intricate and detailed surface. Over recent years I have developed an experimental approach to enamel by which I seek to create work that moves away from traditional jewellery enamel practice in order to achieve a more ambiguous and expressive surface quality. 

In 2007 I was awarded a three year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship in Creative and Performing Arts based at the University of the West of England, Bristol. The focus of the fellowship, entitled Innovation in Vitreous Enamel Surfaces for Jewellery, is based on my experience of enamel as an innovative, expressive and contemporary material. The project uses both practice-led and theoretical research methodology to investigate the potential of new and experimental techniques and processes in relation to the constraints and requirements of the use of enamel in the production of contemporary jewellery.

This showcase exhibition features two bodies of work made during the fellowship. In the first I have used etching techniques to create delicate layers of barely legible handwritten text and repeated marks that reference handwriting practice. These etched pieces are often made up of multiple layers with overlays of monochrome mark or text uppermost allowing for glimpses of underlying enamel in bright jewel-like colours. By being partially concealed and protected the underlying colour is imbued with a preciousness and intimacy that it might not have if more boldly displayed.

The second group features vessel forms that are the result of an investigation into the use of electroforming as a method for the creation of seam-free three-dimensional forms that can be enamelled in the round. These pieces used layered enamelled that is built up and then selectively removed to re-expose underlying marks and concealed colour. 


Born  1964, Bristol, England

 Central School of Art and Design, London - Jewellery Design BA Hons Degree
2007  University of the West of England, Bristol - MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking

 South West Arts Project Award
1993  South West Arts Project Award
1994  South West Arts Project Award
2007  AHRC Fellowship in Creative and Performing Arts
2008  Devon Guild of Craftsmen Award Excellence in Enamel

Selected Exhibitions
  International GIRAEFE Enamel Exhibition, Morez, France
Inner Voice, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
The Enamel Show, Velvet de Vinci Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Surfacing, Enamalist Society  Juried Exhibition, Oakland Art Gallery, USA
CUP, Devon Guild of Craftsmen
2008  Sparkle Plenty, Quirk Gallery, Richmond, Virginia USA The Pendant Show, Velvet de Vinci Gallery, San Francisco, USA
International Badge Exhibition, Velvet de Vinci Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Playing With Fire, Devon Guild of Craftsmen touring exhibition, winner of Excellence in Enamel award
2007  Transformation, mac (Midlands Art Centre), Birmingham International Badge Exhibition, Hamburg, Germany
2006  The Art of Enamelling, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
2005  Wearing Glass 2, Oxo Gallery, London
2004  Jewellery-Unlimited, Association for Contemporary Jewellery Exhibition, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, UK
2001  Contemporary Print in Enamel, School of Art Gallery, Kent State University, Ohio, USA

 Work Included in 500 Enameled Objects, Lark Books USA
Work featured in 500 Pendants, Lark Books USA
2006  Work included in Enamelling, Ruth Ball, A&C Black, London
2004  Work featured in The Art of Enamelling, Linda Darty, Lark Books USA 
1994  Work included in First Steps in Enamellig, Jink McGrath, Apple Press, London  

2007- 10
 AHRC Research Fellow in Enamel, University of the West of England, Bristol
2002-07  Visiting Enamel Lecturer, UWE, Bristol
1999-01  Artist for Bristol Royal Hospital for Children: Commission for Significant and Major Donors Recognition Plaques in enamel for The Grand Appeal
1996  Commissioned Artist/Designer, Taunton Town Centre Redevelopment Scheme
1988 - Present  own jewellery and enamel workshop in Bristol
1988-07  Jewellery Tutor, Bristol School of Art
1992-95  Jewellery Tutor, UWE, Bristol

Professional Activities
 Steering Committee member of Jewellery-Unlimited exhibition, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
2004  Co-editor Jewellery-Unlimited exhibition catalogue
2005-09  Executive Committee Member for the Association for Contemporary Jewellery
2006-07  Editor, in association with publishers A&C Black, Association for Contemporary Jewellery, Directory of Members





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