As a player and guest player in a number pipe bands over the years, I have had the privilege to wear quite a number of different tartans...Ancient Red MacPherson, Gordon and Black Watch to name but a few!
Having an artistic eye, I always liked to really look at the individual colours and patterns on each. It struck me that although some had similar colours and shading, each retained its own unique pattern and variation. I wondered if this would be the case if the colours were muted and only the essence of the pattern remained.
This formed the basis of my experimenting with a number of tartans. I carefully scanned images of tartans onto my computer and used software to remove the colours from the tartans leaving only the shading pattern. I was amazed at the results and each tartan I examined had its own unique fingerprint even at this pared back level.
I called this Tartan DNA and it formed the basis for a series of etching experiments. I used the unique tartan pattern and created etching templates to use on sterling silver sheet. Each piece was carefully patterned before being submersed in a vat of acid to burn away the individual tartan pattern.
The results of my experimenting were striking and even the individual woven work on each tartan can be clearly seen on the resulting silver sheet.
The sheet above is sterling silver etched with the pattern of Royal Stewart tartan just out of the acid bath.
These sheets of silver are then cut by hand by one of our silversmiths to create the unique and distinct pieces in our Tartan DNA silver jewellery range.
At the moment we have a limited range of Royal Stewart and Black Watch tartans in stock. But we can make a piece of jewellery from your own tartan. Get in touch and we will discuss your own piece of tartan jewellery made to order.