Artists gain inspiration for their designs in many ways. Some are inspired by nature, others by childhood memories, and still others by the very materials they use. No matter their muse, each designer draws from outward influences to add uniqueness to their pieces. One such designer, Disa Allsopp, has been greatly influenced by her heritage, her travels, and a desire for sustainability.
Allsopp was born in London and subsequently moved to Barbados, where she spent most of her childhood. After receiving degrees in art, design, and jewelry, Allsopp eventually returned to London to open up a studio in 1996.
Each piece is individually handcrafted in her London studio using vibrant stones such as rubies, sapphires, morganite, garnet, and citrine. The colors of these gems are very reminiscent of the vivid hues of Barbados. Additionally, Allsopp often incorporates white and colored diamonds into her pieces.
As far as metals, Allsopp crafts her modern, timeless pieces using gold and silver, a large part of which comes from recycled materials. She also ensures that her materials are sourced in a sustainable, ethical manner so that clients can feel good about their purchases and their impact on the environment.
Some of the methods Allsopp uses to transform metals are hammering, forging, and reticulation. Her pieces are also known for their unique patination and finishes. All of these elements combine to achieve the earthy, handmade quality that causes Allsopp’s pieces to stand out.
East African touches are often incorporated into Allsopp’s designs as she regularly visits Kenya to source materials and gain inspiration. Her style is reminiscent of techniques used by early Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Etruscans, and her designs often have an ancient feel due to this inspiration.
As far as consistent lines of jewelry, Allsopp is known for her “spaghetti rings,” which are constructed of coiled metal placed in an organic way that resembles wound spaghetti. These pieces are made using precious metals and are sometimes peppered with small precious stones. She also makes uniquely shaped bangle bracelets in addition to necklaces, earrings, and cufflinks.
Allsopp exhibits her pieces internationally and at select retail locations, but she continues to offer a bespoke collection of commissioned pieces for clients. Such designs have included custom engagement and wedding bands and a brooch that was set with the client’s diamonds. One ring Allsopp crafted utilized repurposed diamonds from an eternity band that had once belonged to the client’s mother. Allsopp often welcomes private appointments in her London studio to design pieces such as these.
Although she has developed a loyal following in Paris and Tokyo, Allsopp is still accessible at her home base of London. The bold modernity and earthen quality of her individually handcrafted pieces are both chic and have set this artist apart as one whose work will continue to stand the test of time.