Meet The Maker - Laura Cruikshank

Posted on 6 Sep 10:00

This week we interview the 'Diana Porter New Designers Award' winner Laura Cruikshank. Laura's collection of statement earrings and handcrafted jewellery pieces are each named after different gentle movements she studied within nature. Inspired by the way different flora sways, dances, bounces or floats on interaction with the elements.

Portrait by Laura Cruikshank for New Designers Exhibition Diana Porter

When did you start creating jewellery?

I started making jewellery in 2018 after joining a lapidary club in Edinburgh which also has enamelling kilns. I studied painting initially but have also always loved making objects and anything on a small, precious scale. I was drawn into the jewellery world through colour but have since been fascinated to explore form, texture and movement. A friend lent me some hand tools to practice with and I was hooked.

Sketching components Laura Cruikshank New Designers Jewellery

Who inspires you the most?

Craftspeople who give real depth of attention to detail and know their materials well, whose work shows both skill and authentic creativity. I think if a piece has been created with care from start to finish it makes the work shine and I think there's something very beautiful in that. The people who inspire me are probably quite broad ranging for example I often return to look at the work of Jacqueline Ryan, Marian Hosking, Nel Linssen, Romilly Saumarez Smith, Shimell and Madden ..and many many others!

casting tree by Laura Cruikshank for New Designers Exhibition Diana Porter

Which is your favourite piece in your collection?

I think my favourite changes daily, but I would probably say either 'float 'as it is so light to wear and I love the movement of the delicate chain. I’m also particularly fond of ‘Billow’ as this was the first piece I completed for my collection and I felt it had an aesthetic and energy I wanted to continue to explore and expand on.

Sketches and placement ideas by Laura Cruikshank for New Designers Exhibition Diana Porter

Please can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

I'm very process driven and love to work in a fragmented way building up component parts which then slowly come together at various points when a composition feels right. Drawing is key to my practice and I collect small, delicate botanical elements which I keep and study. I walk a lot and observe movements within nature and subtle colour shifts as the seasons progress.

Keumbo and leaf inspiration

What’s next for your creative practice?

Moving forward I want to further my skills, continuing to build on the library of little forms I have developed which encompass various techniques. I am keen to broaden my collection to include both ‘statement’ and ‘quietly elegant’ pieces which are more everyday. I am going to be included in a group show coming up with Tatha gallery next year and am currently designing some earrings for the V&A shop in Dundee. I'm also going to take part in Elements Festival of Jewellery, Silver and Gold in Edinburgh this October as part of their graduate showcase. I would like to develop new ideas by visiting new places to research through drawing and collecting and just looking..

Digital Sketches by Laura Cruikshank for New Designers Exhibition Diana Porter

Finally, for fun, what would be your dream piece to make or person to make for?

I would love to make a series of work with gold alloys to include a vast range of subtle colour shifts and made up of hundreds of small moving parts and spanning a huge range of time in the making process! I wouldn’t design it …I would just let it evolve!

The New Designers 2023 Exhibition
11th August - 21st October

Featuring the ‘Diana Porter New Designers Award’ winner Laura Cruikshank.
Alongside the talented works of:
Will Barrett, Martina Kocianova, Molly Rigby, Ania Sikorska and Saipranathi Sreeram.