Glasgow School of Design Silversmithing & Jewellery

Pui Shan Chu(Amy Chu) (She/Her)

In her book, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (2015), the writer, Anna Tsing, describes how mushrooms represent a form of ‘collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes’, their fungal ecologies provide a model of species cohabitation. Isolated from other human beings during the pandemic, these humble vegetables are reminders of our inherent need for contact and interconnection with others, human and ‘more-than-human’ species.

Contact
shan.design0jewellery@gmail.com
P.Chu1@student.gsa.ac.uk
instagram.com
Series
The Cobbler, Arrochar
Edible Jewellery? Culinary mushroom brooch
Design Development
Kinetic Engagement Collection I
Collection I – Mushroom Pores brooch
Collection I – Mushroom Pores ring
Kinetic Engagement Collection II
Collection II – Mushroom Gill brooch
Collection II – Mushroom Gill bangle
Kinetic Engagement Collection III
Collection III – Mushroom Cap brooch
Collection III – Mushroom Cap ear studs
Collection Gallery

2020 was a strange year. Normal daily life, social interaction with friends, strangers and being able to go out whenever we wish, were all on hold. During this period, a lack of interaction and engagement highlighted the possibilities of kinetic engagement in the design of these jewellery pieces. Their purpose is to encourage physical and visual engagement between the wearer and the piece.

The collection begins with three brooches, each containing different aspects of engagement between the wearer, viewer, and the piece. This includes visual engagement, which occurs when the viewers see the object, much like looking at a collection in a museum, behind glass. The other type of engagement responds to the wearer’s movement, the wearer determines the movement of the piece with his/her own movement. The brooches replicate the forms and patterns that characterise mushrooms; circles with lines filled in (the mushroom’s gills) or repeated dots which cover the surface (the mushroom’s pores).

The Cobbler, Arrochar

Every Autumn is mushroom season, and during my last trip to Argyll Forest Park, I could not help but notice the different types of fungi blooming through a collage of fallen leaves. It gave me a similar sense of excitement to an Easter egg hunt, as it is difficult to predict where the mushrooms might emerge or be hiding.

My relationship with mushrooms began during early childhood in China. I would go into the mountains with my family in the early hours of the morning to pick wild mushrooms. Once we had returned home, my grandmother would separate the mushrooms and teach me how to differentiate between the various types. Despite her efforts, I was never able to tell them apart in the dark! However, I vividly remember there was a mushroom (lurid bolete) that would bruise upon a gentle touch. I was fascinated by it,  running my finger across every other mushroom I saw to test if the colour changed in a similar way. These experiences acted as the catalyst in using mushroom as the medium in my work and incorporating kinetic movement within.

mushroom collage

Fine line drawings of mushroom gills

half of a mushroom

hiking pic 2

hiking pic

mushroom pores print

mushroom pores print

Edible Jewellery? Culinary mushroom brooch

Inspired by Celina Grams’ series of edible jewellery, I decided to experiment with some of the dried pasta and noodle sitting in my cupboard. The finer dried noodle was much easier to shape and dried beautifully compared to spaghetti and lasagne.

And here I present you with my spinach and mushroom brooch, garnished with a copper hoop and served with bronze casted mushrooms on the side.

To demonstrate the brooch

pasta brooch 1.2

pasta brooch

Samples in paper,clay and metal

These samples were created from some of my earliest drawings, selecting intriguing elements from each and transforming them into 3D objects.

Design Development

plain sketches #1

7 mushroom gills
Material: Polymer clay, brass, silver
For Sale: Price on request

Plain mushroom cap ear studs

For Sale: Price on request

plain sketches #4

3 inner mushroom gills

plain sketches #2

Cross-section of mushroom gills

Spotty Cap necklace

Material: Card, polymer clay, silver

Watercolour mushroom collage

Fig: 33-38

plain sketches #3

5 outward mushroom gills

Group photo of mushroom ear studs

Material: polymer clay, brass, copper, silver
For Sale: Price on request

Watercolour mushroom collage

Fig: 17-32
Material: polymer clay, brass, silver
For Sale: Price on request

Watercolour mushroom collage

Fig: 39-44
Material: polymer clay, copper, silver
For Sale: Price on request

Watercolour mushroom collage

Fig: 1-16

Spotty green mushroom necklace

Material: card, polymer clay, silver

Spotty green mushroom necklace

Material: card, polymer clay, silver

Spotty blue mushroom earstuds

For Sale: Price on request

Linear green mushroom stalk earstuds

For Sale: Price on request

Kinetic Engagement Collection I

Introducing the first and the most complex collection out of the three – the mushroom pores collection. As the name suggests, this collection took inspiration from the pores of a mushroom (for example the porcini mushroom) and enhanced it with kinetic elements.

