London-based Zara Schofield makes art jewellery pieces. These pieces have evolved through her interest in creating works that cross disciplines and merge boundaries between fine art, craft and design. Each work is hand-crafted by Zara and explores the combination of painting and sculptural materials and processes, with the use of traditional jewellery techniques. Zara uses both precious and base metals, alongside vitreous enamel, paint, wood, acrylic, braided silk, glass beads, semi-precious and precious stones. Her making techniques are numerous and include piercing, setting, riveting, soldering, etching, painting, enamelling, braiding, patination, beading, carving, texturing and laser cutting. Some works also include artwork panels that use either screen printing, painting or collage.
The Object: Burmese Balcony Necklace – Yangon, made 2018/19
Necklace: 48 h x 12.5 w x 0.7 cm deep. Silver, patinated copper, copper, vitreous enamel, enamel paint, emeralds, blue diamonds, thread. Panel: 51 h x 31 w x 6 cm deep. Screenprint on paper, on painted wood. £3,500
Zara’s work often evokes her journeys abroad. This piece was inspired by her experience travelling in Myanmar and draws from a photograph she took of a building in Yangon, directly referencing the different surfaces and textures of the architectural elements against nearby organic structures. Zara uses both hand piercing and laser cutting for the metal parts. The gridded sections are laser cut, she draws the design to be cut and create the cutting file for the software that directs the cutting process. Etched metal adds drawn relief and a soldered setting holds the central enamelled piece. The back copper section is patinated and the front copper etched pieces are painted. All components are riveted together with hand-made rivets. Strings of beaded threads hang down. The completed work is hung on a hand-made bespoke chain, hand pierced and soldered.
This piece is from the collection that Zara showed to win New Designers One Year In 2019.
Zara Schofield on her Signature Style
‘The Burmese Balcony Necklace explores the idea of a work that can equally be worn on the body or displayed as an artwork on the wall. It reflects the multidisciplinary nature of my work, combining a diversity of materials, techniques and stylistic influences, both evocative and entirely new. My ambition is to embrace modern techniques while ensuring the artist’s hand is visible throughout, ensuring uniqueness. The necklace embodies my aesthetic of form, colour and surface.’
The way that Zara builds up and makes her pieces shows great skill in construction, both technically and aesthetically. There is a sense that the wearer is making a statement on both their own and the artist’s behalf. Richard Abdy (Wentworth Pewter)