“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

Stolen Kisses was inspired by the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and forbidden love. I’d fallen in love with fretwork and was going all out. But geometric fretwork was not an obvious part of the piece when I started.

I did experiment with a geometric version of the statue silhouette. It was interesting and I may still do something with it in the future, but it wasn’t happening for this piece. I looked at roses and the Fibonacci sequence. Again, it was really interesting but it still wasn’t doing it for me.

Geometric version of Romeo & Juliet statue

Geometric version of Romeo & Juliet statue

Experiments with the Fibonacci Sequence and rose petals

Experiments with the Fibonacci Sequence and rose petals

As I studied Romeo and Juliet, I thought about the setting. Whilst I hadn’t visited the fictional setting of the play, I had been to Italy in 2013 and been completely bowled over by the most incredible architecture – not least of all by the beautiful rose windows and interior cornices and arches.

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Milan – Ceiling inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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Inside St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City 

Italian architecture is rich and varied and rose windows are intrinsic to many of the churches and buildings we saw. A rose window starts out with a hexagon and when you take it apart, it resembles the petals of a rose. So with this as my starting point, after a lot of experimentation, I created a geometric rose window pattern that I could fretwork.

The Duomo, Milan

The Duomo, Milan

Experimenting with hexagonal shapes and rose window patterns

Experimenting with hexagonal shapes and rose window patterns

The edge of the pendant is not symmetrical, echoing some of the asymmetric shapes I saw in Italy, particularly in the Vatican City.

Inside St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Inside St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

In my final design, I placed my silhouette of the lovers behind the window, so that it gives the impression of stolen moments, hidden love and secret assignations.

Pendant/brooch

‘When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.”

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