How It's Made: AW14 Lover's Eye

How It's Made: AW14 Lover's Eye

Charlotte Prichard, 6 August 2014

Take a closer look at our new Autumn Winter 2014 collection. Inspired by antique jewellery, our Lover's Eye story is inspired by a romantic (and rather eerie) trend. Have you ever heard of eye miniatures? In the late 18th and early 19th century, tiny portraits of a loved one's eye became the hottest accessory. Why an eye? Well, only you could possibly recognise your secret sweetheart by their eye alone. It was the perfect way to keep a reminder of them close to your heart and stylishly conceal their identity, too! Lover's Eye jewellery is now rare and very precious, but you can still see examples on display at cultural institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum. We love the intricate hand painted detailing on this Eye Miniature Brooch from the late 18th century. It's even embellished with tiny glittering diamonds for tears!  
Eye Miniature, around 1790-1810. Photo courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  Just as the painters of the original eye miniatures laboured over their work, our expert jewellery makers spend hours creating each piece of the Lover's Eye story. A mysterious eye is digitally printed onto white acrylic, laser cut and carefully inlaid in a scalloped matt gold Perspex setting. Gleaming Swarovski pearls nod to traditional designs, whilst graduating strands are draped to create a truly eye catching look. Each Swarovski pearl is hand knotted in our East London studio by jewellery making expert Annick. We know you love behind the scenes peeks at our workshop, so we grabbed our camera and caught Annick in action as she made the Lover's Eye Statement Necklace: "I start off by threading the pearl beads in the right order according to its size. Next, I slide each bead along and one by one, carefully hand knot the thread in between. Using a needle, I gently slide each knot right up to the bead to make sure it sits perfectly and is totally secure. It's time consuming work, but I love seeing the finished necklace at the end!" "This was something new for me, as I'd never hand knotted pearl beads before. When we were sampling the collection, Harriet taught me how to do it. It's always fun to try out a new technique and get the hang of it. Did you know it's actually Harriet's eye on the jewellery?" "I really love the Lover's Eye Ring! It's been one of my favourite Autumn Winter pieces ever since we started making the collection." "Next, I use a crimp bead to gently flatten the thread and keep the beads secure. Using jump rings, I attach the finished string of pearl beads to the Perspex piece. One strand down, four to go!" Thanks for talking us through the making process, Annick! Want to see hand knotting in action? Don't miss our mini video here. Here's the finished piece in all its glory:   Did you know? The Lover's Eye Statement Necklace is very limited edition - we've made just fifty pieces! Each one is numbered with a Tatty Devine tag of authenticity, so you know just how precious it is. Shop Lover's Eye jewellery in store at Brick Lane and Covent Garden and online now.
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