The enamel brooches and objects by Jasmine Watson in the exhibition Subsequence relate to her ongoing interest in pattern and symmetry. Watson states, "My work is inspired by ornamental patterns and complex detail based on mathematical principles. I am interested in geometry and tessellations; interlocking shapes that can assemble into elaborate ornamental sequences, repeating to infinity."
Watson works within the rare and complex ancient technique of enamelling, which combines glass with metal to create a smooth and glossy finish. The body of works in Subsequence, unique hand-made enamel jewellery and objects in flights of jewel-like colour, utilise the traditional technique of champlevé with a contemporary application.
A trained and experienced jeweller in New Zealand, Watson travelled overseas to pursue her interest in enamelling. She trained in Australia with internationally recognised contemporary enamellist Helen Aitken-Khunen studying hand engraving and champleve enamel, and then in Japan with master enamellist Tsuruya Sakurai, learning the traditional enamelling skills of Hon Shippo and Dorro Shippo.
In Subsequence Watson exhibits two series of intricate sterling silver and enamel champlevé brooches, and a succession of small champlevé bowls. These are assembled in circular ornamental sequences, with the patterning of each piece and the formations created by the arrangement of pieces suggesting repetition to infinity. Watson will display her drawings, an integral part of her creative process, with her enamel works to elaborate on the different stages in her design development and the importance of process to her work.
Since designing and creating the ornate jewellery featured throughout The Lord of the Rings films when she worked as principal jeweller and jewellery designer for the trilogy, and later as a jewellery designer and jeweller for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Watson's work has evolved with more of a focus on abstract, stylised forms. Inspired by the formal design properties of Islamic geometric patterns found in Jali latticed stone screens, lotus Mughal stonework, and architectural ornamentation featuring in Islamic architecture, Watson's work evokes these elaborate patterns on an intricate and miniature scale.
"I enjoy creating sequences within sequences; stylised and delicate floral motifs, floating across the surface with pierced apertures of colour and light."
- Laura Howard
Graduating in 1995 from Unitec School of Design, Jasmine Watson studied jewellery with Pauline Bern and glass with Elizabeth McClure. Watson's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and she has participated in a number of solo and group exhibitions, including the group show Growing Up: 20 Years of the Unitec Jewellery Studio at Objectspace in 2006. In 2011 Watson was the recipient of two prestigious International enamelling awards: The President Award, at the 44th Exhibition of the Japan Enamelling Artist Association Exhibition, Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, Japan, and an Award for Excellence, at the 24th International Cloisonne Jewellery Contest, Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
Jasmine Watson is an Auckland based contemporary jeweller and enamellist.