Goldsmiths’ Fair Lures Eclectic Talent From Across UK Precious Metals Design

Goldsmiths’ Fair, staged every autumn in the majestic halls of the Goldsmiths’ Company, attracted a wide assortment of UK designer talent in October, spanning reinterpretations of Art Deco splendour to 3-D printing.

The designers are carefully selected by the Goldsmiths’ Company, an august body representing the upper echelons of goldsmithing, from a flood of applications every year. For many of those chosen to exhibit, it is their biggest income earning opportunity.

Well-heeled glitterati, aficionados of fine jewellery and high craftsmanship, visit Goldsmiths’ Hall in London’s historic financial district, and chat with the designers, goldsmiths and silversmiths, perched at their stands.

In between jewellery shopping, they can attend carefully curated talks about design, featuring well-known UK industry specialists, or sample coffee and cake with their friends in an elegant salon adorned with exhibits of objects skilfully crafted in precious metals.

Goldsmiths Fair @lucy.emms

The jewels for sale at the fair range from recycled silver pieces to dazzling gem-set wonders, featuring rare and exquisite stones such as neon green Paraiba tourmalines.

The annual event is staged over two weeks with half of the selected designers showcasing their latest creations in week one, and then handing over to the other half in week two, with a day off in between to reorganise the stands.

Conversation pieces

The following five designers, in conversation with Solitaire, give insights into the inspiration behind their pieces. Each has a very different interpretation of design, underscoring the variety of talent showcased by Goldsmiths’ Fair:

Julia Lloyd George

Julia’s work focuses on the intersection of colour, form and texture. She sources unusual gemstones of exceptional colour. Her innate feel for metal, proportion and finish, combined with her eye for colour, enable her to instinctively present these stones to their best potential. Her Paraiba tourmalines tend to be set in beaten yellow gold, evocative of sea and sand.

“The colour and texture of these magical Paraiba tourmalines: come alive when set in textured gold. Paraiba tourmalines are my speciality, but I work with lots of other stones as well, such as emeralds, tanzanite, garnet and different colours of sapphires. Mixing colours together.”

The 18-karat yellow gold cuff bangle is set with unheated Paraiba tourmaline cabochons that are extremely rare. The stones are found in a range of colours from pale lilac to the better-known neon bright turquoise colour. Paraiba tourmalines continue to be Julia’s passion, but because it is getting increasingly hard to source them even from the more prolific Mozambique mines, this makes the cuff a one-off!
The 18-karat yellow gold Wave necklace is set with five facetted Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines of exceptional colour, in graduating sizes. This is an extremely rare piece as the stones are all sourced from the Brazilian mine that is now closed. They are set in 18ct yellow gold rub-over settings and are attached to a solid ‘wave’ crescent with semi-flexible joint fittings. It has a hand-polished matte gold surface, giving the piece a rich, timeless quality.

Lynne MacLachlan

Lynne’s pieces play with pattern and colour, drawing on inspiration from science and nature, aiming to bring delight to the wearer. Lynne deftly explores the possibilities of digital tools, invoking captivating forms that display visual effects and possess tactile qualities. By hybridising this approach with traditional metalwork techniques, the pieces are elevated to become exceptional examples of cutting-edge design.

“My work brings together new 3-D printing technology with some more traditional techniques. One of the main materials I use is 3-D printed nylon, which is a really nice light but strong material. The best aspect of it is that it can be dyed, so I do a lot of hand-dyeing, and it really soaks up the dye to create vibrant colours.”

The Quiver necklace uses the flexible nature of 3D-printed nylon to create a tactile and flexible statement necklace drapes around the neck, at collar length.
The Ripple Ring realised in gold vermeil features undulating, rippling patterns which converge into spirals around a 10mm golden natural citrine.

Elsa Sarantidou

Her work is a unique balance of pure creativity and extreme design. Bold, charismatic and dramatic, her distinctive talent and style are easily recognised. “I am a jeweller and sculptor. All my work has different themes. I create curves, hand shaping, with different colours — lots of contrasts. I love geometry, but I also love feminine curves. Also, I like very large earrings.”

The Birds of Paradise ring crafted in sterling silver 925 is partially rimmed with 18-karat gold set with yellow sapphires.

Tomasz Donocik

Tomasz creates unique pieces that blur the boundaries between art and jewellery. He has developed a life-long passion for art, film and literature, which continuously inspire his bold contemporary designs. “My jewels are inspired by the Art Deco movements. Because I was a painter prior to being a jeweller, I love to paint with stones so all my settings are a form of painting with stones.”

18-karat gold Knot earrings set with diamonds.

Tamara Gomez

Tamara makes fine jewellery designed to celebrate curiosity and wonder. Her jewellery captivates with distinctive details. Uncut diamonds and ethereal gemstones are set in an organic and textural style reminiscent of the earth from which they came. “I love working with rough gemstones. I love the imperfection of gemstones – just like people!”

Diamond slice sequin earrings in 18-karat yellow gold. The stud earrings featuring richly textured gold with three scintillating diamond slices on each earring.

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