Meet our Bespoke Jewellery Designer

We couldn’t create our beautiful bespoke jewellery designs without our talented team at W&W Jewellery. Here you can meet our small team of jewellery experts and learn more about their specialist skills, passions and what inspires them.

Our designer Emma, the mastermind behind many of the innovative jewellery pieces you’ll find at W&W Jewellery, is a graduate of Applied Art and Design, specialising in Silversmithing and Jewellery Design.

Why did you become a bespoke jewellery designer?

My Godfather was a goldsmith, so I grew up admiring his work and cherishing the beautiful jewellery he’d created for me. When I began my degree in Applied Art & Design, I tried my hand at various artforms, including glassblowing and ceramics, but it was making things in metal that really sparked my passion for jewellery.

When I graduated, I had intended to become a goldsmith, but I soon realised that I loved working closely with customers and the artistic side of illustrating jewellery.

What’s a typical day like for you?

It always starts with a strong black coffee, before I get straight to the drawing board creating bespoke designs for our clients. These range from sketches and paintings, to 3D CAD designs on the computer.

I go through the process of producing quotes for each design, by sourcing gemstones and liaising with our goldsmiths to discuss the logistics of each manufacture. Then I sit down with our clients in the studio to go over their designs with them.

What has been your biggest career high to date?

I really enjoyed collaborating with local milliner, Edwina Ibbotson, on a style guide to the season earlier this year, and it was exciting to see my work published in Country and Town House Magazine.

Combining my love of fashion illustration with jewellery design was great. I loved creating a series of paintings to showcase Edwina’s hats and W&W’s jewellery concepts.

And your most challenging moment?

Learning CAD (Computer Aided Design) was a challenge, since I found designing in 3D on the computer required thinking in a totally different way to sketching by hand on paper. It took a huge amount of patience, dedication and late nights to get my head around the process, but it has really paid off and made me a better designer.

I have a much greater understanding of the mechanics of jewellery now I understand how the goldsmiths will assemble the parts.

Of all the jewellery that you have worked on, do you have a favourite piece/pieces?

I’m proud of each piece I’ve designed, but the most interesting would probably be the Celestial Ring, launched this year to commemorate 50 years since the moon landing. Taking inspiration from 1950s and 60s design – from mid-century furniture to the Sputnik satellite – we created a striking piece of jewellery that is truly unique and encapsulates the space theme.

Is there a memorable story behind a piece of jewellery you have made that you can tell us about?

We were recently commissioned to create a bespoke signet ring for a gentleman, whose wife was about to give birth. I sketched the design that was going to be engraved into the signet ring’s head – the ‘Pelican in its Piety’. It’s a symbolic image of a Mother feeding her young and is featured in a prominent statue at Oxford University’s Corpus Christie College, where our client studied.

When collecting the finished piece, our client’s wife pointed out that the Pelican also resembles the crest of Liverpool FC (who her husband is an avid supporter of!) – so the signet ring’s design embodied many sentimental meanings and values.

What/who inspires you?

I am mad about all things vintage – from jewellery to homeware – and spend most weekends visiting museums and scouring antique markets for treasures from the past. I take a lot of inspiration from vintage design; particularly jewellery from the 1920s Art Deco and Georgian periods.

What do you love most about your job?

It’s creative and I’m extremely lucky that I have the opportunity to be artistic and play with gemstones every day! I feel privileged to be the one to design what may be our customers’ most treasured and sentimental possessions, and will potentially be worn for generations to come.

Which precious metal and gemstone do you most enjoy working with and why?

I am particularly drawn to blue/green colours, and tourmalines have a beautiful array of shades to choose from. They suit being set in white metals, such as platinum, to compliment the cool tones.

I do dream of an old mine cushion cut diamond for my future engagement ring! I would set the stone in platinum to enhance its white colour, with a gold band for a vintage look.

Who would be your dream client to create a piece of jewellery for and what would you make them?

I would really like to create something for Stacey Dooley. She’s a style icon for today’s generation and her work on exposing the environmental factors the fashion industry has had on the planet make her the perfect person to showcase the design possibilities of ethical jewellery.

Stacey is often seen wearing chunky gold hoops, so I would create some big statement earrings using Fairtrade gold and ethically sourced gemstones.

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