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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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!”