Rapaport Magazine

Designer Lines

By Amber Michelle
Vintage meets modern in a partnership between estate jewelry expert Simon Teakle and contemporary jewelry designer Hannah Martin. Teakle, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, is known for curating antique jewelry from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries while London-based Martin’s edgy designs draw upon architectural references and graphic lines to create jewelry destined to be the heirlooms of tomorrow. The first collaboration between the two was a rose gold and diamond pendant, right, showcasing an eighteenth-century cameo that portrays the Greek Goddess Aphrodite riding in a chariot through the heavens. Each of Hannah Martin’s jewels is handmade in London and tells a story — much like the period pieces that Teakle curates. Rapaport Magazine editor-in-chief, Amber Michelle, caught up with Teakle and Martin in Manhattan for a viewing of the necklace, which made its debut during Spring Masters New York, a fair of art and design, at the Park Avenue Armory. The pendant sold on opening night of the event.

Amber Michelle: Why did you select that cameo for your collaboration?
Simon Teakle: I thought it was a wonderfully soft, romantic image that would contrast well with Hannah’s edgy style. It’s a contrast and juxtaposition of old with new made modern in an ultra-contemporary way that is interesting, striking and wearable.

AM: How did the cameo inspire your design?
Hannah Martin: I tried to keep everything that Aphrodite represents in the piece. There was loads of energy in the cameo with the horses and there was the sensuality and strength of Aphrodite as a woman. The sensual round shape has a lot of strength that reflects her. The repeating form of the frame feels like ropes that are hanging and the curvaceous repetition of form gives movement. There is a fluidity that comes from the frame going from smaller to larger.

AM: Why did you ask Hannah to design the piece?
ST: When we met, I instinctively knew that Hannah was somebody I wanted to work with. We have similar thought processes as to how we work. We decided to launch a partnership by cementing it with one object. I can’t articulate why, but the cameo was an obvious vehicle.

AM: Why did you choose rose gold for the setting?
HM: I debated between rose and white gold. I went with the warmth of rose gold; it brought out the warmth of the brown in the cameo. Rose connects to Aphrodite and her association to love, sensuality and femininity.

AM: How does it feel to work with an antique piece and make it contemporary?
HM: I do a lot of research around vintage jewelry because I love it. Some of the same processes that went into antique jewelry go into jewelry now. It doesn’t matter where a piece came from or when. Time doesn’t make a lot of difference. It’s about being; it’s about the soul that goes into a piece — that doesn’t change.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - July 2016. To subscribe click here.

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