Be Jewelled, Be Dazzled

Be jewelled, be dazzled, be cultivated. If you’re near Perthshire in Scotland during November or December, don’t miss a chance to drop into Malcolm Appleby’s workshop near Aberfeldy.Malcolm Appleby Emma Boden P1060627 c_wm

The studio, which can only usually be visited by appointment is open for Christmas shopping from Monday to Saturday 10 am to 4 pm daily (except Christmas and Boxing Day) until the end of December, offering a rare opportunity to meet the artist, see work in progress, and to admire and purchase an investment piece for yourself or someone precious (not that you aren’t!) Prices start at £25 and escalate according to the complexity and rarity of the item.

I paid a visit earlier this year, during the build up to the master engraver and silversmith’s biennial symposium, and took a few snaps with a focus on jewellery.

Malcolm Appleby Emma Boden P1060633 s_Wm Malcolm Appleby Emma Boden P1060643 c_wm Malcolm Appleby Emma Boden P1060644 c_wm Malcolm Appleby Emma Boden P1060701 c_wmThe pieces shown here are all one-offs and may well have sold by now but there is a continuous stream of new designs as well as a small collection which is painstakingly reproduced by hand. This includes a series of silver and gold bangles, rings, pendants and brooches, with many shapes and motifs reappearing in subtle variations of both materials and detailing.

All the precious and semi-precious stones which embellish the jewels are hand-picked by Malcolm. Often a particular gem will spark a fresh unique concept.

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Malcolm regularly dives into the local flora and fauna  which surrounds his workshop for a brisk walk, random berry picking or chicken egg collecting, breathing in the elements, appraising his extensive garden and delving into a constant yet ever changing source of natural inspiration. Scotland’s big skies, local leaves, flowers, fungi, cats, wild creatures, birds, fish and insects weave their way into his work with ease creating a dialogue with the artist, the materials and the onlooker.

Malcolm has always had an eye for pattern, texture and form and relishes the challenge of blending diverse metals and finishes including enamels. Recently there have been further experiments with geometrics leading to the creation of kinetic, almost holographic work, pieces which take on a life of their own especially when viewed in the sunlight. Be dazzled indeed.

I have yet to see the very latest designs, some of which are apparently edging further towards the abstract and the sculputural. You may get a glimpse on your visit.

As well as the jewels be tempted by bowls, candelabra and larger pieces or, if you are very lucky, you might be able to place a commission. Read more about the artist. Check current exhibition dates.

Contact Malcolm Appleby by email or phone the studio on 01887 840 484.

Words and images © Emma Boden / Armadillo Central 2015

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