Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Studio location: London.
Describe what you make: Sculptural fine jewelry editions and one-of-a-kind bespoke pieces handmade in London using responsibly sourced materials.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: The way I work has a real focus on the individual. Each order has a real sense of importance, whether making a bespoke piece or hand-making one of my Edition pieces. There’s always a particularly close connection when I’m working on a one-of-a-kind bespoke piece with a client; it’s a very tailored process with several design and stone viewing meetings before the piece is created.
One particular project that comes to mind is a bespoke pair of diamond and deep green tsavorite garnet earrings. They’re large in scale and epitomize the perfect balance of drama and elegance that I aim for in all my designs. They were created for a very special client and I personally flew them out to Italy to present to her.
Describe the problem your work solves: I’ve always loved jewelry as a type of wearable sculpture. It’s treated with a respect rarely seen in our world of often disposable design. Working with clients to create something they’ll be proud to wear many times throughout their lives and pass on to their children is a real privilege. I feel the process and way I work with clients really connects them to the level of craftsmanship and thought that goes into making something beautiful.
Describe the project you are working on now: I’m currently working on new Editions to add to my ongoing series as well as working with some clients on bespoke projects. I’m mainly immersed at the moment in a structured emerald and diamond torque necklace. It has been a challenging piece to develop as we’re planning to use some very fine traditional techniques to make the whole thing by hand.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: I’m continually working on new Edition designs; these develop in an organic way starting with drawings and miniature maquettes/sculptures in my studio before my team of goldsmiths help to develop these initial ideas and make them into perfectly balanced pieces. I launched four new Editions this month and am looking forward to adding to the series in the new year.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: My studio has a very relaxed atmosphere. I try to keep the formal side of my work separate, which allows me the space for creative meandering, drawing, and sculpting. The studio is full of art, much of which is by my grandmother who paints very bold abstracts and whose creative process is a great source of inspiration to me. Tea is another must—I’m obsessed with Mariage Freres French breakfast, which I buy in copious amounts for the studio under the guise of it being for my clients!
What you do when you’re not working: As I have a studio at home, it can be hard to set the boundaries between work and leisure. When I’m not working, I usually try to get out and about. London is an amazing place for looking at art, eating out, and generally wandering around. Since lockdown, I’ve walked for miles and enjoyed some of the finer details of London’s architecture.
Sources of creative envy: Most of my creative envy is directed at Beverly Pepper. She made these monumental and always elegant sculptures in her cavernous Italian farmhouse in Tuscany, and I’m in love with all of them. While I spend all of my time designing and thinking about things which are very small with a minute level of craftsmanship, it’s freeing to look at such monumental-scale shapes. I’m also deeply obsessed with many architects who create in a similar, often curved and bold style like Oscar Niemeyer and Felix Candela. Again, there’s a link with creativity on a large scale, which I find stimulating. These architects are also grounded in the balance of function and design, which connects with my own work.
The distraction you want to eliminate: I’d have to ditch email and/or WhatsApp as I find that if my laptop or phone intrudes when I’m drawing or designing, it’s impossible to become immersed.
Concrete or marble? Honestly, an impossible choice. I love them both, preferably as a foil to one another.
High-rise or townhouse? Again a tough choice! My studio is a warehouse space next to the Barbican, which I feel very connected to. However, the dream is a house with space and beautiful proportions—Georgian or Le Corbusier!
Remember or forget? I can be an intense overthinker. And that can mean getting bound up in wanting to remember and fearing that I’ll forget. My true creative best is when I’m fully in the present moment.
Aliens or ghosts? I’m not particularly fussed by either. Having lived in some very old rural houses when I was young, I’m surprised to have never felt a ghostly presence and certainly never an alien one.
Dark or light? It depends. I recently reread In Praise of Shadows and am feeling very attuned to both in the right proportion. There’s power in each in its entirety.