Frances McKinnel

Designer Information...

Frances was born in London in 1967. She spent a magical childhood in the leafy Surrey suburbs, keeping pet snails, stroking cats, playing with imaginary friends and doing a lot of drawing. This all came to an end when she was sent away to a dreadful boarding school, where the only things which made the six years bearable were the art studio and the jewellery workshop.  After this ordeal, she attended Wimbledon School of Art, and then set off to London to start a degree in Fine Art, Painting at St Martin’s School of Art. Easily distracted, and not ready to settle down, she disappeared after the first year, and worried friends and family by hitch-hiking through 17 countries in Africa.  Even though she returned weighing only six and a half stone, with serious malaria, her tutors at St Martin’s kindly kept her place, she returned and completed her degree, making huge paintings of objects she had seen in Africa. Strangely enough, these ended up in St Mary’s hospital in Paddington.  After this, painting sales sadly eluded Frances, who had by then returned to making jewellery. A shop in Covent Garden agreed to display her first collection; when she returned a week later to collect her first cheque, she was told that they had all been stolen, including the box. She took this as a very encouraging sign, and immediately started a new collection.  At this stage, she met the sculptor Stephen Park at a Richard Deacon private view. He spotted the potential in her ‘bobble-ring’, and they began to work together. The bobble ring evolved into the Crown ring, which has been sold in the Tower of London. They worked for several years for the Japanese company ‘Sazaby’, exporting hundreds of rings, and having to maintain a very high standard.  Frances now works at a very slow pace, only making things that she really likes, using stones that look like boiled sweets. She lives in a crumbling house set in an overgrown garden with her adored husband and three children. She paints somewhat sinister pictures and makes treasure-like jewellery in the rare moments she has to herself.



Picture of FSP1003
Silver and gold ring

£190.00 (GBP)


Picture of FSP1001
Silver bangle

£210.00 (GBP)


Picture of FSP1000
Crown ring

£190.00 (GBP)

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