Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Jewellery = Soul

Love this quote from Mary Alice Stephenson on 'The Coveteur' this week...

"I love my gowns, bags, and shoes, but it's my jewellery that puts soul into my style"

Monday, 30 January 2012

Retail Feature: Boticca

You’ll have noticed over the past year or so that I’ve been using a new site for finding the designers I feature on Gold Threads. Boticca has been online since October 2010 and has quickly made a name for itself in the industry, attracting backing from Links of London co-founder John Ayton (MBE) and being selected as a Professional Jeweller Hot 100.

With the tagline ‘I’d rather wear a unique story’, Boticca’s focus is on showcasing a curated selection of new and exciting designers from across the globe, chosen for their design, craftsmanship and inspirational stories. Boticca is appealing from a consumer and blogger point of view as it features a constantly updated range of accessories at literally all price points, offering the opportunity to buy into independent designers and unearth something totally individual. Boticca’s designers often offer exclusive pieces only available on the site, and there are many more designers who are not yet well known waiting to be discovered.

Boticca is also a name some of the designers I was at uni with will recognise, as I’m constantly advising it to them as a portal for selling their work. Not only does Boticca offer a beautiful site for designers to present their work on, but they’re also fabulous at giving new designers exposure – through interviews features on their blog, features in the press and an active (and relevant) social media presence.

Exposure to the world-wide market is also an exciting prospect for a designer. This fascinating image illustrates where Boticca pieces have been shipped to and from; and shows how small the world can become…
Boticca's Global Family - click to enlarge
There’s a rash of new retail sites that have popped up over the past couple of years, but I’ve not yet found one that I visit as frequently as Boticca. The brand is not just about the product it sells but the stories behind them – from the inspiration and manufacturing process to styling and trends.

The site's blog is continuously updated with varied new content and features, from studio visits and video interviews to guest curations from the world of fashion and blogging. The Style Hunter’s Diary also allows you to see the ‘cogs’ in action – documenting the team’s active and worldwide hunt for new talent and their genuine passion and excitement for discovering fresh product.

Featured product (from top) - Michelle Oh Quarry Stacking Set, Maria Lau 1000 Moons Necklace, Gisele Ganne Dances With Wolves Bangle, Cabinet Pyramid Studs

For more of these designers' collections and additional fashion jewelry as well as unique fashion accessories please see

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Makers

There's something irresistible about peeking into the workspaces of other designers, no matter how many benches and studios you've been around yourself.

The Makers is a beautiful photography project by Jennifer Causey, featuring the studio spaces of New York creatives - from chocolate makers to jewellers.

The images offer a glimpse into the spaces in which the work is created and the processes by which their ideas are realised - moodboards, tools and materials captured in use.

This post features images from the studio of jewellery brand Lady Grey - the whole set is well worth a look! For more designers (including three more jewellers), see The Makers Project...

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Astley Clarke Titanium Stackers

I've featured (and seen) some beautiful and outlandish Titanium pieces over the years, this relatively new metal being used to introduce neon bursts of colour to psychedelic botanical pieces, large scale florals and cutting edge Stephen Webster designs.

So I was intrigued to see Astley Clarke introduce the metal to their in-house Takara range with simple, commercial diamond-set stacking bands.

The slims bands vary in colour from delicate hues that look like beautifully subtle gold alloys to striking brights in pink, purple and blue -

I love this pretty and 'keep it simple' use of an innovative material, both wearable and unusual - plus offering a bit of a twist on the ubiquitous stacking trend.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Vicenza Fair 2012

This time last weekend I was exploring the maze of halls that is Vicenzaoro, the first jewellery show of 2012 and an opportunity to spot trends for the coming year. Signet rings - for both sexes - were in force, as was rose and yellow gold, rose cut gemstones and fine sheets of laser cut metal expertly formed into three-dimensional cuffs.

As with most international shows, the fair was dominated by the big fine jewellery brands offering a literally dazzling glimpse of diamond-studded finery. A simple but stunning example was a long necklace of unset, rose cut diamonds, joined almost invisibly to one another by the finest of platinum links.

This is not to say there wasn't work by smaller designers that caught my eye, however. Images don't quite capture the scale and fluidity of Gabriella Muraia's neckpieces. In the 'flesh' they look more like metal sculptures, requiring a second glance to recognise them as jewellery that would not look out of place in a music video;

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Jewellery Wardrobe Style

Pamela Love does the 'Jewellery Wardrobe' thing so well;

From Pamela Love Tumblr (click to enlarge)
Her T-shirt and jeans are made effortlessly interesting by a signuare smattering of pendants and rings - and her Tribal Spike necklace makes a versatile basic despite being such a distinctive piece.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Jewellery Wardrobe Addition

Not strictly a jewellery wardrobe project post, but I wanted to share the Shaun Leane earrings I received for Christmas this year - a perfect example of an interesting, unusual design that still makes a perfect jewellery wardrobe basic;
Shaun Leane Talon Earrings
There's a number of reasons why they work so perfectly as an everyday earring - they're clean and compact enough to wear with any outfit and for any occasion, but they add a bit of interest and edge that a diamond or pearl stud wouldn't. Plus, they'd also look good combined with other pieces, such a tiny faceted or pyramid stud in my second piercing, or swapping one side for a contrasting earring.

As for my own pieces, I hope to be able to move the JWP on a bit this year - especially now that I have finally updated my work space a bit with a beautiful new bench;

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Jack Row - Precious Metal Fountain Pens

My first post of the New Year features a brand who must be undoubtedly excited about the year to come, having ended 2011 launching a range of luxury pens and cufflinks in none other than London's iconic department store Harrods.

Click to enlarge
Stationary is a first for Gold Threads, but Jack Row's pens straddle fine jewellery and giftware; made from the finest materials and precious stones, and finished by hand at the bench.

The designs are inspired by iconic British architecture such as the 'Gerkin', and pay homage to "man's engineering and architectural achievements". The pieces really are quite stunning, and are certainly items that will prove wonderful heirlooms and future antiques in the decades to come.

Click to enlarge
What I love most about the Architect range is the how beautifully both technology and traditional craftsmanship have been blended, with every aspect - from design to CAD to manufacture - perfectly executed. An award winning designer and goldsmith who trained at the BCU Jewellery School, Jack designs, models and finishes his pieces from his studio in Birmingham - which also makes him another excellent example of the city's talent...

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