I have always been fascinated by the contrast of different shapes and colours, particularly when this involves a close interaction of nature with man-made designs. I use these as the inspiration for all my own jewellery designs. These involve the contrasts of several different metals with striking variations in texture and colour. Many of my designs have soft lines and spheres (representing nature, the earth) interspersed with (or dissected by) jagged, angular lines and shapes (representing man-made elements, machine parts).
Predominantly I use sterling silver with at least one other metal; copper, gold, brass, niobium. Using an oxidising technique, niobium can be coloured using the whole spectrum. Recent designs have used an imported Japanese amalgam metal called “makume-gane” (translates as “wood grain metal”). This consists of 21 alternating layers of silver and copper, bonded and hammered extensively to produce distinct patterns, as the name suggests reminiscent of the texture of polished wood grain. Each sheet of makume-gane is entirely individual. Each piece of jewellery is hand cut, shaped, coloured (in the case of niobium) and assembled, making every one completely unique.
Yvonne Nixon jewellery is available from Aberdeen Art Gallery.
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