Science and fashion: an interview with Shimell and Madden
Shimell and Madden are a dynamic duo that partnered up in 2007 and, since then, they have opened a studio in Shoreditch, London. They draw inspiration from their common love of science and maths, which, combined with their crafting skills, give back elegant, minimalistic but striking pieces of jewellery.
When did you start working together?
We started working alongside each other as goldsmiths in a little jewellery store in Devon about six years ago. Since 2010 we have been in our studio in Shoreditch, East London, working as partners.
What pushed you to start collaborating?
We both have experience working in jewellery and craft industry for several businesses. This led us to decide to put our knowledge, skill and ideas into action, so that we could design and make things we like.
What’s your main source of inspiration?
Our inspiration comes from our shared love of science, maths and making. We mainly work with metal and mineral. The qualities of the materials and techniques we use greatly influences our designs, whether it is texturing gold or researching crystallography.
How does your creative and making process work?
We both make and design our work from the initial idea to the creation of the collection. We have our own individual strengths. Luke is a greatly experienced goldsmith and his technical skill allows us to achieve high quality fine jewellery and very precise handmade masters. I come from an art and design background and let my creativity loose when designing and making models for our collections and large statement pieces.
What’s the concept behind your “Cuboid” collection?
As our first collection, it shows in a very simple way what we are interested in. It originated from looking at the Platonic Solids and other mathematical polyhedra. The necklaces to us are basic symbols of dimension and proportion, describing the illusion of space and volume in 2D that is used in art, design and diagrams.
Do you want to explore other sections of design or do you want to stick with jewellery?
We definitely want to make other things than jewellery, although that is what we really love doing. We have already made boxes and large sculptural pieces for photo shoots and we are always keen on collaborating in projects.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
Being accepted for Goldsmiths Fair this year; we have always visited and admired this show. It will be the perfect exhibition for us to launch our first fine jewellery collection, on which we are working right now. The Fair takes place in October, at the historic Goldsmiths’ Hall in London.
Is there any designer you would like to collaborate with?
It is not something we have really thought about yet. We would find it really exciting to collaborate with a video artist or an architect and to work with someone that uses a totally different medium than our own.
Where do you see your brand five years from now?
It is quite difficult to have a set plan for the future as opportunities arise along the way and new experiences may change everything. We’ve been involved in many successful projects we would have never imagined we could have been part of. So it is always good to keep your options open. I know we would both love our own shop, but who knows when or where.
For further information about Shimmell and Madden click here.