It can be cast, beaten, stretched, pulled fine or worked large; gold is the ultimate luxury material. Celebrating its enduring qualities, the World Gold Council has sponsored the Summer Exhibition at the Goldsmith’s Hall (July 1st-28th).
The 400-piece collection starts with a Bronze Age Lunala – a delicate crescent moon shaped collar made of beaten gold – and charts its way to present day, featuring golden goblets, an extensive coin collection and even art deco make-up compacts, ending with one-off commissions by leading jewellery designers such as Wright & Teague.
Sheila Teague and Gary Wright met at Central Saint Martins back when it was called the Central School of Art. For nearly three decades they have produced finely made, fashion-forward jewellery that aims to resonate with depth. Dazed Digital met with the husband and wife team.
Dazed Digital: What is it like working with the Gold Council?
Sheila Teague: It’s an honour to be asked by them to make this piece. The idea was to make something modern – we’re not interested in making reproductions.
Gary Wright: It had to be monumental, larger than life and more of an installation than a piece of jewellery. There’s lots of symbolism in it too.
Sheila Teague: For instance on the outside of each circle there’s a stanza from Wordsworth: ‘While with an eye made quiet by the power…We see into the life of things.’ And, on the inside there’s a sequence of symbols engraved: hand of Fatima, heart, star, symbol of Taurus, leaf, Wright & Teague symbol and a big hallmark which makes it very definitely made in London. So, each element is considered.
DD: In the past you have collaborated with charities like Oxfam and WaterAid –is creating something with resonance and depth as important as being aesthetically pleasing?
Sheila Teague: We’re aware of how privileged we are and we are, obviously, making things that are basically indulgent, they aren’t necessary they are luxury items – so we really try and extend our work into doing something that might help other people. We work with integrity and have made things that we believe are of value and aren’t because the market demands it or it might be commercial.