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One to Watch: iona turner

Where did you study and what was the course title?

The Glasgow school of Art, Silversmithing and Jewellery Design

Name of your lecturer – course tutor?

Anna Gordon, Silvia Weidenbach, Marianne Anderson

How did you feel about winning a Colour in Design Award?

I’m so excited! It’s an honour to receive recognition from such a renowned panel of judges, and to be part of this award. The other projects in the winners and ‘ones to watch’ are all incredible, this year and in previous. I’m so excited also for my work to be showcased alongside this fantastic array on the Colour in Design webpage. It means a lot, its super encouraging to see that others share my excitement for the seaweed colour pallet!

What inspires your creative process?

A fascination with, and a deep itch to connect with, the natural world. Through following a creative process of nature immersion and attention, I have become more attuned to the rhythms and needs of the ecosystems which I co-exist with – seaweeds and other nature (Human and non-human). My attention came to seaweeds in particular through a fascination with their ability to shapeshift according to tide: their colours and shapes change drastically to suit submerged, dehydrated and in-between states. Here, I found echoes of my human existence. I use making as a way to materialise a sense of belonging in the natural world.

What do you want to do next?

Make more seaweed jewels! I’m currently working full-time as a water sports instructor, I’m constantly surrounded by seaweed and have been doing a lot of gathering and playing in the water. I’m really excited for the peak season to calm down so I can get back in the workshop, with all these new ideas and seaweed specimens.

Creative high point?

Getting in a creative flow! when spending hours that feel like minutes on the beach frugally gathering seaweeds, or, when crafting seaweeds into jewels. When carefully stacking the bladders so they sit tightly packed, into a composition that displays a rainbow of seaweed greens.

Creative low point?

Lockdowns, especially the lockdown following our return to university, they really slowed me down. I lost a lot of motivation at first. I generate my ideas outside – before the pandemic I never spent much more than a week in Glasgow before running off to the coast or mountains. Circumstances had me move back to Edinburgh, where I got back in the sea and the motivation came back.

Is there one person during your studies/life who has really made a difference to you?

This is an impossible question! I’m super lucky, there are so many incredible people in my life that encourage my creative practice. At art school I’ve met like-minded souls that share my creative and environmental values with a passion for wildness. My surfer pals taught me to forage seaweeds and live a more feral lifestyle. My family are all so supportive of my work – my Aunty has even made space for myself and a sack of stinky seaweed in her workshop!

What is your favourite colour?

Every beach has its own colour pallet that changes with the seasons and weather patterns. My favourite colour is from the beach. It’s a specific blue-green that requires specific conditions to be seen. Firstly, you must find yourself with a close yet elevated view of the water (this can be achieved perfectly from a paddle board!). Secondly, the seabed below the water must be the golden-yellow sand found off the East Lothian coast. This water must be at the depth it becomes difficult to swim to the bottom in a wetsuit… maybe about four meters. There cannot be too much swell in the bay as this will most likely make the water silty – you must be able to see the sand. Finally, a cloudless sky must reflect on the water, so that

this blue can mix with the golden yellow sand to reveal, in the water, my favourite colour: a blue-green of the sea.

Image credits: Mark Messer or Iona Turner

Contact details :

Social media details: Instagram handle@iona.maker


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