Kaye Blegvad Turns Her Illustrations Into Unique Pieces of Jewelry

London-born New York-based illustrator, Kaye Blegvad, is known for her sensitive work, which often touches upon social issues like mental health and female identity. Working across a variety of different media, her work includes ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and print. She’s also a celebrated jewelry maker, with her line of jewelry, Datter Industries, inspired by ancient artifacts, talismans, ritual, and the natural world.

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Today I have some big news about changes at my jewelry line, Datter. This is a bit long but, y’know, I can’t resist sharing my various feelings with you.⁣ ⁣ Jewelry is just one aspect of my work; an outlet to turn drawings and ideas into wearable pieces. I began Datter in 2011 as a sort of experiment – I wanted to see if anybody would be interested in buying the jewelry I’d been making for myself. Over the years it has grown in ways I never dreamed of, for which I’ll always be grateful and amazed. But with this growth, it reached a crossroads: either pursue growth at the expense of personal involvement with the pieces, or strip it back to the core things that made me love making jewelry in the first place. I believe strongly in the value of handmade, and I don’t want to have to outsource or mass produce my pieces. ⁣ ⁣ So, in 2020, I’m changing the way I work with jewelry. I am going to focus less on bulk production and more on occasional one-offs, fine jewelry, and limited editions. In order to do this, I will be retiring the vast majority of the brass and silver jewelry collections. All remaining stock of these pieces are now on sale with 20% off until we run out. Many have very limited quantities remaining, and this will be the last ever chance to get them before they are discontinued!⁣ ⁣ The UK jewelry studio will be closing permanently in mid February. From then on, pieces will only be available from the US studio. The UK studio has limited stock remaining, which is also on sale until we run out. ⁣ ⁣ I’m excited about this new direction for the work I’ll be making, but it still feels like an emotional end of an era for me! I can’t thank you enough for your support over the years. It has been so special to see the people that have responded to Datter and embraced the pieces we’ve made. I’m looking forward to sharing new work with you.⁣ 💘

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“I’ve been fortunate that I’ve only been asked to work on projects I’m actually interested in,” she told Metal Magazine, when asked about some of her collaborative work. “I think it can happen that you get a job that’s very prescribed, and not something you really want to do, but you do it anyway and that’s got to be a tough way to work. But I think art directors are trying to choose artists who they can tell will be right for the job and that includes being interested. So all of my jobs have been pretty good to me, nice problems to solve.”

With her jewelry work, she combines both her passion for illustration and metalwork, turning her drawings and ideas into unique pieces of jewelry. All pieces start out as models hand carved in wax, which are then cast and finished individually by hand in her studios (based in London and New York). The work is intended to show signs of being handmade, nothing too clean or too perfect, with the process being part of the finished product.

“Making jewelry started as very much an experiment, a hobby,” Blegvad admits. “A friend showed me how to work with casting wax, and as soon as I got my first pieces back I was hooked. It is still so cool to make something and have it transformed into metal. I never get bored of that.”

“I’ve always been interested in meaning being attributed to objects, to wearing things that have some sort of power or story behind them,” she adds. “I’m just lucky that other people seem to want to wear them too.”

Take a look at some of her unique products in the gallery below.