New jewellery designer: Gee Woods

With the mantra ‘simple is better’, jewellery designer Gee Woods is a girl after my own heart. Using a simple, classic palette of gemstones, and subtle design twists – like the simple rotating centre of this ruby ring – her small ready-to-wear collection is full of pieces you could wear every day.

Her belief in British design and manufacturing means that everything is made in the UK by a team of skilled craftsmen, and a strong emphasis on quality rather than quantity keeps her collection feeling neatly edited and satisfyingly complete. 

Tactile with a nice use of negative space, this lightweight, graphic collection appeals to the designer in me as well as the jewellery lover: a particular favourite is this rose gold ring…

An exciting new jewellery designer to watch indeed. For more information visit www.geewoods.com.

 

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London Fashion Week Jewellery: Rock Vault

Today the British Fashion Council announced this year’s Rock Vault jewellers who will present designs from their SS15 collections at this September’s London Fashion Week.

Selected by a panel of industry experts, headed up by the awesome and pioneering jewellery designer Stephen Webster, the ten most innovative and exciting jewellery designers working in the UK are given the opportunity to exhibit at the BFC Rock Vault; which acts as a nurturing and supportive platform with exciting and invaluable exposure to global press and retailers.

The initiative champions and nurtures the best emerging talent we have here in the UK, and the selected jewellers represent a wide variety of skills, from traditional artisanal craftsmanship to groundbreaking computer prototyping, a full breadth of style and aesthetic. Previous exhibitors Fernando Jorge (whom we recently interviewed on The Cut, read the feature here) and Melanie Georgacopoulos have graduated from the scheme and are off doing wonderful things in the world of jewellery.

Here are this year’s chosen jewellery designers:

BFC Rock Vault: Hannah Martin
BFC Rock Vault: Beth Gilmour
BFC Rock Vault: Shimmell & Madden
BFC Rock Vault: Imogen Belfield
BFC Rock Vault: Tomasz Donocik
BFC Rock Vault: Yunus & Eliza

 

 

BFC Rock Vault: Alice Cicolini

 

BFC Rock Vault: Jacqueline Cullen
BFC Rock Vault: Jo Hayes-Ward
BFC Rock Vault: Ornella Iannuzzi

Rock Vault will be running during London Fashion Week from the 12th to the 16th September 2014. For more information visit the British Fashion Council website.

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Studio Life: Behind the designs with Fine Jeweller Hannah Martin

Jewellery Designer & Creative Director Hannah Martin

Last week I spent an afternoon in Clerkenwell at the magical studios of Hannah Martin, one of London’s top fine jewellery designers. Her smooth, sculptural pieces are imbued with a subtle androgyny, an elegant edge and unexpected masculine details, such as upturned spiky rubies or bespoke hexagonal cut emeralds. Weighty and desirable, her jewellery attracts a doggedly loyal following of men and women who reject ostentatious ‘bling’, and aspire to a quieter luxury, forged through a strong, independent brand who value craftsmanship and quality.

18k Gold Spur Rings & Cufflinks

Hannah was the first ever jewellery designer we featured on The Cut, and we’ve tried hard to avoid the blog becoming a love letter to her ever since… After rummaging through the treasures on display (books books books, more books, photos of rock stars and piles of golden jewels), we sat down to discuss her inspirations, re-invigorating old designs and leaving your muse behind like a dumped boyfriend.

hannah-martin-studio-interior-jewellery-designer-life

What are you working on at the moment?

 I’m currently designing a new collection; I love having a completely blank canvas. The initial part of the design process is the best – researching, reading, sitting in the St Martins library, pulling images (not literally) from books and letting one idea lead on to another. My designs are always created with a character in mind, and so creating and forming that character is like meeting and falling in love…the first rush of getting to know someone is really exciting and I obsess about them constantly.

Sketches and inspiration for the Delirium collection, and Delirium silver cufflinks

 How do you think your collections have evolved?

My fingerprint will always run through every collection, and my love of linear, graphic structure and shape, Monumentalist architecture and a mild obsession with water towers seeps into every design to varying degrees. The characters and stories I use as inspiration will share some of these references, which means there is a thread pulling them together, despite being from completely different points in time. By the same token, the character will make a piece feel and look different even if the shapes and lines are recurring.

Delirum 18k gold pendant with mood board images and original sketches

I’m currently putting a character to bed (The Man Who Knows Everything – timeless delirium and shamanistic twists of intense colour and light) and that feels good, saying goodbye. We’ve finally broken up.

Do you ever feel pigeon-holed in terms of style? The press likes to put designers in boxes…

Yes, sometimes, but new designs and collections are more a rebellion against my own ideas and how people see them…after I’ve been immersed in a character for a while I feel the need to develop and present new thoughts and ideas, a bit like an actor who’s been playing the same role for months and needs to show another side of themself. You might not look for an opposing aesthetic but it often comes out anyway as a need to change and move on with something new.

Clockwise from top: Silver Delirium cufflinks, Delirium Shadow ring and one-of-a-kind rose gold and bespoke cut emerald earrings

You do a lot of bespoke work, including engagement rings, which must be hard to put your mark to when it’s just a plain solitaire?

There’s always a way to make even a simple piece your own. As I design each piece that goes through the door it will always have the HM aesthetic, even if it’s a solitaire ring – details like a knife edge band or a particular shape of claw setting. My work is very sculptural and I always think in 3D, every view of the piece is considered, so there’s always something to look at from any angle.

One-off Emerald & enamel Delirium Emerald Trance Amulet
Underside detailing of the Delirium Emerald Trance Amulet

 What’s coming next?

 I’ve recently revisited some of my early collections, some from when I was still at St Martins, and it’s really interesting to work on them with my present perspective and ideas. I’ve designed series of ‘Heritage’ pieces as new additions to existing collections; like revisiting an old relationship, the spark is still there…

www.hannahmartinlondon.com

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