Vanilla Ink is a contemporary jewellery initiative, founded in 2009 by Kate Elizabeth Pickering.
“As a designer, I delve into the connections between jewellery, story telling and narratives. I believe jewellery hold endless opportunities to enhance the wearer’s relationship with memories. As Founder of Vanilla Ink, my goal is to truly empower jewellery graduates.”
With an undergraduate Honours degree in Jewellery and Metalwork, Kate Elizabeth Pickering is a 2009 graduate from the Masters of Design course at the University of Dundee.
Kate is a designer, jeweller and maker. She is a multi faceted, ambitious individual who has the creative skills and determination to challenge traditional thinking and methods. Kate sees the role of a contemporary jeweller as a facilitator, thinker and doer, and thrives on taking risks.
Engaging the wearers of her jewellery, Kate seeks to explore what is meaningful to them in their lives, relationships and experiences. This forward thinking approach is admirably ambitious. With such an entrepreneurial flair, vision, enthusiasm and mentality, Kate is a designer who is pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a jeweller of tomorrow.
Prior to her MDes, Kate spent the summer of 2008 working as an apprentice for Designer and Engraver Malcolm Appleby. During her Masters, Kate worked as part of a multi-disciplinary team on a six month project investiagting informaton communication for older users with T-Labs in Berlin. Her paper ‘Into the Land of Enchantment’ was a well researched and clear analysis of how western cultures store memories. She debated the issue of technology, exploring this notion as both a blessing and a curse to the way we traditionally and emotionally store memories.
In her final project ‘Bitter Sweet‘, Kate developed the creative design method ‘Rip and Mix’ to create bespoke jewellery. This method, pioneered by renowned design researcher Dr. Rosan Chow, draws upon elements of existing jewellery and conventional products, mixing them together to generate new designed objects.
With the understanding gained from working with the T-Labs team, Kate ambitiously took the process further by physically producing the ideas it generated. As a result, she created personal and unique pieces that have the ability to capture, store and relay memories of the wearer.
Currently, Kate spends one day a week in the jewellery department at Dundee University, engaging with students observing how their work is developing for post graduation. She is also a part of the Studio Unbound network, an initiative aiming to support and guide new design graduates into professional practice.
email: kateelizabethjewellery ( at ) gmail ( dot ) com
“Tell you what inspires me… People who get through adversity and self-doubt, who give themselves new and different challenges and redefine themselves; people who display glittering self-confidence and new ambitions, when months earlier they weren’t really sure who they were and where they were headed.
You inspire me, Kate. And I’m proud, very proud, to have played a small part in your self-development. And I’m proud of you.
Your new blog is full of sizzle, of ideas, of self-confidence. I look forward to reading it regularly.
It was just great to work with you last year. I hope that one day in future we can work together again.
Remember – you’re the real hero, the real inspiration.”
Professor Mike Press,Chair of Design Policy within Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. my project mentor MDes 09