The Sunderland-born designer is renowned for her signature geometry, especially her pioneering gold ‘stacking rings’ made from semi-precious stones and displayed on upright posts.
Wendy Ramshaw – Modern Jewellery goes on show at the Goldsmiths’ Hall nearly 50 years after her work was first acquired for the Goldsmiths’ collection by then art director Graham Hughes, a defining moment in the designer’s career.
Goldsmiths’ Fair has collaborated with The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, which holds the largest assemblage of works by Ramshaw from key periods in her career. This includes her Picasso’s Ladies series (1989), inspired by the artist’s portraits of women, and the Room of Dreams (2002) and Journey Through Glass (2007) collections.
Largely self-taught, Ramshaw was first noticed in the 1960s when selling her colourful, flat-pack paper jewellery at Mary Quant’s London store Bazaar. Her ‘stacking rings’ displayed on novel upright posts were developed around 1965 and eventually won her the Design Council Award for Innovation in 1972. They now feature in over 70 public collections worldwide.
The exhibition comes at a time when Ramshaw pieces, particularly her early work, are attracting increasing attention on the secondary market.
At Lawrences of Crewkerne earlier this year, a circular cabochon opal necklace hallmarked for 1971 sold for a multi-estimate £4600.