I had the good fortune to come across the work of this UK maker last year at a gallery in Bath. I remember feeling just a tad envious of her as I caught sight of the minimal, thin forms of her pieces in the jewellery case there, that young makers today have the confidence to sell their work outside local craft fairs, in galleries and boutiques everywhere. And even when I located her instagram account I assumed she was in her 20’s, maybe raising kids and living somewhere in rural England. In fact, Hilary Brown has been making jewellery (and wooden spoons) since the late 70’s and early 80’s! Her work is collected and has been exhibited in the UK, Holland and the US and has appeared in publications. Soooo…just goes to show you, contemporary then is contemporary now. And I apologize for being an ageist Hilary.
I bought a pair of her oxidized and riveted silver earrings in Bath. I love their ever-so slightly dimpled surfaces and those gorgeous rivets! She has truly captured the beauty of thin. They’re from her ‘Crumpled’ series which she says ‘is the result of playing around with crumpled and creased paper and my interest in ancient jewellery, such as you’d see in the British Museum. I like the thin quality that so much of that jewellery has. Often the result of being buried in some secret hoard – it will be delicate, papery and squashed’.