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A day in the life of a bespoke jewellery designer

A day in the life of a bespoke jewellery designer

Published by Charlotte Gatward on 27th May 2021

An interview with Emily our in-house designer. 

Emily joined Gatwards in October 2020 and has been making an impact with her beautiful designs ever since. We caught up with her and asked what goes on in and around a design consultation, and we also asked her about the story behind one of her recent pieces in particular. Here's what she said:

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be a bespoke jewellery designer

I have always loved jewellery and have always been inspired by vintage jewellery pieces. I studied at the university of Hertfordshire where I completed my degree in contemporary design crafts, where I learnt to make and design jewellery.

What’s the most important thing for you regarding jewellery design?

“As a Jewellery Designer I know how important jewellery is to people. Whether It’s an engagement ring, wedding ring, eternity ring or a sentimental family piece, lots of people come to me when they’re looking for something completely unique and special, and created just for them. I love hearing their stories and ideas, which inspire me to create the perfect piece for them,. Every little detail is important so I will always make sure to pay careful attention to detail.”

How does a bespoke design consultation work?

“In a design consultation we’ll discuss ideas and the how final piece could to look. It’s particularly love it when people bring me lots of images of ideas, and an idea of budget. I will always work towards that budget and work out the best way to create the piece. We’ll bring all of our ideas together, then I’ll draw up designs (to scale) whilst explaining how we will make the piece ,and the materials we will be using.”

Are your designs all made by hand?

“Many of the bespoke designs will be completely handmade by our talented in house goldsmith. Some other pieces may be created using computer aided design. We will talk through all the options and the steps we will take to make the perfect piece.” [Maybe Emily to add more detail here?]

What inspires you and the people you make jewellery for?

“Some clients will bring me jewellery that they already own to incorporate into a new design. This is always so lovely for me as I get to see lots of different and exciting jewellery pieces. There’s also times when my customers would like a very specific gemstone for their bespoke piece. I am able to source a selection of beautiful stones for us to look at together, so that they can choose their very own preferred gemstone.

“Recently we had a customer looking to create a bespoke engagement ring incorporating a Celtic knot style, which reflected his heritage. He’d made a Pinterest board with lots of ideas and sent this through to me. I loved it. We went through different ideas together and, once I had an idea of what he was looking for, I drew up a few designs.

“He was very happy with one of the designs I’d drawn, so we began the next step which was choosing a central diamond for the design. I sourced a selection of suitable diamonds for him to see and he chose the perfect oval cut diamond for the engagement ring. The ring was completely handmade by our in-house goldsmith and we took photos throughout the making process to keep the customer updated.

“He collected the ring, was very happy, excited and ready to propose to his partner on their weekend away. I was lucky enough to receive the stunning proposal photos! It is so wonderful to have played a part in someone’s special moment and I am incredibly grateful to all of my lovely customers for including me in their story.”

How do you recommend people look after the pieces you make?

“We create care packs that include information on how to keep the pieces in perfect condition. The pack also includes photos of the making process and all the sketches. It’s a really nice keep sake and ads a story to the piece which one day might be handed on to someone else. A daughter, granddaughter or other family member perhaps? It’s a really interesting pack and a brilliant record of the process of a bespoke ring being created. Needless to say, the bride-to-be of the Celtic ring loved the pack as much as the ring (so we’re told).

What is the one top tip you would give to anyone thinking of working with a bespoke jewellery designer?

"Have a think about what sort of designs you like before you come to your design consultation. Gather some pictures either online via an app like Pinterest, or bring some pictures from magazines – this really helps your designer to understand your taste and the look you want from the finished piece."

Thank you Emily, we loved hearing about what inspires you to create such beautiful pieces. Anyone can book an in-person or online consultation with Emily via the website. Click here to make an appointment »

You might also like this article on how to choose the perfect diamond »