Michael Craig-Martin is best known for his outline drawings of everyday objects; he brings the vacuum cleaner and the lightbulb onto the walls in an impersonal yet lively manner.
Louisa Guinness Gallery approached Craig-Martin to make jewellery in 2007. The frst idea was to make handcuffs that would be split and could fit around each wrist as a bracelet, but with the option of also being linked. This project is still work in progress, a good example of how something can look great on paper but loses impact once it is made as a prototype and begins to interact with the body. The two-dimensional simplicity of the line drawing is interfered with by the wrist and the shape becomes abstract and less interesting.
The second idea was a light bulb that would ft right over the head. The wearer’s neck interfered with the lines but this time in a different way. Originally, the necklace was made completely flat but it became obvious that the shape needed to mould itself to the contours of the body, or the base would protrude far beyond the chin. The earrings followed. They have no fixings; rather, their shape - modelled on the form of a small oldfashioned light bulb – pierces directly through the ear like a giant hoop .
The Corkscrew or Cross necklace was Craig-Martin’s response to 'Interpreting Stone’, the inaugural exhibition at Louisa Guinness Gallery’s new permanent space. Michael used onyx and coral to fill in the gaps of the corkscrew. Known for his blocks of colour, the approach fitted well with his style of work.