We caught up with leading pearl jewellery designer Melanie Georgacopoulos and asked her about her stunning faceted pearls collection and how it all came about.
“The Faceted Collection embodies a new exploration of the traditional combination of diamonds and pearls in jewellery. In the spirit of the modern classics, Faceted explores the diamond-like qualities of the pearl in a literal way : in treating pearls with diamond cutting techniques and thus allowing light to penetrate their inner surface it exposes their organic beauty within. Each ‘diamond’ pearl has 25 facets and is suspended from an 18 ct gold chain. The geometrical simplicity of the design allows the viewer to focus entirely on the shimmering pearl. The styles come in three colours, white , peacock and lavender with 18 ct yellow and white gold combinations.
Faceted Pearl Pendant 18 carat yellow gold with 12 mm diamond faceted lavender freshwater pearl
The interesting aspect of this faceting technique is that it really highlights the uniqueness of each pearl. Despite the fact that cultured freshwater pearls are being used throughout this collection, their core varies slightly due to their organic nature which means that every faceted pearl is truly unique. Initially I had looked into diamond faceting to understand the process and to decide the best way to go about it. In the end I went with my instincts and was guided by the drilled hole that went through each pearl making sure that the top facet was parallel to it. Naturally, there were a few trial and errors and I experimented with different shapes and pearls before achieving the ‘diamond’ cut.
When exploring a new idea such as pearl faceting, I find that I get the best results when I tackle the material myself. Having a Sculpture background (BA Hons Edinburgh College of Art), I am used to and like handling a variety of materials and my preferred method of working is with my tools in my workshop. There is only so much you can do on a piece of paper, you can have a great design but it needs to be makeable, so when exploring unknown territories you just don’t know if its going to work until you test it. I adopted the same approach for other designs such as the pearl drilling and slicing which resulted in very successful strong collections.
Overall, I feel that this hands on approach as well as putting aside any preconceptions associated with pearls, really made my designs stand out when I first launched my brand in 2010. Back then I was quite unaware of the connotations people associate with pearls which made me free to explore their materiality and not be intimidated by them. Those very first collections which explored the inside structure of pearls were also the ones that got me noticed and attracted attention from Japanese jeweller Tasaki with which we launched M/G Tasaki back in 2012. The brand is now thriving in Asian markets which is evidence that customers are embracing unusual designs. To this day I am mesmerised by pearls and I hope to continue working with them for a long time.”