Staffa Jewellery is inspired by the basalt rock pillars of the Scottish island of Staffa. The designs echo the hexagonal columns of the island and depict the sculptural curves and sense of movement found in the rock structures which were created when cooling flows of lava came into contact with the bedrock after intense volcanic activity 60 million years ago.
The resulting silver pieces are poised between energised movement and the static of ancient bedrock.
Staffa Jewellery is a celebration of nature – both the exceptional geological features of the island and the luminous qualities of silver which can be as bright as the sky or as dark as the sea.
An island rich in folklore and legend, Staffa has inspired artists from Mendelson to Turner. Home to An Uaimh Bhinn – the ‘melodious cave’ also known as ‘Fingal’s cave’, this small uninhabited island has long captured the romantic mind through its exceptional geological features.
The breathtaking precision of the basaltic columns on Staffa is due to the movement of steadily cooling flows of lava, solidifying as they came into contact with colder bedrock and were then exposed to the even colder effects of the Scottish climate. The contraction on cooling results in hexagonal columns which curve in response to the shape of the underlying rock over which the lava once flowed. Although rare, this type of columnar basalt occurs in a number of places, famously at the ‘Giant’s Causeway’ in Northern Ireland, but nowhere is it more spectacular than on Staffa.
‘Staffa, with its strange basalt pillars and caverns, is in all the picture books. We were put out in boats and lifted by the hissing sea up the pillar stumps to the famous Fingal’s Cave. A greener roar of waves never rushed into a stranger cavern—its many pillars making it look like the inside of an immense organ, black and resounding, absolutely without purpose, and quite alone, the wide grey sea within and without.’
Karl Klingemann – friend of Mendelssohn 1829
In 2001 contemporary Jewellery artist Beth Legg visited Staffa and spent some time studying the geological structures there. A residency in Iceland in 2015 inspired her to revisit the basalt structures she saw on both islands in her metalwork and Staffa Jewellery was born.
Staffa Jewellery is made using traditional silversmithing methods with a focus on a high quality of craftsmanship, execution of design and attention to finish. All Staffa Jewellery is designed and made in Beth’s workshop on the Scottish coast.
CONTEMPORARY STUDIO JEWELLER
Beth is an internationally recognised designer and maker of contemporary jewellery with 7 years of specialist design and metalwork training and 15 years experience as an established artist. Beth’s work has always reflected the beautifully bleak and shifting nature of the Scottish landscape.