Part of my job as a designer involves researching trends, and I look to all sides of the jewellery market for inspiration - from designer maker to high end fashion house.
As a student, however, I found many of my peers dismissive of the very commercial side of the market, focusing on the far 'cooler' arena of independent designers and fashion brands - and the world of jewellery blogging often tends towards the same. It's no wonder this side of the industry holds so much allure; groundbreaking - even shocking - design, thought provoking new materials, interesting textures and exciting themes can feel far more inspirational than acres of diamond set white metal.
I'm pretty wary of this sort of design snobbery, as there really are great ideas and innovative product to be found in every part of the jewellery industry - such as the brand I'm featuring tonight.
Jorg Heinz jewellery is made from the most traditional of materials - precious metals, diamonds, glass enamel, pearls. These smart, polished, diamond studded creations are not the sort of designs I would necessarily pick for my jewellery box but they, nevertheless, really excite me.
The company is based upon the design of clasps that are a feature of the piece as much as a function - clasps that you would want to wear at the front of your necklace rather than the back. This is itself is a great premise - I'm obsessed with fastenings that are as beautiful as the rest of a piece - but more exciting is how the clasps can be altered and interchanged in addition to their function. Pave clasps open to reveal a solitaire diamond, or split half way, exposing both contrasting white gold and pave.
In the 'Magic Pendants', an innovative rotating mechanism allows the wearer to seamlessly shift between a choice of three different looks - including pearls, coloured enamel, and precious stones - each appearing in the window of a sphere which too can be personalised with texture or gems.
I love this luxe, clean take on personalisation; without having to add or take off any components you can switch your pendant from daytime sleek to glittering evening, or choose a pop of colour.
Even if groomed and glossy gold and diamonds leave you cold, it's hard not to appreciate - even be inspired by - the triumph of technical and design innovation in product like this.
Nb. I've touched on the attitude to 'commercial' in some areas of the industry, but a further perspective on that can be found in an interesting Professional Jeweller article here.