Based in her London workshop, Ruby Taglight hand carves her pieces out of wax before casting them into precious metal, and signing them with a lab-grown ruby.
Ruby creates sculptural jewellery exploring the importance of adornment. Drawing on themes such as myth, history, and religion, her pieces play with combining traditional materials and forms, with those less conventional, such as synthetic gemstones and figurines, celebrating the over-feminine, over-embellished, and the kitsch.
Ruby Taglight LDN’s pieces discuss the role of the ornament. Traditionally in design, over-ornamentation was criticised for distracting from functionality. Non-realistic, highly-adorned styles such as that of the Rococo were denounced as ‘too feminine’ compared to the ‘masculine’ practicality of classicism. In an ever-increasingly technological world, we as humans value progress in terms of the machine, and as a result are developing technology that is rendering us less productive by definition; we are becoming the ornament.
Ruby turns to stories throughout history that exist outside the realms of technology; myths, paintings, superstitions, and retells them through the medium of contemporary jewellery. Each story is reinterpreted through the process of wax carving, creating highly visceral textures adorned with gemstones. The wearer is a vessel for these magical tales to live on in our modern society.
Ruby trained as a fine artist at the Glasgow School of Art, creating life-sized, heavily embellished sculptures. It was during this making process she discovered a deep connection with adornment, and subsequently moved to New York to earn a Graduate Gemologist Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America. Ruby began her self-taught journey into jewellery by taking short courses, namely at the London Jewellery School, and Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School, Florence. Alongside her studies, Ruby worked for Pippa Small Jewellery in sales and wholesale, where she was introduced to the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, who recently invited her to teach a summer program on jewellery design, over zoom, to the students in Kabul, Afghanistan. She has exhibited her work in multiple exhibitions across London, and was awarded ‘Stars in the Making’, by the Goldsmiths’ Centre, 2021.