Everyone loves a rags to riches story and so Vanilla Ink gained a whole army of supporters when they launched a ‘Kickstarter’ crowd funding campaign to raise money so 9 talented designers from Scotland’s fair land could afford to exhibit at this years IJL.

Established in 2009 by jewellery designer Kate Pickering Vanilla Ink is a collaborative studio which aims to provide a supportive and nurturing ‘pod’ for emerging designers.  Recognising the fact that once you graduate students leave behind the support of an school environment,  Pickering set up Vanilla Ink to bridge this gap and help new designers on the first steps to establishing themselves in the industry.  When in residence at Vanilla Ink designers not only have access to an affordable studio environment but also industry mentors who are on hand to provide one on advice about all aspects of the jewellery business.

I had the pleasure of spending time with the Vanilla Inkers at this years IJL.  Their spirit was so infectious and their love and passion translates right through to their designs.  In part 1 of this post I am going to introduce you to 4 of the 9 Vanilla Ink designers; Sally-Anne, Filipa Oliveira, Joanne MacFayden and Ruth A Morrison.

sallyQuirky paisley prints for the boys and black seductive lace and pearls for the girls Sally Anne’s jewellery has something for everyone.




Inspired by the sad passing of her grandmother Sally-Anne now aims to take people’s precious memories and transform them into a piece of jewellery which can be treasured and past down through generations.  By taking swatches of fabrics from your life Sally- Anne will work with you to design your own piece of bespoke jewellery.



Whimsical and fairytale jewels make up Joanne MacFadyen’s ‘Eden’ collection.  Oversized stones, spirals of metals etched with blues and greens and canopies of sliver.  MacFayden has created a truly enchanting collection.





Filpia Oliveria’s Portuguese heritage can be seen present in the filigree techniques she incorporates into her designs. Dainty spines of gold form the ‘Golden Honey collection’ a series of elegant sophisticated jewellery.

filiOliveria also know how to bring the edge and her Strata collection features chunky textured pieces with glistening gemstones.






Ruth A Morrison’s jewellery is literally cut from the finest of Scottish cloths. Taking the Harris Tweed from her homeland the Isle of Harris in the outer Hebrides and placing it in bold silver geometric shapes Morrison  has designed a stunning unique range of jewellery.  If your looking for a way to compliment this season’s tartan prints then Ruth’s jewellery is definitely the way forward.  Though this jewellery is for keeps and should be worn long past the trends of the moment.




More designers from Vanilla Ink coming your way shortly.    VAN

sign off vertwo