From ideas and sketches to the final piece, jewellery holds a story in how it is created, as well as the moment it represents in someone's life. We wanted to share the process of bringing these special, momentous pieces of jewellery to life! Quite literally hot off the bench, the Stardust Ring is set with a 0.39ct grey diamond, with a diamond-studded star-shaped halo, all in 18ct rose gold.
Starting with the raw materials, the gold is milled and drawn into a square wire, before being forged into the shape of a ring, and soldered together at the join.
A collet (a circle in which the stone sits) for the centre diamond is made, and the shape of the star is marked out on the metal for the halo. These shapes are then cut out and the collet is soldered to the inside of the star.
Final assembly includes soldering the collet and halo to the shank and the claws for the centre diamond to the halo. Once the piece is structurally complete it is filed and emery-papered, polished and hallmarked by the London Assay Office, before the diamonds are set by hand. The centre diamond is claw-set with three asymmetrical claws, and the halo is pavé set with 18 tiny white diamonds.
New York City
If I didn't love London quite the way I do, I'd probably live in New York by now. Although it hasn't always been my favourite (during a coast-to-coast trip in 2010 I vowed never to return, due to heat, hostels and tourists!). I went back in 2016 with a pizza-loving, baseball-obsessed other half and NYC got back on my good side. Since then we've made three trips in 18 months and I can say the love affair is real.
From Williamsburg to the Upper West Side this city is full of gems, be they jewellery stores, pizzerias or the beautiful skyline and the weird and wonderful residents. Even the subway gets me excited. So here, for you, are my top tips for any jewellery-lover in The Big Apple:
A true favourite on Elizabeth Street in Nolita, this store is my go-to when we first get off the aeroplane. In amongst a wide range of jewellery the attentive shopper can also find books, objet d'art and gifts that'll have you considering buying another suitcase to bring them all home.
Back in 2016 I found the opal necklace of my dreams in the cabinet right at the front of the store but after forcing myself to sleep on the hefty price tag I went back the next morning to find it had sold. I still covet that necklace to this day...the one that got away! I find myself gravitating towards Love Adorned more than any other store in NYC, for conversations with its fun, interested and gentle staff, ogling over the jewels and enjoying the bright, welcoming store.
You can find bold, fun designs and timeless, dainty pieces from designers from all over the world in here, alongside a selection of curated vintage and antique pieces. Perfect for emptying your bank account and filling your home with beautiful things!
Only a few blocks south of Love Adorned hides this store on Crosby Street in Soho. We stumbled across this hidden gem on a trip in 2017 after searching for Broken English (another great jewellery store tucked into the back of an All Saints store on Crosby Street). Michele Varian is an interior designer and so the store has an amazing aesthetic, think gold, black and white on everything. They only have a little jewellery but what they do stock is beautiful; contemporary, dainty and timeless one-off, luxury pieces from an array of designers mostly based in Manhattan and Brooklyn - perfect if you're looking for a local hand made keepsake or special memento of your trip.
I came away this trip with a bowl hand-forged from of a single piece of brass by Tom Dixon (trying not to think about the fact I came half way around the world to buy something from a London-based maker!). It's not jewellery but it is still gold, shiny and perfect to hold my daily jewels in the bedroom.
I first visited Catbird in 2016 on a rainy rainy Monday after hearing so much about it online. They've since refurbished and the store is now a welcoming petite spot with a neat selection of designers from around the world, and their own famous line. A range of prices too, upwards of just $14, so ideal for those on a strict holiday budget!
Catbird sell candles, notebooks and stationery for all the extra little gifts you might need too.
I could go on for hours about this amazing city and all its amazing stores but the above should keep you busy for a day or two. For the extra-comitted among you here are a few more hidden treasures I make a point of checking out whenever I'm across the pond:
A collaborative collection from two creative women, doing creative things.
Mimmi Montán (an artist and photographer based in Malmö, Sweden) and I worked for 6 months on what had started out as a brief idea, and turned into a fully fledged, wonderful friendship and collection of paintings, drawings and jewellery.
Inspired by Mimmi's textural, raw paintings, the jewellery encompasses black diamonds in silver, featuring the same shapes and patterns visible in her artwork. The collection is minimal, monochromatic and gives a feel of nature, but of a deep, dark forest in rainfall.
The Ett Par (Swedish for 'A Pair') series features a limited edition of 50 handdrawn and signed drawings, and two editions of 'boob rings' - a run of 3 with black diamonds, and a run of 15 of the signature design.
The collection will be available until 24.12.2017
The new Ellie Air Jewellery collection, Eclisse, is here! Eclisse, Italian for eclipse, encompasses my love of astronomy. The main silhouette that features heavily throughout the collection and each design is a golden circle, representing the sun.
The traditional star setting that also features in the Firma collection has become a unique and clear mark of my craftsmanship, and helps connect my love of the stars with my simultaneous love of jewellery design.
The collection brings a modern and delicate aesthetic together with bold shapes and eye catching contours, creating future heirlooms.
Each piece is handmade by me, Lauren, in my studio in East London which also opens the doors to having your own bespoke version of one of the designs made just for you. Simply get in touch and we can discuss what metals, colours and stones you love!
The Sunburst elements of the Eclisse collection feature rose cut white diamonds, set simply and delicately in star settings. Each piece is bold enough to be worn on its own, but also dainty enough to be worn with your existing favourites.
Orrery, made with hand cut discs of gold, focuses on the human relationship with our planet, and our planet's placement in the solar system, and the universe itself.