Chloe Rose Taylor has a thing for glitter. Inspired by drag queens whilst studying jewellery design at Whitireia Polytech, she developed a style and approach to contemporary jewellery that is all her own. Her aesthetic is cutting edge, unconventional and sculptural–she thinks far outside the box.
Of late, Chloe’s been inspired by icicles for an exhibition in Wellington, based on J.Robert Lennon’s short story Plan B: The Accursed Items. When I meet her to record an arts story, I can’t imagine she’s ever short of ideas. I’m immediately drawn to what is the largest item on her work bench. It’s a necklace and it’s by far the most substantial item of jewellery I have ever set eyes upon. At least 20cm squared, I can only describe it as a kind of futuristic moon-rock.
Starting with a wooden base, Chloe has built onto this sculptural form by strategically placing protruding icicle shapes. It looks weighty, but I’m surprised by it’s lightness. The wearer will ultimately become the wall to this 3-dimensional art piece which commands centre stage.
“It’s definitely wearable,” Chloe tells me, “but you’d have to be brave!”
I have my eyes glued to a set of rings which she has yet to complete. Cast in resin, she employs bright pops of neon, glitter and the themed ‘icicle’ forms which sit atop, jewel-like. I am swooning. Like the necklace, the rings are also large.
“When and where would you wear it?” Chloe asks me.
“Oh, everywhere and anywhere,” I tell her, trying one on for size.
I leave Chloe’s workshop having selected a ring for purchase (currently in the process of being completed), knowing that I’ve finally found what I’ve been searching for –Ring+Neon+Spiky+Icicles=Happiness.
In my light-hearted radio interview with Chloe Rose Taylor and exhibiting artist-Caroline Thomas we discuss ‘objects’–how they accumulate a history and identity, why ‘gifting’ jewellery is tricky terrain, and memories of long-lost objects that will never be retrieved again. Listen to the story here.