All three completely one-of-a-kind jewels by Ming Lampson come from her newest collection, Secrets, in which Ming explores the idea of secrets hidden inside or behind objects, curtains, parcels, presents, windows; secrets that entice and lure us, beckoning, inviting us to look further, deeper, to discover.
“I love the idea of imagining what is inside an old chest, behind a stained-glass window or a bead curtain,” she explains.
These diamond fringe earrings evoke the beaded curtains seen everywhere in Asia, offering a tantalising glimpse of intrigue and secret worlds behind. Ming recalls being transfixed by these curtains, like waterfalls, with the secrets and veiled promises, and the sensuality of the beads as they trail, trickle or slither across face or hand when pushed aside, along with the sound they make as they fall closed again, still sheltering their secrets.
The mix of metals used here allowed Ming to achieve the perfect balance between the front and back elements of the earrings. The back, with six diamond strands, is set in palladium, a much lighter metal, while the front, with three strands, is set in platinum.
There is however, another Orientalist dimension to the story behind these earrings: Ming tells how she was also inspired by Ōgi bira kanzashi, the decorative hairpins worn by Geisha, pins that might conceal a secret weapon within the sweet, swaying strands of an alluring fringe.
British • 1975
Ming Lampson was born in Sydney, grew up in Hong Kong, and settled in London. Some 20 years ago, her love of gemstones led her to Jaipur, where she apprenticed with a goldsmith and worked with gem dealers, learning about coloured gems. Returning to London, she studied jewellery-making, diamond-grading, and coloured stones and pearls with the GIA. Since then, Ming has worked as a private jeweller, creating one-of-a-kind bespoke jewels for a select clientèle. Her early years in Hong Kong gave her both her Chinese name and an enduring fascination with the East. So that when, more recently, she created two themed collections, Oriental Garden and Reverence for Nature, both were Orientalist in inspiration. Her designs are imaginative, her craftsmanship traditional and meticulous and all her jewellery is hand-made in her own workshops in London.