Tessa Metcalfe was born and bred in Hackney, London where she spent her childhood watching pigeons and developed a deep fascination for the birds. The majority of her subjects are donated by her Father, Hugh Metcalfe- they consist of roadkill and animals that have met their end at the paws of other wildlife
In 2008 Tessa began experimenting with taxidermy in her bedroom. A desire to never let anything go to waste lead to late night sessions cleaning & casting birds feet. In 2011 she graduated from the University of Brighton with a BA hons degree in illustration. This background forms the concepts behind her work.
"The biggest epiphanies in my life came during the stories of Leda and the Swan as well as Hans Christian Andersen's The Ugly Duckling. I believe in both myths and legends and through my jewellery I want to combine the two, creating a little dream to carry with you."
The Homage collection celebrates 'finding beauty in the gutter'. Inspired by the city of London, the foot of a pigeon is transformed into a beautiful talisman of fine art jewellery. Thorough investigation has taken the concept further than an idea and into a complete collection of timeless pieces playing on the fantasy underworld of her hometown.
Cast entirely from pigeons feet found from the city's road kill Tessa creates narrative jewellery. Lovingly setting precious jewels into the birds grasp and making miniature rings to adorn the birds claws the pleasure of her work can be seen all over the bold designs. Beautiful in their own right the pieces demand a closer inspection and invite the viewer to look differently at the neglected and feral pigeon.
Handmade from her Hatton Garden workshop."
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