Jewellery Trend Interviews Jwllry by Jade
I was intrigued by manipulating metal and the techniques and tools involved, I’ve always been a hands on creative. I had no idea where to start, I discovered Cooksons while I was at studying at college, ordered a start up kit and began experimenting with silver on my kitchen table.
My local college didn’t have a jewellery course so after experimenting for a few months I began looking for learn on the job type jewellery jobs. I got my first jewellery job in 2015 as a workshop technician working on castings and wedding rings.
Can you describe your creative process, from idea generation to finished product?
Most of my work is bespoke so I of course take a lot of inspiration from a clients story, experiences, significant dates and places. In the past when I’ve designed collections or one of pieces I generally think of longevity and practicality. As much as jewellery is beautiful and admired, I want my work to be worn and valued for as long as possible.
I often consider the type of settings to use, dimensions etc. I’m an advocate for simplicity and investing in pieces you plan to wear. This may dictate the design the design and the methods I use to make said jewellery.
What is your favourite type of material to work with, and why?
18k yellow and platinum is my favourite but I also love really high polished sterling silver at times
How do you ensure that your jewellery designs are both fashionable and functional?
I don’t feel my jewellery needs to be fashionable, as long as my clients love the jewellery. In terms of functionality, as a maker I can ensure the quality or integrity is not compromised.
Can you talk about a particularly memorable project you worked on and what made it special?
A very nice lady who had just lost her husband contacted me asking if I could melt their wedding rings into one for her to wear. I ended up delivering the ring on their 17th wedding anniversary. She requested special words and a rose be engraved on the ring. She was almost in tears, to bring someone joy like this really keeps me doing what I do. There are so many I could mention.
How do you balance your own personal style and preferences with what you believe your customers will want?
This can be hard at times however I always have an in depth call/ meeting with my clients. As I’ve worked my way through different commissions, I’ve learned there are no limits so I use these opportunities to really venture out.
Some clients have ideas I would never think of so it’s a good challenge for me and a chance go experiment. I give them full reign to explain and demonstrate what they’re looking for as long as it is practical and within budget.
Can you discuss any notable collaborations or partnerships you have had in the past?
I’ve never collaborated with another jeweller.
Can you share any upcoming collections or projects that you are particularly excited about?
I have a new wedding ring collection launch 31st March, which I’m very excited about. This collection focuses on flow, bold lines and general life ups and downs. I’m working hard to position my brand into the fine/ bridal and wedding jewellery.
Which jewellery designers or artists have influenced your work, and how?
Rachel Boston is a huge inspiration to me, I also love Azlee, Ruddock and Leene Heyne jewellery. I can’t say these brands influence my work directly but I respect their branding and attention to detail.
What advice would you give to someone looking to invest in high-quality jewellery for the first time?
I would say do your research in both the designer or jeweller and into what you would plan to invest in. For example, an engagement ring - look into costs, set a budget and have a general idea of what to expect. Knowledge is power
Don’t ever feel pressured into making decisions. As jewellers we can advice and make suggestions but at the end of the day you have to respect the clients needs and expectations.
Take your time and don’t compromise on ethics.
It’s ok to get a second opinion. I like to be as transparent as possible, even if the customer decides to not go ahead with me, building a good rapport can give a great first impression. This may encourage them to come back in future.
Don’t get gassed by big names and overpriced jewellery. Spending money with an independent or small jewellery may give you more value than larger corporate companies.
Interview by Lenique Louis Jewellery Trend Editor