Obituary: Nuala Jamison, jewellery tutor

Nuala JamisonNuala Jamison, jewellery tutor at Morley College and one of the leading lights of the contemporary non precious jewellery movement in the 1970s, sadly left us in August 2016.

Nuala started teaching at Morley College over 30 years ago. She has inspired many students who returned term after term to enjoy her lessons.

Some reflections from Morley staff and students:
Nuala’s skill and imagination created the extraordinary from the ordinary by taking a humble piece of plastic and making it special for people.

She was a very important influence in my life and every time I cut plastic to make some jewellery I think of her.

She was an absolute master of her materials, her earrings are design classics.

She was good at giving a few home truths, always with a twinkle in her eyes and her brilliant laugh. The world feels a little less shiny without her.

Obituary by Christina Jansen, Managing Director, The Scottish Gallery

In July 2016, Nuala Jamison held what would be her last solo exhibition at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh called Faceted Light. The Scottish Gallery was one of many galleries to have represented her wonderful work Jamison was determined to make a new body of work for her exhibition and also include highlights from her career.

Born in Lurgan, County Armagh in 1948, Jamison first studied in Belfast before concentrating on Jewellery Design at Central St Martins in London, graduating in 1972.

Nuala Jamison was a pioneer of modern jewellery, specialising in acrylic – her work is synonymous with enhancing the wearer with colour and light. Jamison was also an art educator and up until recently was teaching jewellery at Morley College in London as well as summer classes in Ireland.

Her sculptural jewellery was inspired by urban city spaces as well as the southern Irish coastline; between London and County Cork, she felt she had the best of both worlds.

During the course of her life in jewellery, Jamison designed accessories for the iconic clothing designer Jean Muir and in the 1980’s she enjoyed a collaborative partnership with Caroline Broadhead and produced a line of acrylic jewellery called C&N.

Jamison carved and shaped her pieces with pumice over several weeks to achieve a weathered appearance. Above all, Jamison loved colour and more recently she had developed ways of dyeing and colouring acrylic to enhance the reflective qualities – sometimes creating a subtle blend of shades and other times mixing together contrasting colours or cutting facets to reveal more light.

Her work is held in numerous public collections worldwide. The quality of Nuala Jamison’s work and the joy that her work has given women over the decades will be difficult to replace.

Nuala Jamison was dedicated to the craft of making beautiful jewellery, she was a consummate professional, direct in her approach and practice and a pleasure to deal with.

Nuala Jamison, jewellery tutor at Morley College and one of the leading lights of the contemporary non precious jewellery movement in the 1970s, sadly left us in August 2016.

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