Blogs: All That Glitters / Designers / Industry

Why Author Melanie Grant Is a Force of Nature


Here in New York, it’s NYC Jewelry Week, an event that kicked off yesterday with a panel discussion on the work of Wallace Chan led by one Melanie Grant. The British author, curator, journalist, and stylist may be newly familiar to you with last fall’s publication of her wonderful book Coveted: Art and Innovation in High Jewelry (I received it as a 2020 holiday gift).

Earlier this fall, Grant worked with Sotheby’s to curate “Brilliant and Black: A Jewelry Renaissance,” the auction house’s first-ever exhibition and selling event dedicated to Black jewelry designers.

This week she unveils “Force of Nature,” another curatorial project, this one a bit smaller in scale and located in her home base of London. Staged in collaboration with the Elisabetta Cipriani gallery, which specializes in contemporary “wearable art,” it’s a selling exhibition aimed at further dismantling the hierarchy that separates art and jewelry.

“Force of Nature” will showcase nearly 40 jewels dedicated to an overarching theme of naturalism. Among them is a cuff that Grant herself designed. According to this post from Grant’s Instagram feed, the jewel came from wanting “to make something about the time we had spent in lockdown considering our lives. Peering into a #metaphysical mirror with absolute quiet and stillness for the first time was like looking into the sun. We are all different now.”

Grant joins the 17 other contemporary artists in the exhibition. With approaches both figurative and abstract, they are: Ai Weiwei, Bibi van der Velden, Fabio Salini, Frank Stella, Giorgio Vigna, Giuseppe Penone, Grima, Jacqueline Rabun, James de Givenchy, John Moore, Joy BC, Liv Luttrell, Lydia Courteille, Melanie Eddy, Satta Matturi, Ute Decker, and Wallace Chan.

Cipriani said in a statement: “The combination of artists Melanie has brought together signifies her determination to break down barriers between jewelry and fine art. It is a mission I share. Any artist should be free to work in any discipline, and the enormity of nature as inspiration dwarfs any argument to the contrary.”

The “Force of Nature” exhibition debuts on Thursday in a special preview celebration held in partnership with Serpentine Galleries. All pieces will be available to purchase by private appointment at Elisabetta Cipriani or over the phone until Nov. 27.

Here’s a look at some of the other remarkable “forces of nature” on view below.

Lydia Courteille salamander brooch
Salamander brooch, in 18k gold with diamonds, tsavorite, peridots, fancy sapphires, diopside, and opals, Lydia Courteille
Ai Wei Wei rings
Rings W & M, both in 24k yellow gold, Ai Weiwei
Bibi Van Der Velden earrings
Alligator Biting earrings in 18k yellow gold with tiger’s eye and tsavorite, Bibi van der Velden
Fabio Salini Roman Romance ring
Roman Romance ring in carbon fiber with diamonds and pearl, Fabio Salini
Grima ammonite pendant
Ammonite pendant with diamonds on bark-textured 18k yellow gold collar, Grima


Top: Self cuff in bronze, dark gray oxidized silver, and white sapphires, Melanie Grant. This is the first piece that the British author, curator, journalist, and stylist has ever designed. It will be available in a limited edition of eight.


Follow me on Instagram: @aelliott718

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine
Amy Elliott

By: Amy Elliott

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out