Past examples

Classical musician, textile artist and jeweller. Catherine Martin has succeeded in all these fields and mastered them.

But asked what she does and she will invariably reply “I make braids’. No ordinary braids however but intricate gold and platinum braided together using the traditional Japanese textile art of Kumihimo. Catherine says that in this of all her careers, she has found a process most meditative and totally absorbing. It was a ‘do’ or ‘way’ which she adopted and followed. Later it seemed a natural progression to experiment and extend the techniques to braid fine metal wire and then to develop forms to make jewellery.

However, as a trained and working classical musician before going to live in Japan in 1979, music is never much out of her thoughts and the exquisitely intertwined precious metals are usually entwined to the sound of Bach Fugues.

The pieces she makes grow out of repeated listening to fragments and phrases. Transformations of form in response to the sounds.

Awards include:

  • 2001/1998/1996/1994/1992 1st prize, Design, Goldsmiths Hall Craft Council Awards
  • 1993 Darwin Scholarship, Royal College of Art
  • 1991 Platinum Award, First Prize, Aryton Metals
  • 1986 Research Fellowship to Japan, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
  • 1983 Silver Prize for Braids, Kumihimo Exhibition, Tokyo

Public Collections

Catherine’s unique and outstanding work has been commissioned and acquired by many of the world’s finest permanent collections:

  • Victoria & Albert Museum Permanent Collection, London
  • Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London (2 commissioned pieces)
  • American Museum of Art & Design, New York, (formerly The American Craft Museum)
  • National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
  • Ipswich Museum

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