By Ase Anderson in London
Jacqueline Mina OBE, one of the UK's most prominent goldsmiths, has made a fascinating film about her love for her favourite metal: gold.
As Jacqueline takes the viewer through her working process, it becomes clear that, to her, the metal is so much more than an inanimate object. She talks about her early fascination with gold and her personal connection to the precious metal, which forms the basis of her groundbreaking contemporary pieces.
In the opening sequence to 'Gold', which was created for the Crafts Council UK ahead of its Collect 2014 art fair last month, Jacqueline describes the endless possibilities that gold offers: "You can shape it, you can draw it out very thin, you can lay it flat, you can do all kinds of textures. Gold is fantastic for the way light reflects off it. It's a material that allows you to explore any kind of technique."
Jacqueline describes her creative process as a symbiotic relationship where the gold takes the lead as much as she does: "It's a genuine dialogue - I will do something to the metal and look at it and it will speak back to me."
Talking to The Jewellery Editor about the making of the film, she says: "I don't normally allow people into my studio, but they [the filmmakers] were very good. I liked that they interviewed me and then used the voice recording as background to the filming."
Jacqueline adds that, while the film shows several of her metalworking techniques, it is difficult to convey, in just a few minutes, the amount of work that goes into creating a single piece. A brooch can take up 25 hours, while a necklace demands around 150 hours, spread out over a period of time.
As well as gold, Jacqueline also uses platinum, mainly to add decorative touches to her pieces. Describing her jewels, she says: "It is a bit of an archaic look. I might connect it to things you see at the British Museum. I don't like to polish the metal, so it's always matte but with texture and lustre. It is sculptural - I am more interested in artistic expression than decoration."
There is a tactile quality to Jacqueline's work, which is designed to be worn as much as admired for its maker's artistic prowess. "I work hard to make sure a piece feel comfortable when it's worn, and I concentrate on fittings so the catches are safe and the jewels don't fall off."
At the moment Jacqueline is continuing to work on the Pleated Gold collection she showed at Collect 2014, in preparation for her first appearance at the Goldsmiths' Fair in September. She will also be making more pieces using her signature 'Striptwist' technique, in which ribbons of gold are twisted until they form a tube with diagonal striations.
Jacqueline has received numerous awards over the past three decades, including the prestigious Jerwood Price for Applied Arts - Jewellery in 2000. Her jewellery can be found in museums across the world, from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London to the Museum of Art and Design in New York.