Imogen Belfield

FAULT Featured – Imogen Belfield

FAULT: What inspired you to become a jewellery designer?

Imogen: My inspiration to become a jewellery designer has grown from my inherent passion for sculpture, and I am drawn to artists such as Naum Gabo and Eduardo Paolozzi. My heart was always in creating enormous sculptural forms at art school, but then I discovered great designers such as Alexander McQueen, Shaun Leane and Philip Treacy, all of whom have been a huge inspiration to me. So I began to transpose these huge steel and bamboo sculptures, into miniature forms that could adorn the body. I do see my jewellery as miniature sculptures, one day I’d like to go back to big again, but also to adorn the body. I’m constantly dreaming up new ideas and thinking of new experiments, but I think this one will have to wait a while!!!

FAULT: Would you describe your designs as unique and “futuristic”?

Imogen: To be unique is all about what makes you different from the next jewellery designer, and hopefully is what makes you stand out and make a statement in a highly competitive industry. It is not simply a case of coming up with a fantastic idea, it is about constantly moving forward, evolving and developing. I think that this can in turn express an exciting pace in the work, and hopefully insures that uniqueness is maintained with each new design. I can see my work being described as “futuristic”, I quite like that adjective, perhaps this can be seen in the angularity and ambiguity that is prevalent in my work.

FAULT: What was the main inspiration behind your latest designs?

Imogen: My most recent collection is called ‘Equilibrium’ and is inspired by the solar system with lots of golden bubbles and moltenous shapes.

A lot of the stones I use are sourced from the Natural History Museum, fool’s gold in particular is a stone I love to use, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of this in my future collections!!

FAULT: How do you design and create such beautiful pieces?

Imogen: I relish the art of experimentation and it is through taking a material to its extreme that the processes I now develop and use, have evolved. I do a lot of hand carving, casting and mould-making. In my limited editions I combine hand made porcelain with precious and semi-precious metals, including gold plated bronze and silver. The porcelain is made by making origami forms combined with a series of mould-making and casting techniques.

FAULT: Do you try design jewellery following the trends – or just piece and you love?

Imogen: I think to follow a trend would fossilise my work. I do and make what I love and what inspires me at the time, and then this will hopefully become a future ‘trend’!!
FAULT: What would you say is your greatest achievement so far?

Imogen: To win New Designer of the Year, it was an amazing experience. It is an award supported by Design Nation that promotes British Design but on an international scale.

FAULT: Are you inspired at all by the history of jewellery design – or do you have a truly modern approach?

Imogen: The Rococo art movement and Fabergé are two very important sources of inspiration for me. The ornate intricacies and curvaceous swirling embellishments of the Rococo movement really float my boat, and just the sheer genius of Fabergé and the skill of his craftsmanship are ore-inspiring.

FAULT: What music aids your creative and designing process?

Imogen: David Bowie and The Smiths. They’re always bound to inspire. I’m a devilish fan of eighties music with a bit of Jurassic 5 thrown in. Most recently I’ve been drawn to The Modern Lovers. Quite eclectic really. Music is one of my great passions.

FAULT: What is ‘the dream’ for your brands development?

Imogen: I am chuffed to bits to have been selected by the wonderful Emma Crosby for her London a la Mode showroom. It is currently in full swing having run from August 4th through to September 16th. London a la Mode is a collective of 12 designers all showcasing their SS11 collections at the stunning location of Maverik Showroom in the heart of Shoreditch. I feel it’s a massive achievement to be here as my work is sitting along side some amazing designers such as Ada Zanditon, LALL and Yorkshire Pearl, and to have this opportunity is what I’d call ‘the dream’.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Imogen: I need to teach myself how to take breaks and not feel guilty about it. Having said this, I feel very lucky to love my job so much I have to do it every day.

By Tommy Bridge