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Via her unusual jewellery pieces, designer Tessa Metcalfe

explores and creates a visual-impact story.

It is a tale set in the London metropolis.

It is one of grit, grime and city dwelling.

It is one of unexpected beauty found in a most peculiar subject:

the urban pigeon.

The London city pigeon has become a creature scorned.

Once a fixture in great abundance at landmark points-

such as famed Trafalgar Square,

strident measures have been enacted

to banish the pigeon from such historic sites.

(image from panoramio.com):

pigeons, trafalgar square

Pigeons once reigned over Trafalgar Square

Yet for native Londoner, Tessa Metcalfe

the feral pigeon is an object of fascination

and source of inspiration for creative output.

(image from designerweek.co.uk):

jewellery designer, tessa metcalf

Jewellery designer, Tessa Metcalfe

Promoted by her own study/work in  taxidermy,

Ms. Metclafe uses the feet of roadkill pigeons

as core element for her pieces.

The feet are cleaned, cast in silver or gold

then set with exquisite gemstones, gently held by the talons:

equally macabre, compelling and beautiful.

(images from tessametcalfejewellery.co.uk):

 jewellery, ring, tessa metcalf, ruby diamond 18 ct gold engagement ring

 18ct gold bespoke ruby and diamond engagement ring

Ms. Metcalfe’s pieces have been showcased at London Fashion Week-

where I first viewed her work.

There is a beguiling quality to these pieces, which engenders

lingered examination and great appreciation.



jewellery, ring, tessa metcalf, pigeon clasp claw ring, gold tallons

Ring:  pigeon grasp claw with gold talons

jewellery, ring, tessa metcalfe, green quartz, colombian emerald shoulders IMG_8609

Ring:  pale green quartz, Colombian emerald shoulders

jewellery, cuff links, tessa metcalf,

Cuff links:  gold / silver single pigeon talon

holds sleeve cuff between its grasp

jewellery, tessa metcalf, necklace, aquamarine crystal,

Necklace:  aquamarine crystal captured between silver feet and gold talons

one foot dons its own rings in blue topaz and green quartz

jewellery, tessa metcalf, pendant,

Pendant:  silver foot, gold talons

with miniature rings set with an emerald and peridot

jewellery, ear rings, tessa metcalf, gold stud talons

earrings, tessa metcalf, gold/silver talons

Ear rings:  (t) gold talons ; (b) silver feet with gold talons

jewellery, ring, the pearl of London, tessa metcalf

Pearl of London ring

The ring is a signature piece of Ms. Metcalfe’s design narrative:

“Capturing the hidden beauty of the city it represents, the pigeon inhabitants protect precious pearls within their gold claws endlessly spinning them in their grasp. The cool smooth [freshwater] pearl stands out inside the gold cage of claws enclosing it. Playfully fitted onto pins the pearl can be turned at your fingertips. This ring encompasses everything I love about my hometown, looking through the dirt in the gutter, finding it holds the beauty of the city.” 

(quote, Tessa Metacalfe)

Tessa Metcalfe earned a BA Honours degree in Illustration,

University of Brighton.

Her creations have been worn by pop divas Rita Ora and Pixie Lott.

For further details, visit: