Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine

central saint martins, CSM, embellishment, exhibition, jeweller, jewellery, laser cutting, tatty devine, UAL, university of the arts london

20 July – 11 August 2019
Lethaby Gallery (Central Saint Martins), 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4AA
Free Entry

By Abi Tominey-Smith

Crafts Council have collaborated with Central Saint Martins within the University Arts London to bring you Tatty Devine’s first solo showcase, including jewellery work, video footage, sketchbook drawings, fashion work and installation pieces. Set in a bright, open setting, reflecting the style of this incredibly cool brand.

University of the Arts London graduates themselves, Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden joined forces about 20 years ago to create the brand Tatty Devine, an original and independent jewellery company based in London. They have challenged the basic conventions of jewellery through their acrylic laser cutting, quirky design and use of scale.

Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine London Hand EmbroideryAcid Blossom Ultra Bead Necklace by Tatty Devine.

This body of over 100 work shown spans over their whole creative careers as Tatty Devine, with themes across their collections from Rebellion, Space, Music, Magic, Food to even a reference to Haberdashery!

Being one of the first companies to use laser cutting as a jewellery making technique, their work was bound to stand out. You can see the talent and creative spark of these ladies, as their jewellery is full of originality and personality. The fun colours, shapes and larger scale they’ve played with definitely makes a statement.

Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine London Hand Embroidery

Lobster Giant Necklace by Tatty Devine.

Inside Misshapes, there are multiple screens to showing a looped step by step video of how the various materials are turned into wearable jewellery through laser cutting and hand techniques. It shows the process of bending, joining and piecing together such pieces as the Lobster Giant Necklace (above). Many more wacky pieces, similar to the Lobster are on display here.

Tatty Devine are a company very passionate about change and equality which is obvious throughout their work and team with all of their jewellery handmade in the UK by a group of 30 women.

They’ve teamed with The Fawcett Society to fight for women’s rights and often pay homage to the movements such as LGTBQ+ through colour and wording, allowing for their platform to speak up and spread empowering, strong messages.

Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine London Hand Embroidery

Courage Calls Necklace (left) and Votes for Women Badge (right) by Tatty Devine

‘Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere’, was a line taken from a speech by feminist Millicent Fawcett that was given after the death of fellow suffragette Emily Davidson. This along with the Votes for Women badges are Tatty Devine’s way of showing support for the suffragettes and women’s rights everywhere. This and many more under the theme of ‘Causes’ are displayed at the exhibition.

Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine London Hand Embroidery

Rainbow Halo Instillation with Rosie (left) and Harriet (right) by Tatty Devine, 2018.

Another area covered within Misshapes is their public art, where more recently they have been commissioned to make works for spaces such as the Peninsula Square, Greenwich, where they’ve been able to take their use of scale to a whole new level. Themes of Love, Peace and Magic were the inspiration for this Christmas based instillation. More photographs of their crazy public displays are shown in the exhibition, alongside some of the pieces included.

Altogether, the exhibition was buzzing, innovative and a very engaging experience. With a broad range of subject matters, there’s something for everyone – whether you’re a creative mind or not. It’s definitely a must see!

All images (courtesy from the Misshapes exhibition)