New jewellery business launches in Orkney

A young Orkney jewellery designer is using an ancient form of metal origami to create a unique new collection of handcrafted silverwork, which launches in the islands this weekend.

Twenty-five-year-old Zoe Davidson graduated in Jewellery and Metal Design from Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2013.

Zoe Davidson. Pic by Art Mosomi Photography.
Zoe Davidson. Image: Art Mosomi Photography.

Born in Borneo, she grew up in the Orkney port town of Stromness, drawing much of her inspiration for her work from the seas around the islands.

Following her graduation from Dundee, Zoe undertook internships with Amsterdam fashion designer, Iris Van Herpen, and Plockton-based jeweller, Gilly Langton. She also worked with Orkney jewellers, Alison Moore Designs and Ortak, before deciding earlier this year to start her own business.

Zoe Davidson Jewellery, which is based in Stromness, will officially launch on Saturday (30 April). Zoe’s first collection, Hoy Sound, has been named after the fast tidal channel of water between Stromness and the island of Hoy.

Much of the collection has been created using the fold form technique, where the silver is hammered, heated and folded continuously by hand to reflect the curves and rippled texture of the sea. Zoe also incorporates gemstones into her work, with a range that includes rings, pendants and bangles.

“I first discovered fold form when experimenting at Art College,” explained Zoe. “It’s a type of origami in metal that’s ideally suited to evoking the flowing and sculptural shapes of the swirling tides and curling waves of the seas around Orkney.

Fold form technique. Pic by Art Mosomi Photography.
Fold form technique. Image: Art Mosomi Photography.

“I draw a huge amount of inspiration from the ocean and from the wild and dramatic Orcadian landscape,” she added. “For a jewellery designer, Orkney is a location that is unsurpassed and I’m enormously excited to be launching my own business back home in the islands. It’s exciting and a little nerve-racking too, but the support I’ve had locally has been wonderful. I’m just looking forward to sharing my first collection with everyone and getting to work on the next range of pieces.”

Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, said: “Orkney is now very well known for its concentration of high quality jewellery designers, who all bring something different to the table. It’s always encouraging to see young, talented people enter the profession and locally the industry is providing lots of opportunities for those interested in jewellery as a career. It’s particularly nice to have a local graduate return home to start up a new business and we wish Zoe well with her stunning collection.”



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