The Bite Magazine - Autumn/Winter 2019 - Issue 26

I n fine art jeweller Donna Brennan’s work, she confronts the three c’s of stones - colour, cut, and clarity - and reworks a classic corner- stone of traditional jewellery into otherworldly floral forms with a contemporary twist. Her pieces of jewellery are absolutely fascinating with clusters of precious or semi-precious stones in rich hues of purple, red, orange, and green that are mind-blowing. It is the perfect example of unique, sculp- tural jewellery that presents a trove of tradition with a contemporary twist. Donna has been a jewellery designer for 24 years and studied Fine Art and Graphic Design before she even knew about contemporary jewellery. She went on to complete a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Fine Art, majoring in jewellery in Melbourne, Australia. “Gradu- ating with distinction, I then had the great fortune of winning a scholarship to do post-graduate studies in jewellery in Germany. Not many people know that Germany has a long tradition of exceptional crafts- manship in jewellery.” Further explaining her experience, she added, “It really opened my eyes to all the potential jewellery has in terms of being a reflection of culture and humanity. It is not the oldest art form without reason. Being in Europe opened my eyes to the wonderfully rich diversity of culture and history which you are fortunate enough to be part of. I felt hugely privileged to be afforded this opportunity! I then did a Masters at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2010.” This amazing and hugely talented lady first got interested in designing jewel- lery pieces when she walked past a Contemporary Jewellery Gallery showing jewellery made from titanium. “I had never seen anything like it! I made a resolve to learn how to do it myself, so I enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts course. My major was jewellery and my minor was sculpture, so I now make sculptural jewellery which is idea-driven!” Combining these two creative skills, Donna has created works of arts that are intriguing. Absolutely beautiful and exquisite is the 18-carat gold ring with amethyst and pink tourmaline from the Cocktail collection, a couture display of fine art jewellery which has a strapline saying, “as individual as you are.” The pieces are hand sculptured for women who blaze a trail and never follow. Another fascinating piece is the 18-carat gold ring with garnet and rough diamond which looks like pieces of pulp from passion fruit, and also the 925 black silver and 18-carat gold ring with blue topaz and aquamarine. From the Tradition with a Twist collection, the brooches are created in both 925 black silver and silver, encrusted with gor- geous stones such as paura shell, lucite, and peridot, or citrine and garnet. Quotidian Luxe sees earrings in 18-carat gold with amethyst, citrine, garnet, and pink tourmaline, and also freshwater pearls which are intriguing. Rough Cut has the elements of 18-carat gold with faceted and rough diamonds, while another consists of faceted and rough diamonds, sun and moonstone, and coral. What matters to Donna the most as a jewellery designer is when people take the time to appreciate and support local jewellery designers.“Jewellery should be an heirloom and not tomorrow’s landfill! I have zero appreciation for fast, throw-away fashion.That is the lovely thing about well-crafted jewel- lery, it can be worn for decades and then passed down.”When asked about bite jewellery FINE ART JEWELLERY Donna Brennan Images credit: Richard Valencia