The Hay Meadow
STUDIO / DESIGNER
Fashion & Textiles
Design Challenge and Design Ideas
My intention was to further explore my original idea of my signature looking glass necklace. I wanted to expand on its concept and further emphasize its characteristics.
The ‘Hay Meadow’ represents a miniature wildflower meadow; captured in an eternal moment that showcases the frivolity and serene beauty of an Irish summer we all remember. The piece was created to allow a person to wear a small portion of the natural world with them wherever they may be. The challenge was to construct a tangible microcosm of the Irish landscape, which embodies the magic, beauty and idiosyncrasies of our Island. The inclusions had to be locally sourced, native, and growing in close proximity to one another, in order to create an accurate depiction. This microcosm was to be designed as a modern looking-glass; complete with a gilded circular frame offering a magnified glimpse of a personal miniature world.
How the brief was fulfilled
My design is an original concept, inspired by my love of nature and my local surroundings.
The scene was conjured in my imagination when I found native wildflowers and fungi nestled together. I had a creative urge to preserve this miniature landscape within a looking glass necklace.
I started by preserving the natural finds; two tiny mushrooms, ruby red gypsophila, honeyed wild grass and tendrils of lush green moss, alongside pale yellow and ivory Queen Anne’s Lace flowers. The botanicals were collected in a sustainable manner, with only a handful chosen, and the rest were left undisturbed to keep the local ecology flourishing.
Over the course of a few weeks, I expertly preserved them in order to retain their fragile form and colour. I then fabricated a 24k gold plated frame as an ode to a vintage gold-framed looking glass. I arranged the mushrooms, moss and wildflowers within the contours of the frame, including tiny flecks of 24k gold leaf; reminiscent of sun rays stretching out over the diminutive vista. The next phase involved accurately measuring the natural pine resin to a specified ratio, and degassing the mixture in a specialized chamber to eradicate any air bubbles; creating a superior crystal-clear aesthetic. The resin was then poured into the frame in numerous fine layers. After a week of curing, the necklace is ready for polishing, and I then made a 14k gold filled chain to complete the piece.
The looking glass necklace reveals a magical secret world to those who peer through. It is a truly distinctive piece of wearable art that seizes a transient moment in time, while reminding us all to stop and appreciate the tiny hidden details in the world around us.