This month we welcome Kokkino to lovedazzle. Melanie Ankers founded Kokkino in 2003 and has continued to make contemporary yet timeless pieces of jewellery in bright silver, warm 24-carat gold and a stunning colour palette of enamels. Striking, sophisticated and yet so wearable, every piece in Kokkino’s collection is lovingly handmade in her Worcester studio.
We ask Melanie a few questions about her work and inspirations, read on to find out more…
What made you decide to be a jewellery designer?
I have always enjoyed making things, even as a small child I would knit and sew and thought that I would go on to do something related to textiles. It wasn’t until I went to Loughborough College of Art and Design to do my foundation course that I really realised that jewellery design was even possible, and working in a smaller scale making precious things, seemed just perfect.
Who or what have been the biggest influence on your work?
I’m not sure there is one particular influence. Much of my work is designed and created by playing with the materials, letting accidents happen, playing with proportions, colour and texture. I keep a sketchbook close by so that when inspiration does strike, I can scribble that down and refer back to the idea later – although it normally morphs into something completely different by the end of the making process!
If you weren’t a jewellery designer what do you think you would be?
I am not sure what I would be, in my daydreams – maybe a yoga teacher and travel photographer!
Image: Triple Strand Enamel Necklace – £97
If you could own any piece by another maker in any discipline, no price limit, what would it be?
I’m so bad at making decisions that it would probably take me months to decide if I could choose any discipline! If I were to choose a piece of jewellery, I love Andrew Lamb’s work. (Image right). The detail, skill and beautiful metal colours are astounding.
If you could choose anyone to wear your jewellery, who would it be and why?
Audrey Tautou. I like her quirky yet elegant style.
How do you relax after a day in the studio?
Yoga always helps any aches, pains and worries associated with sitting at a workbench all day, and running a business. I try to do that every day when I finish work.
Image: Silver & Enamel studs Kingfisher Blue – £67
Your top tip for a day out in your area?
A stomp over the Malvern hills is always a great way to blow away the cobwebs and recharge, followed by a cup of tea and a slice of cake!
Wow! Very inspiring interview! It really is amazing to have a glimpse at how creatives like Kokkino first started. Keep up the great work!