Guy Howe Conners

With a love of all things botanical, (especially tropical orchids), Guy’s work fuses the shapes, colours, and flamboyance of nature with pop culture references and inspiration from my city surroundings. His interest in plants started early in childhood, and he would spend a lot of time drawing – fascinated by the forms that nature could create. While this passion is as strong as ever, Guy now translates this inspiration into visuals with much less realism. Using a process of abstraction, he distorts, blends, and simplifies materials to create pieces which are oddly organic yet futuristic.

Modern style jewellery in artful advertising compositions

Studying through covid definitely changed Guy’s practice. After only being introduced to jewellery making the year before, he had only basic skills in metalwork. Moving to online teaching and working from home during covid made me experiment in alternative, cheap materials on a much bigger scale. This hugely influenced his direction and is partly why Guy’s current practice is what it is.

Going forward he is keen to explore some new techniques and take his work in a more sculptural direction. Guy’s main development was moving away from hand-cut metal to laser cut acrylic – this has transformed his work and opened up many possibilities.

Guy Howe Conners

Jewellery designer/maker

BA Jewellery & Silversmithing – Edinburgh College of Art

Statement

Guy is a jeweller based in Leith who creates bold, playful pieces – primarily in spray painted acrylic and silver. With an expressive use of colour and scale, his jewellery is designed to inspire and elevate the wearer while remaining wearable and effortless.  

With a love of all things botanical, (especially tropical orchids), Guy’s work fuses the shapes, colours, and flamboyance of nature with pop culture references and inspiration from his city surroundings. His interest in plants started early in childhood, and he would spend a lot of time drawing – fascinated by the forms that nature could create. While this passion is as strong as ever, he now translates this inspiration into visuals with much less realism. Using a process of abstraction, Guy distorts, blends, and simplifies this source material to create pieces which are oddly organic yet futuristic.  

The graffiti and murals that can be found throughout Edinburgh has also influenced Guy’s work significantly. After being introduced to jewellery making at university, he was struck by the technical challenges that many jewellers face when trying to add colour to their work. With previous experience in painting and textiles – and given his bold and colourful visual language – he was keen to overcome this. Living near the city’s canal meant he walked along its everchanging graffitied walls most days. The overblown, abstract style in every colour imaginable resonated strongly with his own work and lead him to experimenting in spray paints. 

Spray paint is now integral to Guy’s practice. Its durability, vibrancy, and layering ability to create clear gradients is an essential part of his style. His 2022 graduate collection ‘Strange by Nature’ was his first big collection of spray-painted work – primarily on metal. This collection explored the extent to which natural forms can be manipulated to appear as artificial as possible. The final pieces in the collection retained a fundamental sense of organicism but appear hyper-synthetic and almost otherworldly. His current practice and most recent work have developed from this foundation. 

Since graduating, Guy has been focusing on making his work more wearable and financially accessible. After experiencing technical and practical challenges with spray painting metals, he started exploring plastics. His newest collection employs small batch laser-cutting to create increasingly complex and repeating shapes in acrylic. These are spray-painted and finished by hand; the unpredictability of spraying means each piece is slightly unique. Guy continues to work in precious materials too – his range in silver and gold runs hand in hand with the colourful acrylic.

While studying at university Guy noticed an often-strong divide between the precious and non-precious jewellery markets. While there are several designer/makers who bridge these two sectors, he is keen to not limit himself to just one. Guy’s strong interest in contemporary materials and techniques, as well as his distinct love of futurism, is clear to see in his work. However, at the same time, he is passionate about traditional jewellery making. Keeping both alive in his practice is crucial to him. This diversity also allows him to create pieces which are accessible to a wider range of people and price points.

Materials and Techniques

Acrylic – laser cut 
Sterling Silver
Gold – occasionally
Spray paint
Pearls and stone setting – occasionally

Awards:

Fife Contemporary. New Maker Award (June 2022)

Exhibitions and shows:

Rising Stars @ The New Ashgate Gallery – 11th March – 22 April 2023

Dazzle London – November 2022

Elements – October 2022