NAJ News

The Power of Wearable Objects

08 Oct 2019

Multi-award winning John Moore was IJL’s inaugural ‘Jeweller of the Fair’, which saw a catwalk show and ‘in conversation’ to celebrate his creations.

Right: Verto NecklaceVerto Necklace  Photo by Chris Bulezuik

Visitors to The Goldsmiths’ Fair will be familiar with the beautiful and extraordinary work of artist jeweller John Moore, as will anyone who attends or follows the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards. The words ‘show stopping’ and ‘statement’ might have been dreamt up to describe his amazing pieces – the IJL audience was clearly mesmerised.

A video backdrop to the presentation displayed the sculptural neckwear on a contemporary dancer – the perfect way to convey the ethereal-yet-strong, fluid nature of the statement pieces that Moore describes as “engineered aesthetic with organic movement”.

In a conversation following the show blogger Catherine Ormorod asked him where his inspiration comes from. “I’m constantly absorbing… like a sponge,” he replied. “But you can’t fail if you look at nature – I’m fascinated by plants, animals, feathers, teeth, claws, the underside of mushrooms…” Using a variety of materials including wood, aluminium, silver, gold and occasionally diamonds, a silicone core allows the piece to mould comfortably to any body, while the flexibility allows it to twist into a variety of shapes.

Although some models were wearing relatively scaled-down earrings – multi-coloured petal-like tiers – Moore’s dramatic neckpieces are not for every woman. How does he balance the conceptual with a commercial imperative? “I’ve given up balancing it – I just follow my heart and go for it,” he said.

“The kind of people who respond to my work tend to be art collectors, extrovert characters – it’s not about pleasing a lot of people.”

John Moore (centre)John Moore with his models at IJL

In an Instagram post following the show he put it pretty well: “My work may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’d rather be some people’s shot of tequila.” Not caring how he might be labelled he feels that “the first person you need to honour is yourself… we don’t choose a creative path for the money; so if it’s not fun, if it’s not fulfilling, then what’s the point?”

But it’s solitary work, he admitted in interview “so to have recognition from the Goldsmiths’ Council, IJL, anyone… is like a thumbs up, a huge honour and a privilege.”

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