Isabella Liu’s Sea Rhymes By Rory Howard
A rising star is grabbing the attention of jewellery lovers as London-based Chinese artist, Isabella Liu, reveals her new “Sea Rhymes” collection, which will debut at this year’s International Jewellery London in September.
Wuhan-born and London-based Liu is an award-winning jewellery designer. In the few years since leaving Birmingham School of Jewellery, she has won awards in Italy and Spain, and has been awarded gold medals at what has been dubbed the “Jewellery Oscars” (Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship and Design Awards), and at Milan Expo as Best New Designer and for Best Product of The Year.
Liu now continues to create wearable concept jewellery like her earlier collections, “Scar Is No More A Scar” and “Mending.” This time, however, her collection was inspired by the natural flow and the sounds of the sea. Swirling and curling lines represent the ocean in Liu’s new “Sea Rhymes” collection. Each piece of jewellery holds within it a bead of agate which, when moving, is said to sound like light waves lapping against the shore. The curves of each work seem to embrace each bead of agate like the ocean envelopes the body.
Liu says that she is inspired by the sea, and says that it reflects something of her own nature that many women will find reflects them. The sea is calm yet powerful, fluid yet unmoveable, and is something wonderful to behold – much like Liu’s new designs.
“I can’t swim!” Liu admits. “I have never been able to swim, so perhaps that is why I revere the ocean: it whispers when it moves, it seems to breathe, and though it is mighty and vast, there is something natural and gentle about its embrace when you step into it.”
“Sea Rhymes” comes after a period of reflection and learning for Liu, who has plumbed the possibilities of using computer-aided design and 3D printing to bring this collection into being. But the collection is also the result of a successful voyage into creating modern jewellery that still retains an aspect of hands-on crafting. Whilst the intricate lines and subtle curves of the “Sea Rhymes” collection are achieved through a process of using CAD and 3D printing, the smaller elements of each piece are brought together and worked by hand around one solid piece of clear agate to achieve the finished look. This is something that Liu considers to be “hand-worked craftsmanship battling with high-technology.”
Liu has also developed an object version of “Sea Rhymes,” which aims to add value to the concept and design expression. The object is multi-functional, and can be used as a vase, a candle-holder and even as a lampshade.
Liu’s award-winning “Scar Is No More A Scar” and “Mending” collections, together with the upcoming “Sea Rhymes” collection, will be on show and available for purchase at this year’s International Jewellery London (the UK’s leading jewellery fair) from 4th – 6th September 2016. For more information about International Jewellery London, go to www.jewellerylondon.com. For more information about Isabella Liu, go to www.isabella-liu.com.