Designers We Love: Elizabeth van der Merwe

WORDS Amelia Frenkel IMAGE Jan Ras

Hand-made and highly collectable, this stunning range of porcelain jewellery is the result of serendipity.

Sometimes, inspiration comes from unexpected places. For jewellery designer Elizabeth van der Merwe, that place was a pottery studio.

Elizabeth has been crafting jewellery and other silverware with Gerika Langenhoven under the label Amulet for some time. While attempting to make a sugar bowl to go with silver spoons, she ended up creating beautiful porcelain rings.

Elizabeth uses fine quality porcelain that fires at a very high temperature, making the rings extremely strong. Unlike traditional ceramic production – rolling out the clay and building it up with coils or using moulds – she carves the rings. “I handle the porcelain like a block of wood or wax, carving it away, which means that each ring is unique, like sculpture,” she explains.

Oxides and minerals in the secret porcelain mix, created by Cape Town ceramicist John Bauer, produce the distinctive stripes. Delicate yet substantial, Elizabeth’s porcelain range now includes necklaces, cufflinks, pendants and the bowls that sparked it all.

Rings start at R800 and are available through