When I meet new people and we exchange the question "so what do you do", I always get an "oooo" when I say that "I'm a Jeweller". I am not sure if this is because they imagine me sitting down beading, with my son playing at my feet, making a few bits to sell on a market stall on a Sunday, or if they are genuinely impressed and think I am capable of producing Fabergé egg type pieces! (Please note - there is of course nothing wrong with a Sunday market stall, and alas I can't make Fabergé egg sort of things ... so I must be somewhere in-between!)
The next thing a person might do is look down to my hands and say "so did you make these rings then?" and it always takes a bit of explaining that as a jeweller and designer, that I like to collect other designers' jewellery, as well as wear a few bits of my own creation.
My (now) husband had clear instructions on what ring I wanted and what size I needed ... you know ... just in case - and I did get my wish! My engagement ring of choice was a deliciously delicate James Newman slender eternity ring in yellow gold with diamonds (pictured right). I had always loved this ring since working in jewellery sales and I didn't feel the need for a single solitaire diamond ring (why have one diamond when you can have sixty?!). Anyways it did the trick and we got engaged on a beach in Marlborough, New Zealand.
When it came to choosing my wedding ring I couldn't separate the perfect set of gold diamond rings (pictured left) designed and made by Mirri Damer ... so instead I have two wedding rings (why have one when you can have two?!) and there is plenty of space for more rings on this finger **hint hint husband**!
"Why buy some when you can make your own" is another question I'm often asked by friends. I could have made my own, but I also have great admiration fo these jewellers and their work. In the case of James Newman and Mirri Damer I love their jewellery, just as much as their attitude to creating designs! Their creations are honest to their own philosophies, tastes and style of working, which makes me love these rings even more! I also don't have to spend the rest of my days worrying that I could have made them differently, or better!
I love rings! So I also wear one of my snake rings (available HERE), which I need to upgrade to a gold one (when I get chance), and I also switch between one of my Polkis rings (available HERE) in labrodite and one in red agate.
I wear my rings all the time, but I should wear more jewellery, more often seeing as it's what I do and I should be my own billboard! I guess it comes down to practicalities - as well as working in a dirty workshop, on my own! I have a son and a dog, and the duties that come along with both of these don't warrant wearing my treasure box beauties every day unfortunately!
The above necklace is another Mirri Damer piece. A short double chain necklace with a gold plated central ring and oxidised chain - it looks lovely on and quickly became a favourite of mine.
Finally I wear this necklace the most. It's from Marrakech, made in the back room of a backstreet jeweller completely by hand and I love its roughness and its ability to look good with just about anything.
So as well as making lots of lovely new pieces of treasure myself, based on the things I would want to wear, I would like just one piece of Ruth Tomlinson's jewellery, she is my jeweller idol! I love her work, her style, and just everything about her pieces (my husband is well aware of this too!).
So tell me what are your favourite pieces of jewellery? What are their stories and why do you love them so much? Did any my pieces make it in to your own jewellery collection? I would love to hear from you if they did. It's always so lovely to know the onward journey of my SHJ's pieces. Happy to share? Please do get in touch with me HERE.