About Sian Evans
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"My work is known for using combinations of ancient and modern technologies and showing a keen interest in archaeology, anthropology and fashion. Many of my collections
have a narrative. "
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I was born in Ely in 1963 and after a brief time there and in the North East spent my youth living near the Dorset coast. I moved to London to study Jewellery Design at the Sir John Cass School of Art though my time living on the Jurassic coast in Dorset, surrounded by geology and archaeology influenced my work from an early age. I set up my studio Sian Evans Jewellery in 1986, currently in Clerkenwell, London and I have continued to design and make jewellery ever since. My work is known for using combinations of ancient and modern technologies and showing a keen interest in archaeology, anthropology and fashion.
In 2001 I started a fourteen year stint lecturing at Central St Martins, on the BA Jewellery Design course. This gave me the opportunity to rethink my then mainly fashion-led practice into one more aligned with my interests in archaeology, ethics and recycling. Since leaving in 2015 I have been working towards producing collections made with recycled materials. Aligned with this are special projects and collaborations, plus bespoke family projects where I work with clients to transform disregarded or broken family jewels into something new.
Many of my collections have a narrative. Antumbra I describe as a collection of shadows; Victorian mourning jewellery was often black, this is a body of work made from blackened silver and gold. The black silver wears over time to reveal bright silver, like a passing shadow or Victorian mourning dress code. The gold element; the bright ring or halo around a total eclipse of the sun. The whole suggests the inevitability of change.
Botany is a collection of enigmatic flat shapes suggestive of modernist forms, referencing Eyves Klein and Alexander Calder. They also refer to drawing exercises. Every art student of a certain age will have drawn a halved cabbage or onion, but as the collection’s title suggests these shapes are botanic forms; leaves, stamens and flowers reduced and abstracted.
The Sands of Time collection was developed after a 2011 research trip to Timbuctou in Mali. Here I attended the ‘Festival of the Desert’, a grand meeting of the Malian desert tribes where musicians play Malian blues, tell stories, race camels and trade salt and jewellery. I met and worked with the head of the jewellery workshops of Timbuctou. I also visited the ancient mosques and libraries before they were ransacked by invading Al Quaida troops a few months later. It’s a collection imbued with this experience, made using old techniques. The shapes are archetypes, the rippled surface of the cuttlefish cast pieces suggesting sand and great age.
I currently hold awards for my jewellery design, pearl jewellery design and art medal design and won awards in both 2016 and 2017 Goldsmith’s Design Council Awards