David J Lilly
Affordably luxurious hand-made jewellery for everyone who loves Mid-century Modern and Brutalist design. Unique, individual one-off and bespoke pieces
My journey as an artist has taken me through many mediums. Jewellery started with doodles in journals, and fold-forming copper that matched my personal aesthetic akin to the Mid-Century Modern.
I used to have a great-uncle (he lived in India) who gave me a small plastic pot of rough diamonds, rubies and sapphires. I am an Instagram junky (according to my partner) and follow a few gem cutters, one of whom runs workshops, so now the gemstones you see in my jewellery have been created in my studio by my own hands. Have you tried gem polishing? Polishing rough gems is amazing and provides the freedom to create what each piece of jewellery wants to have set in it. FYI I’ve never touched those gems in the plastic pot, though I do get them out now and again and wonder whether I should.
So why am I so passionate about designing and making jewellery? As a creative I started with stained glass as a hobby, and then after a few years I threw caution to the wind and opened my own stained glass studio. A bit later I found something really cool - it was very thick, chunky and sparkly. After some digging around online I discovered it was Dalle de Verre, and it fast became my favourite type of stained glass.
Many of you may recognise Dalle de Verre in my jewellery. This medium continues to be my passion. If you are interested in that work, please let me know. Here are some links to my short films.
I still consult on Dalle de Verre today as sadly there is no one else in the UK who does, but now I spend most of my time in the barn - studio making jewellery. In 2019 I was inspired to create three Collections – Menhir was the first and that was followed by Chevron and then Outline.
2020 proved to be an interesting year, but that has not stopped me from creating Luutia, Continuum and Darricarrere. Luutia is very much about combining organic forms with a Brutalist aesthetic and proved to be very popular. Continuum leans more towards the delicacy of the early Mid-Century Modern, taking its form from the Celtic knot. Darricarrere is a collection of cast pieces emulating the Dalle de Verre stained glass of Roger Daricarrere.
I began 2021 with a new collection inspired by the planet's need for healing -Eir (pronounced ‘eye-eer’) is the healer of Asgard, and this new jewellery collection has been given her name as it was created as a man-made form for healing and being a vessel of metaphysical energies for the jewellery’s wearers. Also, the shapes of the rings and pendants were inspired by both ancient runic forms and a Nordic mid-century modern design aesthetic. The collection so far comprises five rings and four pendants, all made from cast sterling silver.
Due to the feeling of helplessness that so many people were experiencing during the pandemic, David was looking to create something different with real meaning embedded into every part of its creation from the initial idea through to tangible benefits for the wearers.
Having been a Master crystal worker in a past life it seemed obvious (in hindsight) that tapping into that ancient energy was where this journey of creation should begin. Healing was what the world needed even more than anything else at the moment, so that was the starting point. David loves researching into what he feels is a liminal space – that place between the desire for an idea and it’s seed popping it’s head above ground.
Eventually Runes and runic forms are where David began his journey of discovery for this new collection, as these forms came to him while walking in the ancient woodlands of West Sussex. David loves to sketch and rub it out and sketch again layering meaning and form on top of itself until the desired design shows itself to him ‘never stop drawing until the drawing tells you to’. David also believed that time plays a very import part in any creation and although time was of the essences this creation could not be rushed. So, weeks went by and sketches piled up until one day it formed. Sinuous and light with natural wells for gems (as they are themselves so important) to be held in.
Once David had this it was then a joyous few weeks of sketching and carving wax models, and selecting gems that spoke to him. Aquamarine came first which made sense as we enter the age of Aquarius, then Blue Chalcedony – the colour of Lake Louise in Canada, it gives the wearer the grace to move effortlessly with the flow of life. Garnet with the energy of love and friendship on the journey. Tourmaline for its power of reconciliation during this turbulent time. Linarite to help the wearer connect with their inner wisdom and then Boulder Opal for creating the future. Finally Azurite to open the wearer’s own psychic abilities through their third eye and help them find their path through to healing.
After each piece of jewellery was finished and set with it’s gem they were psychically activated by cleansing and attuning to the chakras, archangels and Ascended Masters by a well respected London based Angelic Reiki Teacher. But what was really interesting was that after this process each piece energetically displayed it’s individual attunement to a certain energy, be it a chakra or Angelic Master or archangel.
I hope that you like what you have read, and as you got this far well done and thank you. I’d love to keep in touch, do use the pop-up on my website and sign up to my newsletter — I keep it well curated, like my art. Signing-up entitles you to 10% off your first jewellery purchase and you’ll find out about upcoming workshops, new jewellery and what I’ve been up to in and out of the studio each month.
Coombes, West Sussex
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