Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell

20 Feb 2020

Elizabeth Jane Campbell | Colour Connections

Kirsty Sumerling visited Elizabeth Jane Campbell's Edinburgh studio in advance of her forthcoming exhibition in March. Colour Connections presents a new collection of jewellery exploring the relationship of colour, balance and form.

Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Bauhaus Necklace, 2020, oxidised silver, vitreous enamel, graphite, cloisonné

My recent work explores the connection between colour and shape, taking inspiration from colour theory, colour connotations and visual literacy. I investigate Kandinsky's Bauhaus ideology, whereby colours and shapes are intrinsically linked: a square was always associated with the colour red, a circle with the colour blue and a triangle with the colour yellow. Using this restrained palette, I create bold, graphic forms that play with positive and negative space. When removing a section of a shape, I counter this by building up other areas to highlight the negative space.

Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Two Circles Pendant, 2020, oxidised silver, copper, vitreous enamel, cloisonné
Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Red Shapes Brooch, 2020, oxidised silver, copper, vitreous enamel

Elizabeth explores the nuances and effects of particular shades within a colour group. In Colour Connections we see Elizabeth revisit buttercup yellow and marigold yellow vitreous enamel. Buttercup yellow featured strongly in her degree show collection when she graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2013. One of Elizabeth's key pieces from her degree show - Scatter Brooch - was purchased by National Museums Scotland in 2014 and you can currently view this piece within their Making and Creating gallery on Level 3. Marigold yellow creates a warm tone and Elizabeth explores the vibrancy of this enamel by experimenting with varying layers of fired enamel and rubbing back to reveal the oxidised surface beneath. This technique is captured beautifully in the Conflict Brooch, acquired for the Goldsmiths' Company Collection.

Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Scatter Brooch, 2013, silver, ceramic, buttercup yellow vitreous enamel, acquired by National Museums Scotland, 2014
Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Yellow Triangle Brooch, 2020, oxidised silver, copper, buttercup yellow vitreous enamel
Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Conflict Brooch, 2018, oxidised silver, copper, vitreous enamel, cloisonné, acquired for the Goldsmiths' Company Collection
Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Yellow Earrings, 2018, oxidised silver, vitreous enamel

Vitreous enamel allows me to achieve fantastic colours which I contrast with simple oxidised silver settings. The surface finish of the enamel is important, as a gloss or matt finish can really change the quality of the enamel colour.

Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Elizabeth Jane Campbell in her Edinburgh studio
Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Vitreous enamel ready for use on the workbench
Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Elizabeth's workbench and kiln
Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
works in progress featuring buttercup yellow enamel

The relationship between colour and form continues to inspire my work.

Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Works in progress on the workbench
Studio Insights | Elizabeth Jane Campbell
Colour Clash Brooch, 2020, oxidised silver, copper, vitreous enamel

Please click here to view Elizabeth Jane Campbell's entire collection that features in Colour Connections, 4 - 28 March 2020.

Harvard Art Museum hosted a symposium to celebrate the centenary of the Bauhaus last year - Bauhaus 100: Object Lessons from a Historic Collection. Watch the film below where Melissa Venator discusses Colour Wheels and the Bauhaus Science of Design, a concept that has greatly influenced Elizabeth Jane Campbell's work.

More News