Back in 2016, Horticulture Week celebrated 175 years since the launch of its forerunner, The Gardeners’ Chronicle, by botanist John Lindley, landscape gardener Joseph Paxton, arts patron Charles Wentworth Dilke and printer William Bradbury. As part of our celebrations we formed a professional collaboration with the internationally renowned School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University.
First-year students from the BA (Hons) jewellery design and related products course were invited to design and make an object or item of jewellery celebrating Horticulture Week’s 175 years. Technical editor Sally Drury gave a talk to the students about the role Horticulture Week has played as the voice of the professional horticulture industry over the past 175 years.
The students had four weeks to design their products, pitch their ideas and create their finished items. From the 54 initial submissions, 10 students were shortlisted for this exhibition, with two students — Alise Zlatkina and Arlena Paraschivescu — being awarded special commendations.
In June 2017, all the shortlisted students were invited to exhibit their work at the inaugural RHS Chatsworth Flower Show — the perfect location given Joseph Paxton’s strong connections to Chatsworth House and gardens.
Commented HW editor Kate Lowe, who chose the winning design: "The standard of the students’ work, the diversity of interpretation of the brief and outcomes on display were outstanding."
This year, BA jewellery and objects students from the School of Jewellery have been invited back to the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show (6-10 June) to install a new exhibition that will explore a wide range of iconic British designs all hybridised with a horticulture twist.
Materials: gilding metal, bronze, copper, silver and gold plate, agate.
"This necklace is inspired by the life cycle of a plant. It’s impressive how plants follow this life cycle every year from seed to flower to fruit and back to seed. This life cycle is only sustainable through the process of photosynthesis in the green cells of the leaves, symbolised by the green stone on the pierced out leaf on the front side of the necklace. The front also represents the light phase of photosynthesis — and the back, the dark phase. The work has the capacity of spinning and every spin represents one year. It has spun 175 times and it will continue to spin as long as this publication exists."
Materials: gilding metal, brass, silver and gold plate, oak.
"Transfiguration aims to translate an idea of an unbreakable cycle between nature and the artificial world that the human race has created for itself. I chose to make the bottom part out of oak as it is a material that stands for strength and longevity, which I thought would also celebrate Horticulture Week’s 175th anniversary. The general balance of this vertically symmetrical piece relies on its central element, a golden seed, holding the top and bottom halves together. The seed is the metaphorical and physical element that balances these two elements, hence the golden finish."
" This project was exceptionally exciting for the students as it provided them with an insight into real-world collaborations that they could pursue themselves before graduating. Working in response to Horticulture Week’s 175th anniversary allowed our students to put their jewellery-making and silversmithing skills into action in a way they had never experienced before "
Drew Markou BA (Hons) lecturer
" This was a successful and enriching opportunity for our students, allowing them to collaborate with a professional publication through a bespoke project brief, leading to unprecedented outcomes and emerging opportunities.
I am very proud of their achievements. We are delighted
to have been invited back by RHS Chatsworth this year "
Beaulagh Brooks Course director, BA (Hons) degree, jewellery and related products; BA (Hons) degree, jewellery and objects