Meet the DORSET ART WEEKS artists: Miranda Peckitt
Twelve years ago Miranda Peckitt took up her father’s offer to join him in his jewellery business, and so began a four year long collaboration and the founding of the family firm Michael Peckitt had always wanted. A radical change in career is a shared experience for both father and daughter: Michael Peckitt had been a successful solicitor for many years prior to studying for a degree in fine art; his love of painting led him to produce highly original designs and images which he then used in the creation of jewellery fashioned in anodised aluminium – a soft, light material, it was not often seen in jewellery when Michael started out in the 1990s. Miranda Peckitt came from a publishing background, she managed fiction and illustrated book titles and then business materials for London city firms. However, long hours and a busy schedule left her craving for something more creative and at the second time of asking Miranda spent time with Michael ‘just to see what he was up to’. She was captivated by the cool and colourful pieces he was creating and so decided to join forces with Michael.
Miranda trained in jewellery making with her father, and she credits him along with artists, makers and other jewellers for helping her to learn on the job. The business is known as Very Colourful Jewellery and the passion behind the hard work is to create beautiful, vibrant pieces of wearable art which are a pleasure to wear and as individual as their owners. Miranda finds inspiration for her jewellery in a number of sources, but particularly abstract art and how this can be transformed across genres. For instance, the interpretation of Van Gogh’s work in the creation of a collection for the 2010 exhibition The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters at the Royal Academy, London; for this Miranda took the essences of his paintings and represented them across a range of aluminium jewellery.
Wonderment Collection: Regency, hand painted anodised aluminium cuff bracelet, 5 x 16.5cm, est. £50 (+fees)
Miranda’s items in the Dorset Art Weeks online auction came about through another collaboration, with Kathryn Thomas – also a Dorset Art Weeks auction artist. Kathryn was a good client of Michael Peckitt’s, his designs were so special for her she bought a piece for all 14 of her bridesmaids when she got married in 2009. In 2018 Kathryn was in touch again with Miranda to discuss her idea for a joint project. Miranda describes the depth and iridescence found in Kathryn’s works which are remarkable when seen for real in the flesh, and these powerful, commanding paintings work extremely well when paired with the natural luminescence of aluminium. Miranda’s handmade, hand painted pieces in the auction take their decoration and imagery from Kathryn’s oil paintings from the Wonderment Collection where galaxies, planets and the northern lights are depicted with an extremely high degree of realism.
Wonderment Collection: The Dark is Rising, hand painted anodised aluminium cuff bracelet and earring set; cuff: 3 x 16cm, earrings: 1.2 x 6cm with sterling silver hooks, est. £115 (+fees)
During lockdown and with production of aluminium temporarily at a halt, Miranda has re-discovered a number of clock mechanisms she purchased around 5 years ago, and sourcing aluminium from her own stock she has created cases painted in her own vivid, colour-rich designs. In the process she has savoured the re-cycling element of the project. She has also found that the circumstances of our current restrictions have forced us to explore the definition of ‘work’ – in our present state of ‘working from home’, should the call of the studio, the workshop, or the PC fall in line with other tasks which need our attention?
Wonderment Collection: Epic, hand painted anodised aluminium cuff bracelet, 5 x 16cm, est. £70 (+fees)
Looking ahead and to the return to more familiar ways of life, Miranda is excited to re-connect with galleries – beyond the online format – and to again see the ways in which a well-stocked, thoughtfully displayed commercial space open to the public drives footfall and stimulates interest from clients, both existing and new.