Charlotte De Syllas

1999 QEST Scholar - Jewellery

Charlotte spent many years carving gemstones for jewellery, and wanted to explore the possibilities of hollow-casting glass. Gemstones must be hollowed out to near transparency to be light enough to wear and she sought to achieve the same effects with fine hollow-cast glass.  A QEST Scholarship enabled her to spend a year researching at Wolverhampton University under Keith Cummings. After much experimentation, she achieved her goal, but concluded that hollow-casting glass took too much time and effort to be cost-effective for jewellery.

The scholarship offered benefits, however, of an unexpected kind. It was invaluable as a mid-career springboard to new connections and ideas, opening a fresh perspective on techniques and ways of working. Jewellery is mostly a solitary craft, while glass-making requires collaboration. So despite returning to gem-carving, she now takes a broader approach, combining skills from two different crafts to the enrichment of both.

“…these autograph jewellers … not only design it, they make it, they cast it, they set it, they enamel it, they display it, they retail it … and that’s quite a lot to ask of one person, but Charlotte de Syllas has pulled that off spectacularly well” – Geoffrey Munn