Sia Taylor started her creative life as a sculptor but couldn’t escape the feeling that she was working to the wrong scale. “I wanted to create more intricate, delicate pieces,” explains the jewellery designer. Whilst completing her Masters in Sculpture at London’s prestigious Royal College of Art, Sia intuitively began taking jewellery classes. In what felt like a natural evolution, the artist was soon expressing ideas from her sculptural training but in gold and in more intimate proportions.
“With sculpture, I always felt I had to be saying something profound,” notes Sia. Jewellery making inspired a quiet, creative freedom and lightness of touch that plays into the designer's pared back aesthetic.
What also became apparent in the process of transitioning from one craft to another was the personal importance that her pieces could be worn, treasured and ultimately endure. "Gold is a material that lasts, I wanted to pay it the respect it deserves – working it slowly and carefully, making jewellery to be cherished and, hopefully, to be passed on.”
While at the RCA, Sia spent some time at a research camp in the bush in Botswana. People are often awed by the vastness of the African landscape, but Sia was instead entranced by the exquisite beauty she found in the details – seeds and buds, grasses and insects’ wings. It was these tiny forms that inspired her first jewellery collection. She went on to spend a number of years in Ibiza, where her passion for nature continued to inform her designs, before returning to south-west England.
While she is inspired by nature, it is often sensations that she tries to recreate in her fine jewellery collections rather than physical shapes. “It is the sound or movement of the wind in the grass rather than the grass itself,” she explains, “or the way that rain catches the light, rather than the actual raindrops. I love the idea of capturing these quiet little events and recreating their essence in precious objects.”
Each of her pieces is meticulously hand crafted in her light and airy studio in the Somerset countryside. “Much of the jewellery I make uses old-fashioned techniques. I always wanted to work in a basic way – working and cutting metals, soldering, hammering.” Many of the elements of her work are cut from sheets of gold. “I see them like blank sheets of paper. I often have quite abstract thoughts about what I want a piece to look like – I have an image of something that will look like rain or a piece of grass, but when I start cutting, it evolves and becomes something else. It is an organic process.”
“Gold is a material that lasts, I wanted to pay it the respect it deserves – working it slowly and carefully, making pieces to be cherished and, hopefully, to be passed on”Sia Taylor