I first met Janice Zethraeus when she was in the first year of her degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing at the London Metropolitan University. I was an artist in residence there at the time, and Janice was one of those students who stood out: friendly, enthusiastic, and particularly eager to learn. Of course at that stage in a degree course it’s all about experimentation, and so when I left at the end of the academic year I had no idea what work Janice would end up producing.
We met again at the New Designers show last summer, when I was part of the team selecting six of the best new jewellers to join the DJG in our winter show at the Barbican. The competition was tough as usual, but Janice’s work stood out and she won a place: great news because I knew she’d also be a good person to work with.
I’m always interested in where makers get their inspiration from, and Janice was kind enough to share a glimpse inside her sketch book. Photos of cracked mud, imprints of fossils, leaf veins, and sand dunes set the tone. Janice has previously worked as an illustrator, it’s no surprise to find ethereal drawings almost floating off the page.
With these images in mind, it’s easy to understand Janice’s jewellery: it flows and sparkles. Sinuous and elegant silver and gold wires – often set with tiny diamonds – almost seem to dance. This is joyful work, and I’m sure would be a pleasure to wear.
Having been selected as one of the Crafts Council’s ‘hothouse’ makers for 2011, Janice is definitely one to watch. You can still see (and buy) her jewellery at the DJG show in the Barbican Centre, London, now until 6th January 2012.