As a female-led brand ourselves, we are always looking for ways to support other female creators – both past and present. For International Women’s Day this year, we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our famous female contributors and how they have inspired different parts of our collections. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the work of Clarice Cliff, Mary Anning and a more current emerging female artist. 


Art Deco Pioneer: Clarice Cliff

In the world of ceramics and design, Clarice Cliff was an inspiration for the future,  her innovative designs carving a new path for ceramics and pottery. By introducing a range of bold colours, geometric shapes and unique patterns, Cliff pushed forward the Art Deco period in a profound way.

In the early 20th century, much of the Art Deco scene was male dominated. As a woman working in this field, Clarice Cliff broke through many barriers that had long held women back. As a leading figure in her field, she took many risks, launching unconventional design work to an apparently receptive audience, which led to great commercial success. Her work was exported around the world and she gained popularity on a global scale, while also playing a role in bringing British pottery to the world stage. 

It wouldn’t be International Women’s Day without a nod to the creative talents of Clarice Cliff and how, with our collection of jewellery created with original fragments of her upcycled ceramics, we continue to honour her memory. With so much national acclaim, her ceramic pieces are now highly sought after.

In our Clarice Cliff collection, we have used small fragments of pottery which were collected by a worker at the potteries in Stoke-on-Trent in the 1930s. This pottery employee would walk past the piles of rejected pottery on the banks of the Trent and Mersey canal, collecting the shards and eventually passing them on to a relative. 

After being contacted by the relative, we wanted to be sure to pay homage to this Art Deco legend and use her pottery pieces in a way in which we can cherish her work for years to come. By casting them in sterling silver, we have managed to preserve her memory and allow many other lovers of creative spirit to celebrate her work by being able to own their very own piece of Clarice Cliff art. 


Oval Clarice Cliff pendant in blue, green and yellow

The Leading Lady In Fossil Hunting: Mary Anning

For International Women’s Day, Mary Anning is another remarkable figure we want to celebrate. In the fields of palaeontology and scientific discovery, Anning was a key contributor. In the early 19th century, Mary Anning, despite her financial challenges, was able to push forward her love of science and make huge contributions to the famous fossil hunts that took place along the Jurassic Coast of England. 

Alongside her team she discovered prehistoric remains of various creatures – the most notable of her achievements was discovering the first complete Ichthyosaur skeleton in 1811. This was followed by her unearthing the first complete Plesiosaur skeleton in 1823. Not only did these discoveries revolutionise our understanding of the prehistoric period, but it also helped shape the field of palaeontology going forward. 

In a similar way to Clarice Cliff, Mary Anning was able to challenge the gender bias that is rife in the field of science. As a working-class woman, there were many barriers to overcome. However, by pushing forward in this male-dominated field, Anning was able to claim notable achievements in the science world and become an expert many would turn to. 

Mary Anning's passion for finding fossils, and her determination to overcome the challenging adversity, continues to inspire scientists today, particularly women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. For women everywhere looking to pursue careers in STEM fields, Mary Anning is a role model worth celebrating. 

Here at Hepburn & Hughes, it’s our passion to bring light to impressive women such as Mary Anning, who has inspired our fossil collection. Thanks to her groundbreaking discoveries, we're able to appreciate these fossils up close and even wear them as stunning pieces of jewellery. In our fossil collection, we have ammonites, meteorites, dinosaurs, trilobites and sea fossils. This International Women’s Day, why not celebrate a leading lady in science, like Mary Anning?

 fossil jewellery

Current Emerging Female Artist: Meg Muir

Women continue to feature prominently in the art and jewellery world, including one our favourite contemporary artists, Meg Muir. Meg Muir’s collection features unique and beautiful hand-painted sea glass jewellery and glassware, showcasing her ability to transform smooth, sea-washed fragments into intricate works of art that celebrate nature.

Meg Muir's dedication to her craft and her ability to capture the beauty of flowers and nature in her designs are undoubtedly qualities that make her an artist worth celebrating this International Women’s Day.  As she continues to develop her artistic voice and share her creations with the world, she has the potential to inspire others and make a lasting impact on the ever-evolving art community, and it is our privilege to include her work in our collections.

glass jewellery