Carly Owens

MAY 2020

It’s hard to take your eyes off Carly Owens’ jewellery (excuse the pun). Maybe that’s her intention with creating large earrings and brooches in the shape of human eyes.

What fascinates me about Carly’s work is that she doesn’t use traditional jewellery techniques. Instead, she uses hand embroidery and needlework to make her vibrant pieces.

woman wearing a beaded earring in the shape of an eyeEmbroidered copper eye rose gold-filled french wire earrings
Many earrings lying on a white background, earring are beaded in the shape of eyes Hand embroidered eye earrings

Blurring the boundary between jewellery and fashion

I’ve always loved the details and intense work of embroidery in fashion design. The painstaking work often reminds me of the same level of detail a jeweller uses to create their pieces in metal.

Carly studied Art and Design (Fibers and Surface Design) and North Carolina State University in the US. She also worked as a couture embroidery intern for the fashion label, Marchesa, in New York.

Process work of Carly beading her earrings on an embroidery loom
Process work
Two brooches one with rose gold beads and one with black beads with pearls around the border Brooches with pearl details

Carly now uses her skills to create small works of art in the form of jewellery. The colourful beads and golden thread in each piece glimmer like precious stones and metal.

Woman wearing long earrings with large green and rose gold eye on the end Double sided embroidered rose eye sterling silver threader earrings
Earrings made from black beads in the shape of eyes with blue irises Embroidered black eye sterling silver french wire earrings with grey iris

Whimsical jewellery and art

The dominant design of Carly’s work is a human eye. Each piece is made by hand embroidering beads of different colours. Some eyes are bright green, some blue and some have the most magnificent pearl eyelashes.

Gold beaded earrings in the shape of eyeswith bright green irises Embroidered rose eye sterling silver french wire earrings with green iris

Brooch made from rose gold beads in the shape of an eye with bright blue iris Venus brooch in rose

Each earring or brooch is a labour of love and highlights the beauty of something that’s handcrafted from beginning to end.

She also does other facial features, like red lips (with a sassy gold tooth) and a single tooth brooch. All of her pieces are playful and really grab your attention.

Brooch in the shape of a tooth embroidered with silver and gold beads
Goldwork hand embroidered tooth
Brooch in the shape of red lips made from embroidered red, silver and gold beads Nervous smile hand embroidered beaded brooch

Find out more about Carly by following her on Instagram – @carlyowensembroidery or get a pair of your own eyes on her website.

All image rights belong to Carly Owen and were sent to me by Carly Owens.

2019 © Metal Muse. All image rights belong to the respective jewellers.