My inspirations are as diverse as the world we live in, for me making jewellery is not a conceptual art, traditional aesthetics and material concerns take precedence. Ultimately the intention is the final execution of a stylish and wearable piece, which has a profound effect on every initial concept and idea. Architecture and nature is often quoted as a big influence for many jewellery designers, but for me architectural principle struck a chord rather than architecture in its literal sense.
My biggest inspiration comes from 1st century BC Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio’s “Vitruvian virtues” who said a structure must exhibit the three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas – that is, it must be solid, useful, beautiful. Vitruvius believed architecture and enginering are an imitation of nature. “Form follows function” is possibly a 20th centuary evolution of the “Vitruvian virtues” and the idea that beauty results from purity of fuction and not from ornamentation. I try to strike a balance between the two.
All the collections are designed with timeless style in mind and deliberately eschew ephemeral fashions and passing trends, by drawing together inspiration from antique & vintage pieces with our own contemporary designs and developments we create stylish pieces for the modern day gentleman.
Timeless style is key to the design of our pieces, for two important and parallel reasons –
Firstly, our pieces are all made of precious metals, all are luxury goods and so need to look beautiful. They are utilitarian objects such as cufflinks, so their form does to some extent come from function. But most importantly they are built to last if cared for so they will need to remain timeless so they are wearable over future decades.
Secondly and of equal importance are emotion, romance and sentiment. We make objects, but they become so much more. Our pieces are often gifts and may become heirlooms of the future so will have an imesurable value to their owners – a sentimental value, derived from the personal memories associated with each piece and the emotion they evoke. So again they need to remain wearable and relevant over future decades.
Primarily I consider the city where I have lived all my life and where I now work my mood board, and many of the people and much of the culture my look book – The City of London.
Most designers you will see penning very elaborate sketches & drawings before they do anything. I do make rough sketches and notes, but I realised very early on that designing jewellery on paper and then making it was not the way I was going to work. A paper & pen do not work for me in the way precious metals & gemstones do.
Unless of course it’s a commission, drawings always help the conversation with clients, I have to make the piece without any detailed drawings and then when it’s finished make the technical drawings in case I need to recreate the piece latter.
As there are no elaborate drawings of the finished piece I can change the design as I work, I often see ways to improve the design in my mind as I work, so in a way each piece evolves. My way is not the way most people work, but it suits me and my style much better. It’s certainly not the way people are taught at art school where they stress the importance of it, but as the saying goes “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”.