New Concepts - Pieces of Art or Design?

02 August 2016

We first encountered Laura Scott at the New Designers, Islington in 2015.  She speaks in a quiet tone, but with a compelling and raw passion about the work she does and what brought her work to the present day.  There is a really wonderful balance in both her craft, her design and her drive for producing an object with a purpose, not so much in terms of functionality but in meaning.

This precious new collection began with Laura looking what items people carry with them to give them luck, comfort or support. Inspired by Omamori, Laura was fascinated by the concept of amulets, as a form of protection, or talisman. as a provider of luck.  The kanji at the heart of the word means “to guide or protect.” The principle of creating something that can provide comfort, hope and protection particularly in the world we find ourselves being a part of now, brings a real sense of meaning to what we do.

The concept behind Japanese, Omamori,  or Catholic "Milagros", (meaning "little miracles", charms used for centuries in churches in Mexico, Peru and Germany, used to pin up with your carefully written and folded or scrolled up prayers, for the faithful to request miracles), or the Jewish tradition of Mezuzah used as an object by a doorway in a home with a prayer scrolled up inside; are all similar types of protective and symbolic amulets, involving spiritual prayer.

The Japanese Omamori concept, where Laura's fascination began, 
is to carry around your small Omamori with a prayer written inside for success, love, luck, health, travel, sport and the idea is to keep the prayer inside the amulet and not let it out unless you mean to say Sayōnara to the prayer... The amulet is there to protect you in life and is not meant to be precious but to be a part of your life taking on the ware and tear of your life for you. Lauras version of this idea is to give you the principal of the prayer or focus inside the little charm box and invites you to be tactile with it, by enabling each element to come in and out of the box separately.

Where many good ideas begin, Laura thought about what she would specifically want to give to people she cares about, and looked at what items her friends and family carry with them to give them luck, comfort or support.  She also thought about the phrases they might say to themselves to give them motivation or encouragement in tough situations. She found that often the things people carried with them were related to close loved ones.

In total we created 14 charms with Laura that were a development of some of her original designs captivating these concepts in her unique artistic style.  What we love about these ideas particularly is that the concept crosses over multi-national cultures and leaps across continents and different faiths to the simplest principle in humanity around protection and hope. It also is something undoubtedly British in phraseology and is made in Britain, giving a nod to Britain whilst being inspired by cultures that show how we are basically all just, well, human beings. We all want to protect our homes and our loved ones, be safe, give our children the best start in life, and so on...

Each object works on its own but has a deeper meaning which has been interpreted in the design.  

The original  Buck Up Charm,  was made for a friend who wanted to feel her Grandmother near to her.  The pretty floral design came from the grandmother's pillow, interpreting a source of home comfort, whilst the words were just the typical kind of thing her grandmother would say to her to just get on with it!

Laura said, "What I liked most is that at first the floral pattern of the pillow case is so drastically different from the almost harsh words ‘Buck Up’... but sometimes you need to just be blunt with yourself or your friends to keep moving forward even when you want to quit. It’s good to remember that even tough love comes from a place of genuine love and a desire for you to succeed."

Indeed, we also love the contrast here, it made us giggle. "Buck Up" is such an English phrase and "tough love" still means love.  The lid of the mini acrylic box swings open, with the introductory words,  "Don't Give Up", to reveal the piece that gives you grandmas words with the soft and pretty floral surround reminding you its from a place of comfort.

This first piece shows you in a nutshell how we are interpreting the greater concept.  By holding and carrying this piece with you or placing it by your bedside, it is designed to inspire and remind the owner, to just get on with life, and put your best foot forward. 

The craft behind the work is mainly of sheet acrylic, using the idea of fine marquetry and laser cutting and fitting thinner and thicker elements, some with a vivid accent of colour that can be taken apart and put back together.  

Each element is perfectly inset into a small and slender box that is the amulet or charm itself.

The Buddha Charm was based on a Buddha that Laura's boyfriend bought at a time when he felt the most creative and free, and Laura designed it with the intention that he would use it to remind him how to feel that way again. 

We love the idea that this does not even have to be a gift, of course, it can easily be, but it is about having something that reminds one of something important for the self and to gain a greater perspective.

This gives you a bit of an idea of the creative work in progress...

There were two charms that were designed together originally:

Winners Never Quit, Quitters Never Win, St. Christopher's Medal, Charm

This charm is  made from high quality 100% natural Birch plywood from the UK and is FSC certified.

...and the, Keep your Head Up, Aeroplanes Charm

These two charms speak for themselves and we hope will be helpful for all sorts of reasons.  Right now with the Olympics looming, the Winners Never Quit Charm seems highly appropriate to give to someone travelling that is competing on the world stage... 

Originally these were inspired as a gift that Laura designed for her best friend, and her friend's boyfriend. Her girl friend usually wears an airplane charm around her neck that her boyfriend gave her and her mantra is very much to, "keep your head up".

The mantra appropriate for him is, ‘Winners never quit, quitters never win’ and helped him reach his dream of training to be a pilot. The phrase goes with his St Christopher (patron Saint of Travel), etched into the wood, to wish him safe passage on his travels as a pilot.

Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight, Charm,

This charm is the most playful charm of all and something Laura made for herself, she told us that, "Turning the charm over and over reveals the two halves of the phrase and helps me focus on changing my perspective so I can keep trying even when I want to give up."

Each of the charms has a different focus, and each is perfectly and beautifully made.

At times we can feel alone and sometimes even loneliness can tap on our door. The Always There For Each Other, Charm is designed to inspire faith and remind you that you are most certainly not alone. 

The beautiful, Keep your Heart Strong, Charm has a touch of the catholic faith. The intention is for it to act as a protection of the heart and to keep strong through anything. The presence of the saint engraved out of wood is a nod to tradition and gives a real sense of spirituality to this piece, which is intended to help be uplifting through difficult times. 

The I love you charm is designed both as a gift to show love for someone to carry with them as much as it is a charm  to find love and have the purpose to give it away... A wish, a prayer a desire to not lose hope that love is out there or a reminder that you are very much loved for who you are.

This beautiful Bless You Charm, is both a charm for fertility as much as a charm to give as a piece to protect a new little soul that recently entered the world.  This is designed to be with the Mum or the Mum to be. 

Keep Moving Forward Charm features the dragonfly, which in almost every part of the world symbolizes change particularly change in the perspective of self realization.  The focus of this change is generally in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.  Any change is hard though and this charm is intended to help protect us through this.

The Wedding, I do, I do charm, is something to give to a bride or bride to be, or a couple that either just got engaged or that is just married, as a good faith mantra for the start of their life together. The couple start off behind the church doors and exit in to their new life together... 

Our Good Luck Charm, has the symbolic four-leafed clover which is a rare variation of the common three-leaved clover. According to tradition, the Irish belief is that the four-leaf clover brings good luck. (Please do not confuse this with the national symbol of Ireland, the Shamrock!) 
In addition to this, each leaf is believed to represent something: faith, hope, love and luck. 
With a pure simplicity this charm encompasses the whole concept of our collection and is meant to bring you good fortune for whatever your intended focus.

Ádhmór means Good luck in Gaelic. 

This "You're One in a Million Charm" is intended to be kept to remind you how unique you are and to celebrate everything that makes us individuals. 

The God Bless You Charm, like the Buddha Charm, is intended as piece to help guide you wisely and be safe.

Shop the Collection

All our Laura Scott Charms are made in Britain in our London Studio.
To read more about Laura Scott go here

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