I first interviewed Kelly McCallum way back in 2006 when I was working on my own magazine entitled Dandy, a handbook for the male connoisseur of fashion. She was studying with my then lover Tomasz Donocik a rather talented Viennese jewellery designer at the RCA Royal College of Art. I was excited by her combination of taxidermy and jewellery taking freeze dried animal fetuses and turning them into something rather magical, golden maggots coming out of ears, decorated cockroaches, things i'd never seen combined before. Her final collection stood out in my mind for a long time. I will be transferring excerpts from my magazine 'Dandy' onto my blog (eventually) but until then, you can find my latest interview with her for Dazed and Confused below.
Kelly McCallum is warm and open, decorated with intricate tattoos from her trips to Japan. She has been afforded the luxury of many lives before settling into a career as a jewellery designer, her work reflects the path she has taken. From pre-med student to photographer she has honed her craft; all the elements are visible in the pieces she creates. A battered fox with golden maggots coming out his ears plays on the fascination of life after death; there is a delicate humour that runs through the beauty and simplicity of her designs.
Dazed Digital: How long have you been designing?
Kelly McCallum: I have been making objects pretty much my whole life; I graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2006
DD: Do you have a muse?
Kelly McCallum: Not in the traditional sense of the word.
DD: What inspires you currently?
Kelly McCallum: Battered antiques, the culture of hunting, Victoriana, handlebar moustaches, taxidermy (as always)
You can read the rest of the article here.
Ring carved out of animal bone with a small plant as decoration - a play on life after death.