Shine 2018: Helen Rankin

Helen Rankin is an up-and-coming jeweller who was selected to show her work at Shine 2018, our annual showcase of emerging talent. We caught up with the Hove-based designer to find out what inspires her distinctly contemporary aesthetic and wearable pieces.

How did you become a jeweller?

As a young art student, I had a tendency towards creating inordinately gigantic drawings, but found real pleasure in making small tactile objects, experimenting with materials and being able to hold the finished product in my hand. The natural next step for me was jewellery. From there I went on to take a BA in Jewellery Design at Middlesex University.

To be honest, the years seem to have rushed by since then!  I’ve held various jobs in different industries and now have three energetic children.  I had a strong desire to return to designing jewellery again. I’m so glad to be back in creative mode.

You focus on movement and wearability when creating your pieces. Why is this so important to you as a maker?

I do like to focus on designing something that can be worn day in, day out. I suppose that means I scale my designs down quite a bit, also factoring in the sharp edges and what part of the body they can sit on comfortably. I like to design things that are tactile and interesting to touch – where you can feel the angles, points and edges with your fingers and play with how interlocking shapes move and interact.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I am highly influenced by modernist architecture, sculptures and artists from the 20th century that use a constructivist style, favouring geometric shapes.  With that in mind my designs are stripped back to the essentials of geometric form.

Who do you have in mind when you create your pieces?

I know this is not a good business plan, but I really don’t have anyone in mind. I make something that I would like or wear. I suppose I like things that are different and definitely not conventional.

What is your favourite piece in your collection?

I like the simplicity and the chunky proportions of the Balance Earrings. 

What are your ambitions for 2019?

To design a new collection, I have a few ideas that I have been mulling over for a while and keep coming back to.  I’d also like to get out there and apply to more shows and exhibitions.

Contact Helen Rankin