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 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 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):
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.
Ring: pigeon grasp claw with gold talons
Ring: pale green quartz, Colombian emerald shoulders
Cuff links: gold / silver single pigeon talon
holds sleeve cuff between its grasp
Necklace: aquamarine crystal captured between silver feet and gold talons
one foot dons its own rings in blue topaz and green quartz
Pendant: silver foot, gold talons
with miniature rings set with an emerald and peridot
Ear rings: (t) gold talons ; (b) silver feet with gold talons
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: