Women's History Month: Celebrating the Legacy of Inspiring Women
Without the groundbreaking creativity of Clarice Cliff, and the irrepressible curiosity of amateur palaeontologist Mary Anning, the world of art and science would have been without two remarkable contributors.
And as a women-owned business, we want to celebrate Women's History Month – which runs for the entire month of March – by bringing you some of our unique jewellery pieces that mark the story of these two remarkable women.
Who was Clarice Cliff?
We are not shy of extolling the beauty and inventiveness of Clarice Cliff's unique style of pottery decoration. Cliff was born in 1889 and started working at the Staffordshire potteries when she was just 13 as a gilder, rising rapidly through the ranks to become chief designer of AJ Wilkinson, with an entire team of female painters at her disposal.
Clarice Cliff created the 'Bizarre' range between 1928 and 1936, after being given some defective plain white pottery, and Cliff's freehand designs were born using blocks of colour, geometric shapes and landscape scenes, initially to hide the imperfections. By 1930, Cliff was appointed Art Director of AJ Wilkinson and adjoining factory Newton Pottery, in a role rarely achieved by women in the early 20th century.
Taking Clarice Cliff's stunning plate designs, we make a broad range of Art Deco jewellery that upcycles broken pottery destined for landfill to create bright, vibrant pieces of jewellery that capture this iconic woman's work in a wearable form, wrapped in sterling silver.
Fossil hunter Mary Anning
An expert in fossil hunting, Mary Anning was ophaned at the age of 12, making a living by finding, shaping and selling fossils – mainly ammonites – she found on the beach. During her foraging sessions in the 1820s, she recognised a fossil in a large slab, which she painstakingly excavated to reveal the first ever fossilised skeleton of an Ichthyosaur, a large prehistoric marine reptile.
Anning also found the first complete Plesiosaur fossil, as well as a Pterosaur (the first one found outside Germany) and she was the first to recognise Coprolite – fossilised dinosaur poo!
It took around 20 years before Anning was recognised for her work by the scientific community, when she was made an honorary member of the Geological Society in 1846, one year before she died of cancer.
We use a range of dinosaur fossils to make our unique fossil jewellery, including Iguanodon, Brontosaurus, Iguanodon and Coprolite (yes, dino poo jewellery!). And of course we have our broad range of Ammonite jewellery and cufflinks, celebrating rich, earthy tones and stunning spirals.