How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?
I describe myself as a jeweller that loves melting metal and creating little sculptures. I’ve always loved Netsuke. My design style is really based on the subject that I’m working on and what develops naturally by the hand with just a little bit of serendipity dropped in. As someone who carves and sculpts I like to stay as close to the natural form and try to make it really beautiful in the metal.
What sort of comments do you get about your designs?
I get lots of great comments about my jewellery, mostly “I love that” and “Can you carve this for me?” Which is brilliant, I love sharing what I do and other people’s input is part of the design process and inspiration.
What is your background?
I have an eclectic mix of backgrounds. As a child I grew up traveling and living in many different countries. Once I had settled back in the UK I lived and worked at a bronze foundry in Suffolk working on life size sculptures, I then went to Camberwell College of Arts. I loved both of these experiences and they gave me the inspiration to follow a career in design. I then decided to train as a goldsmith and became a jeweller. After concentrating on family life for a while I went back to work as a master pattern maker at The Bill Skinner Studio where I helped launch the brand. I have now built my own studio and foundry and launched my own brand.
Which designers do you rate highly and why?
There are so many designers that are amazing but one that will always stand out is Alexander McQueen. I loved the theatrical beauty and genius designs and his ability to have been such an innovator in the world of fashion.
Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…
I always have a sketchbook and pencil with me as a design or idea can come at any time. Once I have decided which story I’m going to use for a collection I start carving the master patterns along with all the component parts. I then make a mould of all the pieces and cast them in my foundry. From all of these I make the finished jewellery.
How do you think your brand has developed?
I think the brand has come a long way. My first pieces were made on the kitchen table but I now have a well-equipped professional studio and foundry. As the brand grows I aim to expand the design style and also have some exciting ongoing collaboration plans.
What do you dislike most about your job?
There is not a lot I dislike about my job apart from spreadsheets but the most difficult part is deciding which designs not to use. It is very easy to get carried away and as an independent designer it’s important to be realistic.
What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now? Past present and future
My main achievement is the launch of my own jewellery range. When I trained as a goldsmith, pattern making and carving was generally not on a course curriculum so it’s basically a little bit of a road of discovery with plenty of swapping techniques with others. I feel that it is amazingly special, something I loved to do as a child is now my job. The future for me is about collaboration. It’s great working with other designers and a small team to see what mischief we can get up to.
What advice would you have for anyone starting out in (your field)?
My advice to other people starting out: it is hard work but nothing beats creative freedom.
Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?
British design stands out on the global stage as a really strong united creative force that is determined to assert itself as a leader in its field.