Athene studied first at Middlesex University and then at London Guildhall University’s Sir John Cass Faculty of Art and Design, graduating in 1996 with a degree in Silversmithing, Jewellery and Allied Crafts. During her degree she undertook varied placements, working with a Milliner and a Carpenter alongside the more traditional Jewellery placement. Her interest in many different media has led to an exciting cross-reference of disciplines, and a willingness to be open-minded and inventive when applying techniques and using materials.
Upon leaving university, Athene established a small retail gallery – ‘Fish’ – in Guernsey, promoting many up and coming young artists’ work alongside her own, before leaving the Island to travel. A trip which was expected to last six months became a voyage of over two years, visiting twenty different countries and exploring the artistic heritage of many cultures. During this time, Athene collected many fascinating images of the natural world in various forms from which she continues to draw inspiration.
Athene has recently discovered that travel and the weather (!) are her twin muses. Recent trips to Morocco and Holland have sparked new creative directions. The weather patterns of the Channel Islands are a constant source of creativity. All of this is underpinned by her fascination with colour theory and how that is affected by personal circumstances.
Athene is the secretary and social media coordinator for the registered charity Guernsey Art Network, which strives to bring together artists of all disciplines and give them opportunities to display their work.
“GAN, as a registered charity and a platform for local artists to engage with each other is vital to the local artistic community. As a jeweller, my main hope and aim for the committee going forward is to bring together different facets of this artistic community, the visual fine arts, applied arts and craft. Working together, artists of all genres will benefit from this engagement and cross-pollination. That’s where the magic happens.”
Working predominantly in Gold and Silver and incorporating a wide range of modern materials such as resin and Perspex, Athene designs and hand-makes all her pieces in her studio in Guernsey. Four distinctly different ranges of jewellery are produced, alongside a range of headwear.
Using traditional techniques mixed with a modern, inventive approach to combining materials and influences, she creates jewellery which draws inspiration from the natural world. A questioning mind and a willingness to explore design from different perspectives mean that interesting results are achieved. Athene uses recycled materials and found objects along with coins collected from around the globe, to inject fun, humour and an element of irreverence into her work. A love of colourful beads and semi-precious stones, combined with bright Perspex and dyed resin creates an eye-catching display. This is alongside silver and gold pieces which celebrate texture, combining organic forms with precious metals to provide beautifully simple pieces.
The Millinery designs range from traditional silver and gold wedding tiaras inspired by spiral and other organic forms, to delightfully giddy and playful headpieces which aim to solve the problem of what to wear for a modern wedding. These pretty clips and combs use a combination of millinery and jewellery techniques to create truly stunning conversation pieces. A variety of traditional hand-trimmed hats completes a selection which has something for everyone.
Whether working with individual clients to design special pieces or designing new work to add to the current collection, Athene works with a spontaneity sparked by a fascination for natural forms and the sheer variety of the living world around us. She strives to produce a range which celebrates a drawing together of many different techniques and materials.
©Athene Sholl. All Rights Reserved 2019