Gems, clamps, leathers: Who is Tessa Metcalfe?
It would be difficult to mistake Tessa Metcalfe’s top drawer for anyone else’s. A jewellery designer who’s had a healthy interest in taxidermy since 2008? Well, that drawer just makes sense.
A combination of precious stones, files and a chamois leather for polishing and buffing, Tessa’s drawer contents sum up exactly what our ‘What’s in your top drawer?’ project is all about. We’re looking to lay bare those carefully chosen knick-knacks so essential to a creative workflow that they must be in easy reach. For example, explaining the wood and metal clamp, Tessa admitted:
“I don’t actually know what this is called, but it has little leather pads on the inside so nothing gets scratched and it’s really hand for holding jewellery—it gives you a proper handle on small objects. It’s really simple but has changed my life.”
(We looked it up for you, Tessa: it’s called a ‘wooden ring clamp’.)
A degree in Illustration from University of Brighton, as well as an upbringing with her father (a.k.a. ‘Pops’) in Hackney informed Tessa’s aesthetic style. If you interweave a love of birds and fairytales (from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling to Leda and the Swan), a desire to let nothing go to waste, and animal roadkill—you’ll be on the right track.
Tessa’s jewellery designs are an otherworldly celebration of the minimal and the macabre. Rings, necklaces, earrings and cufflinks in gold and sterling silver follow the avian theme. Bird talons either clutch precious stones as if caught in the act of thievery, or are wearing a bird-sized rings themselves.
Pixie Lott and Rita Ora love Tessa's designs, and so do we.