Mushroom Pores brooch close up

Mushroom Pores brooch on body

Kinetic engagement - Mushroom pores brooch making process

This is a short clip which documents some of the footage of my making process for my degree show case collection - kinetic engagement

Mushroom Pores Ring held in hand

Mushroom Pores Ring worn on hand

Collection I – Mushroom Pores brooch

Material: Sterling silver, oxidised silver, stainless steel wire

Dimension: 5.5cm x 5.5cm x 2 cm

Mushroom Pores Brooch

Comprised of hundreds of silver granules, some are domed to give a pore like texture whilst the others are left as they are to blend in with the rest. All single granules are carefully soldered onto the back of a jump ring and then threaded onto the main wire structure; the entire making process took close to one month from start to finish.
For Sale: £765 (Alteration can be made upon request, price may vary)

Digital Design board

Created using Adobe Illustrator *This design was awarded the silver award in the 2D design section by the Goldsmiths' craft and design council award (GCDCA) in the 'diversity and inclusion' category

Collection I – Mushroom Pores ring

Material: Sterling silver, oxidised silver

Dimension: 2.5 cm x 2 cm x 3.5 cm

Mushroom Pores Ring

Created using the wax casting method, I have replaced the stone with silver granules to give this signet ring a new look. Although it does not contain as many granules as the brooch, the granules on the ring are slightly smaller which means it is trickier to work with.
For Sale: £360, Size N (Please note that I cannot resize the ring)

Digital Design Board

Created using Adobe Illustrator

Kinetic Engagement Collection II

My second collection focuses on the silhouette of the mushroom gill and uses silver spheres as dew drops to enhance the piece. The motion of the sphere sliding up and down mimics the droplets dripping off the mushroom adding playfulness to the pieces.

Mushroom Gill brooch close up

Mushroom Gill brooch on body

KINETIC ENGAGEMENT - MUSHROOM Gill bangle MAKING PROCESS

This is a short clip which documents some of the footage of my making process for my degree show case collection - kinetic engagement

Mushroom Gill bangle side view

Mushroom Gill bangle top view

Mushroom Gill bangle front view

Collection II – Mushroom Gill brooch

Material: Sterling silver, oxidised silver, stainless steel wire

Dimension: 7 cm x 7 cm x 2 cm

Mushroom Gill brooch

The kinetic element on this brooch makes it the most interesting brooch out of the three. The simple wire structure holds 8 large and 8 small silver spheres, which are all able to slide freely vertically along the wire, even when worn.
For Sale: £420 (Alteration can be made upon request, price may vary)

Digital Design Board

Created using Adobe Illustrator

Collection II – Mushroom Gill bangle

Material: Sterling silver, oxidised silver

Dimension: 10 cm x 10 cm x 3 cm

Inside diameter: 58 cm

Mushroom Gill bangle

Similar to the brooch, this bangle also contains silver spheres, except twice as many. This piece is the most playful piece in my collection. As it is to be worn on the arm, the movement is more significant than it is when being worn on clothes. Not only does it slide vertically up and down like the brooch, it also makes a therapeutic sound when clashing together.
For Sale: £680 (Alteration can be made upon request, price may vary)

Digital Design Board

Created using Adobe Illustrator

Kinetic Engagement Collection III

Last but not least, the third and final collection investigates the shape of the mushroom cap through an organic style. This collection stayed true to most features of a mushroom and used it to highlight the piece. In order to outline the shape of the mushroom cap, I have deliberately kept all the folded gills and most of the silver granules oxidised, leaving only the edge with a sliver of shine.

Mushroom Cap brooch close up

Mushroom Cap brooch on body

KINETIC ENGAGEMENT - MUSHROOM cap brooch MAKING PROCESS

This is a short clip which documents some of the footage of my making process for my degree show case collection - kinetic engagement

Mushroom Cap ear stud on body

Collection III – Mushroom Cap brooch

Material: Sterling silver, oxidised silver, stainless steel wire

Dimension: 5 cm x 5 cm x 2 cm

Mushroom Cap brooch

This collection is the only collection where I made an alteration during the making process that did not follow the design board exactly. Little silver granules have been added to lift the piece and create a focal point. Being the only collection without any physical kinetic element, this brooch aims to interact with the viewer and wearer through visual but not physical engagement.
For Sale: £525 (Alteration can be made upon request, price may vary)

Digital Design Board

Created using Adobe Illustrator

Collection III – Mushroom Cap ear studs

Material: Sterling silver, oxidised silver

Dimension: 3 cm x 3 cm x 0.6 cm (Each)

Mushroom Cap ear studs

This pair of ear studs are essentially a mini version of the brooch. And much like the ring, since everything has been scaled down, more challenging to create. The organic look of these ear studs gives it a sense of elegance.
For Sale: £280 (Per pair) ,(Alteration can be made upon request, price may vary)

Digital Design Board

Created using Adobe Illustrator

Collection Gallery

Collection II

Mushroom gill bangle (on arm)

Collection I - II

Mushroom gill bangle (left arm), Mushroom pores ring (right hand)

Collection I - II

Mushroom gill bangle (left arm), Mushroom pores ring (right hand)

Collection I & III

Mushroom Cap ear stud (on ear), Mushroom pores ring (on hand)

Collection I - III

Photo includes the entire collection - Mushroom pores brooch and ring, mushroom gill brooch and bangle, mushroom cap brooch and ear studs.