Rod Edwards, a silver and lapis lazuli brooch, London 1963, stamped RLE for Rod Edwards, the oval stone raised on a colonnade of columns, lapis lazuli 2.9 cm by 1.7 cm, the brooch 6.7 cm by 5 cm SOLD
Rod Edwards (born Sydney, Australia, 1921) studied sculpture and design at the East Sydney Technical College, now the National Art School. He moved to England in 1954 where he was apprenticed as a jeweller and received a thorough technical education. After working at the costume jewellery company Corocraft from 1954-60, he went into business on his own account, working on private commissions.
He was represented at the ground-breaking International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery 1890-1961, organised by Graham Hughes in 1961 at Goldsmiths Hall. This was to be the beginning of a new appreciation of modern jewellery design. His work is in the collection of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, the National Museums of Scotland and the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. His training in sculpture combined with a profound knowledge of jewellery techniques produced elegant, modernist jewellery, exploiting the reflective surface of the metal and the glow of cabochon gemstones. A comparatively large tourmaline set 18 carat gold ring, 1967, is in the V&A collection. It has a sculptural quality by the arcading supporting the stone, saw-pierced by hand and inspired by the architecture of Venice which he visited with his wife, similar to that which we see here in this brooch.
A detailed explanation of how to make the colonnade is given in Rod Edward’s substantial manual for goldsmiths ‘The Technique of Jewellery’ which he published in 1977, with line drawings and design by his wife, the illustrator Virginia Smith. Although debilitating depression limited his career as a jeweller, he was an active and popular lecturer in jewellery at the Camden Institute . ‘The Technique of Jewellery’ was reprinted several times: the V&A ring was the cover illustration of the 1987 paperback edition.