Just a few miles from where Thomas Frye first developed the composition for bone china in 1748, a modern tribute to the porcelain material is on view at Hackney’s Wilton Way Cafe. The East London coffee shop and community gallery is currently showing a collection of bone china “diamond” rings, each handcrafted by local designer Moko Sellars. Interested in making “precious things out of simple materials,” the multi-disciplinary artist began creating jewelry last year not only as an exercise in considered design, but also as a physical keepsake that can be passed down from generation to generation.
In addition to highlighting her jewelry-making skills, the display at Wilton Way Cafe amplifies Sellars’ talent for package design. Each of the rings—which include an off-kilter, faux Tiffany-cut diamond that harmoniously rests between two fingers and a masculine rectangle diamond band—is tied with twine to a shadowbox frame. The string extends from the ring through the frame, where it dangles below with the end attached to a wooden ball. The ball serves as a weight to hold the ring tight against the back of the frame but also as an elegant way to keep the ring attached while allowing people to try it on for size. Large card-stock versions of each of Sellars’ rings are suspended from the ceiling in front of a site-specific mural, emphasizing form while creating an equally compelling visual installation that plays with the light streaming through the cafe windows.
From Rocky to Sliced, each of the five glazed bone china ring designs are handmade and sell at Wilton Way Cafe as well as online from the Moko shop, Etsy and Theo. Prices span £25-£50, and each package comes signed by Sellars.
All images by Moko Sellars