Award winning jeweller Jo Thorne is on a mission to reinvent the hairpin as a piece of statement jewellery

Jo Thorne takes home gold at the Goldsmiths' Craft & Design Council Awards for her scupltural green sapphire Passion Flower Hairpin.

Jo Thorne's award-winning Passion Flower Hairpin was made from a single length of heavy gauge gold wire and set with 60 rare green sapphires

Goldsmith and artisan jeweller Jo Thorne is on a mission to reinvent the hairpin as a piece of statement jewellery, and it looks like she's succeeding.

Her Passion Flower Hairpin, delicately crafted in 18ct gold and set with green sapphires, won the gold award this month at the prestigious Goldsmiths' Craft & Design Council Awards.

The integrity and originality of the design, as well as Jo's innovative use of gold wire, impressed the judges. A large part of the piece is sculpted from a single length of heavy gauge gold wire, and the design is set with 60 rare green sapphires totalling 30 carats.

Jo says that picking up a gong at the awards, which are often referred to in the industry as the "Jewellery Oscars", was "a genuine honour".  She adds: "The other really significant thing to me is the inclusion of a fine contemporary hair accessory in the awards. I'm driven by a passion for these forgotten icons of the fine jewellery world. I think a renaissance is long overdue."

Based in Lewes, East Sussex, Jo trained at Sir John Cass School of Art and recently completed a year mentoring under Annoushka Ducas on the Crafted programme, which is run by Walpole British Luxury and sponsored by Vacheron Constantin.

She says her fascination with hair accessories was born years ago when she saw an exquisite Lalique hairpin, made from carved horn, gold and diamonds, in the Musée D'Orsay in Paris.

"It was one of the most extraordinary and original pieces I'd ever seen," she says. "I suddenly had a realisation of the incredible beauty and sculptural potential of this genre of fine jewellery that was all but forgotten. Since then it's been my mission to reinvent the hairpin and tiara as fine contemporary jewellery. I want to create statement pieces that express something poetic as objects of beauty in themselves, but that also take on an extraordinary new dimension when worn."

This spring looks set to be a busy one for Jo. As well as launching her first 18ct gold collection and a new website, she is showing at the Royal Academy from 3-5 April as part of "Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional", presented by Walpole British Luxury in association with Vacheron Constantin. She is also looking for selected retailers to showcase her pieces and hopes to make an announcement in April. 

Editor's Pick

The Jewellery Editor is for sale

Help us make the future bright

Since founding The Jewellery Editor in 2010, we have grown our digital magazine to be the number one global source of information and inspiration for fine jewellery and luxury watches.

3,500 articles, 150 videos and a reach of over 2 million per month on social media later, we have offered unparalleled and highly respected coverage of our sector. However, despite our editorial success, we are financially struggling as an independent publisher.

Entirely funded, owned and run by Christine and Maria in London, we are now looking to sell The Jewellery Editor so that it can continue to grow in the hands of a different owner. As e-commerce becomes a priority in our industry, we believe there is huge potential for engaging editorial content and are seeking a buyer who shares our values and passion so that under their guidance we can give a bright future to the platform.

We can’t commit to financing the website for much longer so if we don’t manage to initiate any meaningful conversations in the next few weeks, the website will be frozen on 1st April 2018. If and when we find a suitable partner we will revive it and take it to the next stage.

If you are interested to discuss the above, please contact [email protected]

Alternatively, if you are willing to help, you can donate so that in the meantime, we can continue to publish more interesting content.

Terms and conditions

READ MORE

RECOMMENDED

MOST POPULAR

We use our own and third party cookies to improve your experience and our services. If you continue, we consider that you accept their use. You can get more information on your website at cookies policy.