Caroline Kernick: Fine Jewellery Artist and Designer


Design inspired by the ballets of Diaghilev, the necklace comprises graduated diamond units with finely rendered emerald, deep amethyst coloured cabochons and onyx units suspended by a multitude of freshwater paper-pearl strands draping towards detailed collarbone units. All gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 17 ½ ins.


An ode to the architecture of the Paris Bataclan, the necklace is decorated with finely rendered white diamond, coral and onyx coloured cabochon units suspended by a multitude of freshwater paper-pearl fringes. All gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 15 ½ ins.


Designed as a sweeping necklace echoing ‘Les Libellules’ of the Paris Bataclan, decorated with rarely matched Padparacha sapphire coloured pear-shapes in a sweep of smaller canary-yellow sapphire marquise  stones and finely individually rendered white diamonds. All gouache pigments applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card,precisely 2012, 14 ins.


Designed as a necklace mimicking the scale and arrangements of the Ziegfeld Follies centralising three Melo paper-pearls and a Conch paper-pearl all surrounded by graduating impressions of coral beads, pink sapphires, zesty orange sapphires and South Sea paper-pearls.  Finely rendered white diamonds suspend the central motif and lead to a multitude of paper-pearl strands.  All gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 13 ½ ins.


Designed as a tumbling festoon necklace inspired by the costumes of Léon Bakst, decorated with finely rendered white diamonds from which are suspended a multitude of cabochon fringes comprised of forest emerald, olivine peridot, Paraïba tourmaline and aquamarine gouache pigments individually applied with Kolinsky Sable brushes on 270g dove grey Maya-card, precisely 2012, 16 ½ ins.

Caroline moved to Cambridgeshire from the Champagne region of France at the age of 10 where she went on to follow a British education.

Constant activity and the instruction to ‘never be bored’ were starting blocks to her childhood.  By following and learning alongside family members in their disciplines of landscape watercolor painting, woodworking, bookbinding and cross stitching she learnt observation, scrupulous attention to detail, patience and gained an inexhaustible enthusiasm and willingness to create.

Strings of internships in London, Spain and India during school holidays led Caroline to question her direction.  This ultimately culminated in the discovery of the world of collectable fine jewellery and its many different facets.  In conjunction with research of the jewellery field, Caroline eagerly sketches and notes in London museums and art galleries to later realise that constant awareness and curiosity creates links in her thinking to build ideas.

Drawing from life is the basis of Caroline’s work, as she truly believes that knowing the dimensions and details of objects and space are the key to later constructing them from the imagination.  Her diverse research stimuli includes the finesse and complexity of Aubrey Beardsley’s monochrome narratives, Charles Avery’s hyper-real ‘The Islanders’ project and the ambience of photographic artists from Daido Moriyama to Francesca Woodman and Deborah Turbeville.

Recent awards have included: winning the Goldsmiths Hall Scholarship for diamond grading having entered fine jewellery designs, being a finalist in the Cartier Design prize for her portfolio, being chosen by Cool Diamonds to manufacture and retail her diamond ring design and The Boodles Prize, awarded by Shaun Leane for the Jewellery Design graduating year of 2012.  Additionally a shortlist for the Central Saint Martins NOVA prize was a great achievement, results of which will be revealed at the end of 2012!.

Your previous education?

A boarding school in the Northamptonshire countryside allowed me to specialise myself very quickly after GCSEs into Art, Design&Technology and languages.  Which meant I could very quickly spend all my time on creative and individually led projects, both artistic and technical.

Why CSM? 

International recognition and reputation in the design industry, a need to be in London, independent and out of the traditional ‘Uni’ scene.

What was your journey to get in?

Applications with portfolio to Foundation, getting answers for interview on ski slopes and panicking at the inefficiency of it all! Once on foundation, specialised into jewellery at first opportunity, it was easier to go with the flow of CSM admin system once inside!

Why jewellery design? 

Increasingly I was designing and drawing homing in on details and intricacities.  Additionally I also have a thorough respect and admiration for the longevity of the objects, sculptures produced at the height of the industry. I like to think that a piece of fine jewellery is similar in ambition to the biggest architectural and technical projects challenging human craftsmanship.  

Tell us about your course? How it is structured?

3 years, first quite technical, second very design led, and third completely independent, with valuable feedback from tutors regularly, but not too often!  The entirety sprinkled with ‘Live’ industry projects.

Tell us about your final jewellery collection?

The intention for the collection is to recreate the inaccessible opulence of high jewellery. Many collectable, valuable pieces of jewellery now travel around the world as art objects, always seen and judged from behind glass by most. They have become devoid of the original function for which they were designed: to be felt, handled and to adorn the body. This collection is designed for display and immediate visual impact. 

 The aspiration is for each piece to be made from simple sheets card to produce noble and precious artworks, which at face value resemble extraordinary and surprising pieces of fine jewellery.  The pieces intrigue the viewer after an immediate expectation and judgement within the context of a jewellery exhibition to subsequently lead to the surprising realisation of the material.  The weightlessness of the pieces is confusing as it is made evident in the presentation; it provokes further enquiry and upon closer inspection, the material might be revealed.  The viewer can then linger upon the debatable nature of the objects as paintings, illustrations, sculptures or suggestions for jewellery.

Through meticulous research into stones and fine jewellery construction, the painted details glow realistically to emphasise unique light sources, depths and three-dimensions.  Highly specialised techniques of paper-craft to construct and manipulate the material produce confusing and deceptive results. 

What in your opinion are the main differences between fashion (apparel) design and jewellery design?

The need for jewellery started fashion, it preceded fashion and clothing as a luxury status symbol of importance and design, it has been coveted and respected since its birth.  It does not disintegrate in the same way as fabrics but rather beautifully only changes appearance through constant wear through a lifetime.  This cannot be said for clothing, which might now change with every season. 

 What are your plans now? 

To keep learning and growing within the magical fine jewellery industry…

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