23 April 2024

Linear Textures & Lithic Forms: A Study of Surfaces With Karla Way

As we continue our current focus on Karla Way's jewellery collection, we draw our attention to her intriguing use of texture and carved, golden structures. We asked Karla a few questions about the ideology behind her works; read on to learn more about the design movements and natural landscapes which inform her unique jewels.

PO8: Your creations often feature textures and motifs reminiscent of rocks, botanicals, and fauna. What draws you to these organic forms, and how do you translate them into wearable art?

KW: "When I first started my precious collection for Pieces of Eight in 2012, forms and textural elements in my jewellery practice were inspired by the early Linnaean classification system, Systema Naturae, which arranged the natural world into three kingdoms - Animal, Mineral and Vegetable (biologists have now expanded this). Observing and imagining integrations and exchanges between them informed some of my concepts and designs.

More recently, my focus has predominantly been on the mineral world, with lithic elongated forms with a linear rugged texture transforming into rings, pendants, and earrings.

"Four columns rise from a band with a large gem suspended within, resembling a lithic fortress as a robust solitaire style ring." 

"A column fallen horizontally across the finger with embedded gems becomes a signet/solitaire like hybrid, in this Lithic Love wedding ring."

"Low set, tessellated columns form a supportive bedrock upon which to build, in my Bedrock series of rings."

"At times, the styles of specific design movements throughout history surreptitiously inform how these textures and motifs are incorporated into a wearable piece.

The Moon Canyon ring, designed for the Blue Moon exhibition in 2023, features elongated columns and raised steps leading up to a centrally suspended gem. There is a raw, organic symmetry and fluidity, a nod to the elongated liquid forms of Art Nouveau pieces inspired by the shape and pulse of nature, particularly the botanical. While borrowing the form and shape from this movement, this piece draws inspiration for its texture and structure from craggy cliffs, granite gorges and lunar light."

A brand new arrival from Karla Way; the Moon Canyon ring features a round parti-blue sapphire accented by white diamonds. A stunning, contemporary engagement ring.

"Occasionally, a Megalithic ring will materialise. These are one-off pieces featuring hand-carved, stacked, and stepped columns that converge around the finger, and culminate in a stone-set summit. The gem is usually a freeform cut parti sapphire; a unique centrepiece. The minimal columns, when amassed, create chunky, abstract forms. This, and their raw textures and finishes, evoke a Brutalist style of jewellery from the 1950s/60s; another nod to an expressive era in the rich history of jewellery design."