Malcolm Appleby was born in 1946. He studied at Central School of Art, Sir John Cass and the Royal College of Art in London before establishing his studio in Scotland in 1969. A silversmith and metal engraver, known for his imaginative use of line and form, he considers gold “just another lovely material to work with.”
The Scottish Gallery has been associated with Malcolm Appleby since the 1970s; the many facets of his work have brought joy to many, each piece sold marking the beginning of a journey of discovery around this senior artist. The Gallery honoured Malcolm Appleby’s seventieth birthday in January 2016, which marked over fifty years of a creative tour de force. Malcolm Appleby has dedicated his artistic practice primarily to engraving and pushing the boundaries of metalwork; constant experimentation has made him a master of his craft and in 2014 he received an MBE for his outstanding contribution to the arts.
2019 marked fifty years since Malcolm Appleby first set up his studio in Scotland and the exhibition 50 Golden Years in Scotland, featuring both jewellery and silversmithing, recognised his unique contribution to the arts. Malcolm’s infectious enthusiasm for his craft, his willingness to work with other artists and his pleasure in sharing his skills is characteristic of his generosity and pre-eminence. The natural world that surrounds Malcolm’s studio informs every piece; the artist’s inspiration unlimited in the abundance of the world around him.
Public Collections include:
The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Goldsmiths’ Company, London; British Museum, London; Royal Armouries, Tower of London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; and Perth Museum & Art Gallery
Malcolm’s jewellery collection can be viewed here.
In August 2021 we celebrated Malcolm Appleby’s 75th birthday with Malcolm Appleby & Friends. Previous exhibitions include 50 Golden Years in Scotland in March 2019 and The Gallery also hosted a special exhibition in January 2016 to celebrate Malcolm Appleby’s 70th birthday.
Disa was born in London and grew up in Barbados. This special island really influenced her jewellery designs, visible in her use of colourful gemstones. Disa personally selects each stone such as golden citrines, warm garnets, rubies, sapphires and morganites.
White and coloured diamonds are set on unique bands while rough and rare cut gemstones make Disa’s work contemporary and current, maintaining a timeless charm.
Disa exhibits internationally throughout the UK, United States, Japan and France. All work is individually handmade in Disa’s London studio.
‘For the September ‘Folk at Heart’ exhibition, I made a small collection inspired by the mystery of the seventeen miniature coffins found by a group of boys in a small cave at Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh in late June 1836. Eight of these coffins survive to the present day and are displayed in the National Museum of Scotland. The pieces I have created are a response to the theories and related folklore which have evolved since their discovery.’ Rachel Larkins
Rachel Larkins is a designer maker whose practice has focussed on creating jewellery with a strong sense of narrative and a nod to the tradition of miniatures. Larkins works primarily in resin, brass and wood, often encapsulating imaginary scenes and figures which are hand modelled and painted. Based in the village of Sopley, Larkins’s influences range from the surrounding rural landscape and seasonal folklore to magical realism in literature and painting.
‘I have always been drawn to objects behind glass, perhaps in recognition that someone from the past has preserved those things considered precious and ephemeral; mourning jewellery holding hair; bell jars holding birds, insects or dolls; dioramas and ships in bottles. The wearable pieces I make are influenced by the intimacy and hidden stories of small scale miniatures as well as by folklore and fairy tales.’ Rachel Larkins
Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Grainne was immersed in and surrounded by the traditional crafts, folklore, music and fairy tales of the country. Perhaps it’s this beginning to her story that has now imbued her work with it’s somewhat contradictory nature – all at once vintage and contemporary, precious and non-precious, spontaneous and ordered, junk and treasure. Each piece, carefully choreographed, the arranging and re-arranging of little objects, and precious things, moved and re-placed until they establish a relationship to each other and tell a story to the viewer.
Moving to Edinburgh in the late eighties to study at Edinburgh College of Art led to Grainne becoming an avid collector of antiques and ephemera. When her parents visited her in Edinburgh, they would go on antique-buying trips for their shop at home in Northern Ireland, and Grainne would tag along. Her collections became her inspiration, and her inspiration became her work. This use of unexpected, and delightfully juxtaposed, materials is where it all started, and 25 years later, is now firmly her trademark. Grainne’s work has been exhibited internationally and, in 2007, she was shortlisted for the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize.
Public Collections include:
National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; Crafts Council Collection, London; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada; Ulster Museum, Belfast
Guy Royle’s jewellery inhabits a space between the definitions of Art and Craft; mingling influences from both, yet never so far as becoming exclusively one or the other. Brooches are paintings in metal, necklaces are sculptures for the human form, while the tones, shades and textures of raw materials are his palette. This combination of elements brings a timeless and natural quality to his work. What is more, Guy’s jewellery is graceful for its functionality; whatever beauty stems from his work, has derived, and is inseparable from its intent to be worn.
Using the simplest of tools and methods, he works mainly with sheet silver, which is cut, bent, beaten and formed. This metal work compliments his use of natural pebbles and semi-precious stones, which are ground, shaped and drilled into beads.
Since the nineteen-eighties Guy has made a name as a jeweller, however, his varied practice includes printing, painting and weaving. Except for his time at Morley College of Art, Guy is largely self-taught. Perhaps more valuable than any formal education, 25 years as an assistant to the artist Breon O’Casey’s has proved of deeper and more longstanding influence.
Joanne Thompson creates special everyday wearable pieces and extraordinary three dimensional necklaces and bracelets which are comfortable, elegant and easy to wear. Joanne studied Jewellery & Silversmithing at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating in 1993, before completing an MA in Jewellery at the Royal College of Art in London in 1995. Her distinctive silver and soft black palette is playful and sensual; elegant movement is integral to her jewellery – beautifully made, beautiful on and loved by women. Ancient chain maille patterns are a constant inspiration. Joanne experiments with the scale, weight, form and texture of the chains, making sculptural forms, necklaces, bracelets and earrings which are voluminous yet light, tactile and extremely durable. Her aim is to create striking contemporary jewellery which can be worn for both special occasions and every day. Joanne is fascinated by unit construction techniques in jewellery making, enjoying the way hard precious metals can be translated into soft forms which flow and stir with the body. Every circle in each unique handcrafted piece is formed, soldered and finished by Joanne.
Joanne Thompson was the subject of the solo exhibition 25, celebrating her 25th anniversary as a contemporary jeweller, in July 2020.
Misun Won graduated with a masters degree in 2008 from Edinburgh College of Art. Originally from Korea, her work is associated with the delicacy of highly refined handcraft from the East. Her extensive experience of living and working in both Britain and Korea has given her a broader cultural outlook. It has enabled her to position herself in what she calls “neutral territory” and to examine both cultures with “fresh eyes”. Influences from both countries can be seen in her work: a major inspiration is Korean patchwork, but this highly traditional form is interpreted through Western fractal geometry; creating dynamic structures for her collection.
Misun received a commendation at Goldsmiths’ Fair 2019 for her latest collection.