John Moore, winner of two IJL-supported Goldsmith Company Gold Awards, showcased as jeweller of the fair at IJL 2019. John was selected for this accolade due to the complexity and engineering dexterity of his creative jewellery couture. John is universally acknowledged as a highly skilled artisan and his work is displayed in art galleries around the world including The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas, USA and National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK.
John’s work is highly prized by international collectors. Private collectors of his work include Tiqui Atencio, Tuan Lee, Olnick Spanu Collection, Lady Helen Hamlyn, Robert Hiller, Dr Sarah Siegler and Suzanne Sanders. We spoke to this inspirational designer to find out more about his work and creative processes.
As an artist, what inspired you to make wearable pieces?
It really goes back to my childhood. I was very happy doing performing arts and drama, so wearing costumes and creating a fantasy through things like masks that really influenced me. As a child I was fascinated by people’s rings as well, because I was at that height around adults. My mother also makes jewellery, so there are lots of influences.
Where do you draw your design inspiration from?
I really draw my inspiration from a variety of sources. Visually the natural world plays a big part, scales on fish, petals on flowers and beautiful mathematical forms like arcs and curves. Scales on fish are so interesting because they are rigid but also allow for movement, a bit like armour. As a student I used to draw armoury a lot. My inspiration is really a melting pot of everything I’ve seen.
Do you see more crossover between creative practises like art and jewellery?
There is a lot of room for crossover. For me, jewellery is art. It may seem more functional and doesn’t attract as much critique as art and pure design objects, but there is a lot to explore in making jewellery. I also enjoy collaborating, be it with scientists or filmmakers.
Can you talk about the materials you use and why?
Compared to a lot of jewellery designers my approach is broad. I wasn’t traditionally trained, at first I studied design, so I got used to using different methods and materials. I work in aluminium and combine silicone rubber to allow movement in my pieces. I also love diamonds and precious metals, which can restrict you on scale, but the results can be really magical. I’ve even worked with wood and glass. It’s all about finding the right materials to achieve the effect I want.
What’s your biggest challenge in producing your work?
My biggest challenge is overcoming my own doubt and fear of trying something. Once you realise that’s not real and only in your head and that you create these boundaries yourself, you find freedom. The physical problems, the ‘how’ in making something, can always be solved.
What piece of advice would you give young artists and designers?
I would say two things really. Firstly, be really careful about what advice you take. Just because something worked for someone else and they found success, doesn’t mean you need to follow the same route. What might suit them, may not suit you. Secondly, I would say, try things, work out what you want, what makes you tick, and follow your heart, even if it means going against the grain.
Find out more about John Moore Jewellery here: https://www.johnmoorejewellery.com/