Tag Archives: Knot Garden

Hidden Wonders

SBT_Secret Garden Locket_d

Secret Garden Locket in gift box

A couple of months ago I delivered the final two Signature Pieces for the Knot Garden Collection. I’m extremely proud of both pieces – they took a long time to design and create – and I decided it was about time that I shared them here. In my humble opinion, they encapsulate the spirit behind this Collection.

The Knot Garden Collection is inspired by Shakespeare’s life, with the stunning patterns of the re-imagined knot garden at Shakespeare’s New Place being the focal point of each piece.

As part of my design development, I researched Elizabethan jewellery and accessories, including the Cheapside Hoard. My discoveries, alongside my review of Herbals from the Rare Books Collection in The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Archives, led to the design of these two lockets that embody the Elizabethan desire for fragrance and colour and their fascination with pomanders and boxes.

The Secret Garden Locket has a fretworked* version of the seal from a signet ring (thought to have belonged to William Shakespeare) on the front and opens to reveal a knot garden pattern inside, which has been plated in green gold.

The locket bears the inscription: “Thy curious-knotted garden” Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act 1 Scene 1.

The Perfume Locket, a modern take on the Pomander**, features a knot pattern on the front and opens to reveal a specially commissioned solid perfume created by Katie Beswick. The perfume created for the piece has a rose scent:

“The key notes are rose otto and damask rose, with warm seductive amber, honey and animalistic propolis infused with poplar bud. It takes me to a place of heady love in a summer garden,” says Katie.

The locket bears the inscription: “A rose by any other word would smell as sweet”, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene 1.

All pieces in the Collection are made in sterling silver and hallmarked. All except the stud earrings also feature the WS signet ring pattern alongside the hallmark.

* fretwork is a form of openwork. To see how it’s done and find out more about it, please click here.

** Pomanders and Vinaigrettes were used in the 16th and 17th Centuries to hold perfume or perfumed sponges, to ‘disseminate attractive scents around the wearer’ or to ward off disease.

The Secret Garden Locket is available to buy online here and the Perfume Locket is available here. Both pieces are also available, along with the rest of the Knot Garden Collection in the shop at Shakespeare’s New Place in Stratford Upon Avon, England.

At my bench

The locket fronts are creating by saw-piercing the fretwork pattern and then soldering it to a solid piece of silver.

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“Thy curious-knotted garden”

Love’s Labour’s Lost, Act 1 Scene 1

My second Shakespeare by Design Collection has just gone on sale in the Gift Shop at the newly re-opened Shakespeare’s New Place in Stratford Upon Avon.

The Knot Garden Collection is inspired by Shakespeare’s life, with the stunning patterns of the re-imagined knot garden at New Place being the focal point of each piece.

Herbals from the Rare Books Collection in The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Archives provided an insight into the gardens of Shakespeare’s England and the importance of fragrance and colour in the creation of the Elizabethan knot garden. Knot patterns were prevalent as design motifs in the jewellery of the time, as was the use of hollow forms, openwork and buttons.

These styles and techniques influenced the creative process behind this Collection, which brings together elements of historical research with theories about Shakespeare’s life in a range of handcrafted, contemporary silver jewellery.

The main pieces in the Collection are a series of buttons and hollow pieces featuring fretwork in each of the four patterns from the newly planted knot garden in the grounds of New Place.

You can view a gallery of the main pieces in the Collection by clicking here.