SLEEPLESS nights and sheer hard work are beginning to pay dividends for Forfar jewellery designer Zoe Duthie – as her work is to feature in the January edition of the illustrious Vogue magazine.
Zoe (24) only set up in business two years ago but since then her distinctive pieces have caught the imagination of her customers.
Her original concept interweaves old photographs – many sourced on-line and at sales – with contemporary pieces, from brooches to necklaces, and it is this blending of the old with the new that caught the eye of the high-class magazine which is read world-wide.
Zoe had the difficult task of choosing a piece of jewellery which will feature in the “Vogue’s Jewellery Box” feature in the issue published on December 8, so called in the help of her supporters on her Facebook business page. They unanimously voted her distinctive brooch as the piece to feature.
Prior to that Zoe is launching her first solo exhibition in the Bank Street Gallery in Kirriemuir, which runs from November 17 to December 20.
Zoe said: “This will be the biggest collection of pieces so far. I will have about 30 pieces; quite a broad mix from my more unusual photograph pieces to small, butterfly ear-rings which will be ideal stocking fillers.”
Zoe will also make her third appearance as an invited exhibitor at the Letham Christmas Craft Fair of Scottish Crafts on November 26 and 27 where she will have a selection of her Christmas stock, as opposed to gallery pieces.
However, the “icing on the cake” for her career so far was the invitation from Vogue - hailed as the world´s most important and influential magazine brand - to submit a piece of her work for their jewellery feature.
She continued: “They contacted me through my website explaining they liked my work. The feature is written like a recommendation from Vogue, with various pieces featured on the page and a piece of editorial about the designer. I don’t know what will come from this, but you just never know.
“This is something I would always have loved but I just didn’t think it would happen so soon. I never thought I would be contacted by them.
“It’s funny but only a couple of days ago I got a phone-call from Glamour magazine wanting me to do a Christmas gift guide piece but I had to say I couldn’t do it because I was doing Vogue!”
Zoe is thankful for her opportunity to promote her work to a wider audience, and acknowledges the Vogue feature gives her work more credibility and recognition.
“It might make people take my work a bit more seriously,” commented the Duncan of Jordanstone graduate, whose creative talents were recognised at Forfar Academy when she shared The Joyce Herron Memorial Award for Art.
On leaving school Zoe attended Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee, graduating with a Bachelor of Design Degree, specialising in jewellery.
Her distinctive work, which uses acid etching to transfer a photographic image onto silver, with stunning results, was among that of 260 graduating students who exhibited at the college’s Degree Show launched in 2009 by Erin O’Connor - fashion superstar, Chair of the British Fashion Council and a trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Zoe has continued to carve out a name for herself in the industry, and is in the process of completing her first major commission – platinum engagement and wedding rings.
With 2011 ending on a high, Zoe also has a lot to look forward to in the new year as she has been invited, for the second time, to exhibit her work at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists’ exhibition, entitled “History Makers”, from January to April at the RBSA Gallery in Birmingham.
She exhibited with them last year but this year’s exhibition is even more important for her as her work will be exhibited alongside that of her idol – jewellery designer Jo Pond.
Zoe continued: “I first came across Jo Pond’s work when I was a second year student. She used silver and “found” objects - I idolise the sort of thing she does.”
Zoe’s work is also exhibited regularly in Edinburgh and Aberfeldy – but at the moment she is working hard on her latest collections in Woodhead & Sons in East High Street, Forfar.