STUDIO HERONDALE is a body of experimental porcelain jewellery created by London-based designer Elif Kaban Bowers. The Turkish-born maker marries worldly panache with a passion and respect for porcelain and cross-disciplinary experimental approach. Once associated with dainty figurines of pouting milkmaids and Victorian tea sets, porcelain in her hands is transformed into sublime wearable art with exciting combinations of silver, copper, 24 karat gold leaf, platinum, oxides, minerals, gemstones or found objects.
Valued for both its durability and delicacy, porcelain is transformed from earth into powder, from liquid into solid, from fire into cold and finally into a velvet-like softness next to skin that takes on the temperature of the body. The jewellery is light and tactile, with the smoothness of pebbles worn by the sea. Each piece is made slowly and intuitively and fired multiple times in the kiln. There is something delicious about wearing a tactile, sensuous piece of raw porcelain jewellery whose making took all the hours and days and nights it needed -- a sense, perhaps, of having been gifted stolen time.
Elif came into jewellery and ceramics through osmosis. Born in Turkey to Air Force pilot parents, she spent many years zipping across Russia, Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East as a foreign correspondent for the international news agency Reuters. Even in the middle of reporting assignments she was always drawn to jewellery, collecting ancient corals in the bazaars of Samarkand, silver amulets in Turkmenistan or strings of colourful beads in dusty village markets across Tanzania. Keepsakes collected during summers in the Mediterannean, civilizations that have passed through Anatolia from ancient Greeks to the Ottomans, textures and patterns in nature, the never-ending search for new techniques and a sense of discovery drive and inspire the designer.
STUDIO HERONDALE is a body of exquisite porcelain jewellery created by London-based artist Elif Kaban Bowers. The self-taught maker came into clay late in life through osmosis following an international career as a foreign correspondent working and living in Russia, Switzerland, Central Asia, Africa and Turkey. The work marries a cross-disciplinary approach with worldly panache that brings a depth of influence to the designer's creative practice . An experimentalist at heart, the artist creates one of a kind pieces that playfully flirt with the natural world while celebrating the beauty of porcelain. Once associated with dainty figurines of pouting milkmaids and Victorian tea sets, porcelain becomes a playful medium for contemporary jewellery with the perfect balance of softness and strength, statement and wearability.
Porcelain is surprisingly light and durable after being fired to temperatures close to 1300 celsius, hotter than any known volcano giving its unique strength. This most elemental of materials, which comes from the ground in an initial state of silicate mineral, gets transformed into cool and modern jewellery in a small artist's studio in north London where each piece is fired multiple times slowly over days in a German-built kiln and crafted, polished and finished entirely by hand.
The jewellery artist re-interprets nature's organic forms and textures in contemporary minimal language, juxtaposing the allure of unglazed raw porcelain with the luminescence of rough diamonds, amorphous pearls, rock crystals and other gemstones. The work is influenced by the designer's travels over a lifetime, collecting ancient corals from the bazaars of Samarkand, hand-painted pottery across Russia, silver amulets in Turkmenistan or strings of colourful beads in dusty village markets in East Africa. A never-ending search for new techniques and a sense of adventure constantly pushing the boundaries of materials drive and inspire the maker.