Barbara Jardine

Artist Bio


I am a practicing artist-jeweller, creating collectable, unique, hand-fabricated jewellery and precious objects. My work is based on nature’s forms and fluidity and I consider myself blessed to be based in Trinidad, where the isolated, sensually tropical beauty of the Island has been pivotal to the distinctive development and direction of my craft. The lushness of my surroundings together with life's experiences, define my visual narrative and choice of materials, as well as shaping innovative carving and inlay skills which have evolved within the taut framework of traditional techniques.
My work integrates silver, 18 carat gold and precious stones with diverse, ethically sourced and/or found materials from sea and land, transforming dross into beauty in an almost alchemical way. Some of these elements include beetle wings, turtle shell, black coral, mother of pearl and ebony. Resins, Perspex and precious foils exist alongside amber and opals, moonstones and other semi-precious stones, carefully chosen for their qualities of colour, lustre, and translucency - all forming a nature-inspired colour palette.

Both jewellery and precious objects combine these carefully selected elements with ingenuity, imagination, and integrity to create small, timeless objects of visual and emotional impact, and it is always my hope that they all bring the same pleasure to their owners or exhibitors as they give me during the time taken designing and crafting them.

The items shown in my gallery here are either currently privately owned or on public exhibition, although I am always working on new collections for upcoming exhibitions, which then become available for sale. I accept private commissions, but as each piece is unique, delivery depends on current workload, complexity of the piece and whether stones need to be ordered in advance. I would generally suggest allowing up to four months between commission and completion.

Individual pieces range from around £1,000 to £6,000 for a piece of jewellery, dependent on materials, time and intricacy of design. Precious objects range from £6,000 up to £20,000 for museum-quality one-offs. Obviously price is always discussed at the briefing stage, so a budget within which to work can be mutually agreed.

Born in Trinidad, W.I., I was educated in the UK from the age of ten. I studied jewellery-making at London’s Central School of Art and Design, then took a Master’s Degree at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1974, with the Anstruther Prize for Student of the Year.

In 1982, The Warrior, a bracelet from my RCA degree show, carved from ebony and decorated with iridescent beetle wings, silver and tourmalines, was purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, for their permanent collection of Contemporary Jewels. In 1985 I was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Jewellery Design. Two of my pieces - Pearl of Wisdom and Heliconia paper knife, are in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Trinidad and Tobago

My work has featured on the BBC Clothes Show; in the documentary The Solitary Alchemist; in Vogue; The Times and in a variety of Caribbean publications. Barbara Jardine: Goldsmith, a monograph written by Judy Raymond, was published in 2006 by Robert & Christopher Publishers.

I have exhibited nationally and internationally since the 70’s and plans are in place for an upcoming 2016 collection at Sarah May Jewellery, London, as well as a flexible option to produce a small collection for Piccadilly jewellers, goldsmiths and silversmiths, Bentley & Skinner.

Excerpt from Foreword to Barbara Jardine: Goldsmith by Professor Georgina Follett, OBE, MDes RCA, FSCD, FRSA.
“Barbara’s work is of the calibre of individuals such as Charlotte De Syllas, David Courts, Bill Hackett, Reema Pachachi and Cynthia Cousens, all of whom have stayed within the fine jewellery tradition and successfully developed through their individual skill set a fluency of language. She is a practitioner, a jeweller of the highest order. Artist, designer, fine craftsperson – any of these titles fit. They fit because of the work she produces.”

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