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The Glasgow Roses Collection

The Glasgow Roses Collection

My newest collection is inspired by the Glasgow rose, a design motif attributed to Rennie Mackintosh but originated by his wife, Margaret MacDonald and her sister, Francis MacDonald. Both artists worked in metal, gesso panels, illustration and embroidery. The sisters had a studio at 128 Hope Street in Glasgow and were part of the Art Nouveau movement in Glasgow called the Spook School, and they were two of the Glasgow Four. Francis’ use of symbolism, Celtic mythology and her dream-like colour palette have inspired me. Her death at 48 is thought to have been a suicide. After her death, her husband John Herbert MacNair destroyed much of her work.

Margaret MacDonald Macintosh

I have always loved the organic simplicity of the Glasgow rose–it feels both modern and timeless. I have rendered these roses in spiralling lines of sterling silver and copper, combined with stones that echo the original colour-ways used by the MacDonald sisters–hues of mauve, purple, blood red and green. Where possible, I’ve used recycled pearls and stones, salvaged from broken vintage pieces. The collection includes necklaces, earrings, rings and shawl pins featuring variations on the motif which represents Scottish aesthetic innovation and a playful, refined femininity.

Frances Macdonald

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