Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Made in Clerkenwell Summer 2015: Jewellery highlights

Our bi-annual Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios will be taking place next month. Avoid the high street and opt for handmade! 

From 7-10 May, we will open our doors for you to explore our 2 fascinating Victorian studio buildings in the heart of London’s historic Clerkenwell. Both venues are located within convenient strolling distance - start your visit in Clerkenwell Green and find St John’s Square just 2 minutes away.

In this series of blogposts we are very excited to profile the range of covetable products on sale. Just a stone’s throw from the London Jewellery Quarter, our Clerkenwell studios are famous for great jewellery design. In this post, we will be previewing the range of beautiful and creative jewellery that we have on offer.

Alma Sophia Design

Alma Sophia is a Norweigan jeweller based in London. Her main collection – the square collection – is based around the fascination and surprise of cutting something open and uncovering what lies inside. Encouraging the onlooker to explore with their senses, Alma experiments with shape and form to create pieces that are inviting to touch, handle and wear. Interactivity between the piece and the wearer is the main starting point for Alma, which instinctively draws her to design and make rings first and develop a full collection thereafter. Her Scandinavian roots inherently influence her work, with the principals of minimalism strongly underpinning her designs.

Bola Lyon

Bola Lyon is a jewellery designer and maker based in London. She uses sterling silver and porcelain to emulate delicate structures within anatomy. One focus is Cancellous or soft bone, found in and around joints such as vertebrae. It is rarely exposed, encased in a smooth outer layer of solid bone. Once pried open, it reveals dense interwoven bone fibres that create an ornate three-dimensional texture. Through a series of process led experiments in porcelain clay, Almas has developed a technique that has a similar textural aesthetic, which is then used in conjunction with sterling silver. She also challenges the frailty of human veins by trying to capture their inter-flowing nature.

Brandts is a contemporary jewellery collection created by Ayshe Brandts. Each piece in the collection is designed and hand made in London by Ayshe, using gemstones, freshwater pearls, sterling silver and goldfilled components. Her mission is to create sublime jewellery for all occasions, at a fair price. Ayshe cares deeply for our environment and is very much aware of the impact which we have on it with everything we do. As well as following the mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Ayshe sources as many of her supplies as possible locally, from gems and precious metals, to packaging materials. Moreover, Ayshe is always keen to explore the possibility of using components or processes which are nature friendly, for example, using a natural citric acid solution instead of hazardous chemicals after soldering, and crushed hard boiled eggs rather than liver of sulphur to patinate silver.

By Emily

Emily Sidwell is a contemporary jewellery designer working from London. By Emily is the realisation of Emily’s dream to establish an unmistakably English luxury fashion brand. Her training as a painter influences her work; each piece exhibits an exquisite hand-drawn quality. This is a trademark feature of her jewellery collections, resulting in figures that appear alive and untamed. Her designs are ingrained with the whimsical eccentricity of English style inspired by literature, wildlife and the countryside. Working mostly with silver, her adornments are thoughtfully made, combining fine craftsmanship with narrative characterised by a hybrid of raw beauty and intricate detail.

Jeanne Marell

Jeanne Marell designs and makes minimalist jewellery with a twist from her studio in London. Jeanne believes in creating unique, enduring designs. Her pieces are precious objects with a style that lasts beyond the next fashion trend. They often speak to people as they recognise the concept behind the design, but are surprised to see its unique interpretation into jewellery. Forms are often combinations of simple geometries, and each design combines two materials or finishes in an unexpected way. They reveal their intricate detailing to those who take a closer look. She produces work in gold and silver, and often combines these with non-precious materials such as wood, perspex and nylon. Jeanne is committed to ethical studio practices and uses Fairtrade gold and silver wherever possible. All pieces containing precious metal are hallmarked at the London Assay Office.

Laura Ngyou

Laura Ngyou takes inspiration for her work from organic structures and vessels. Through the exploration of sculptural form and pattern, Laura translates the fascination and beauty she finds in elements of the natural world to the wearer and observers of her jewellery. Laura's previous design techniques, used in paper and textiles, have lent themselves naturally to the medium of silver and gold in her current work. A recent oceanic theme has emerged from sketches, photographs and memories of previous diving and snorkelling trips to Borneo, Thailand and Fiji, to the specimens of shark eggs, eroded rock formations, shells and plant structures she recently observed on the British coastline. 

Francine Oeyen 

Francine Oeyen is an Argentinian Jewellery designer based in London. She grew up in Buenos Aires, a sophisticated city of contrasts where seductive nostalgia and vibrant chaos sit side by side. There, she studied Fine Arts specialising in Painting and discovered her love for jewellery. In those years she also travelled across Latin America and became interested in textile techniques and traditional crafts. Her eponymous jewellery brand focuses on the unconventional use of materials and techniques to create pieces with a strong narrative element. Every jewel is handcrafted in her London studio with a commitment to sustainability and fairtrade sourcing. The result is a series of quality timeless pieces that can be treasured and worn across seasons.

Mark Nuell 

Mark Nuell’s inspiration for jewellery came from early contact with gemstones in Australia where his father mined sapphires. Mark learnt to cut and polish these stones spending six years as a gem cutter and later studying jewellery design and making in Sydney. He continues to visit the sapphire mines where he meets the miners and cutters giving him unique access to rare and beautiful sapphires. Distinctive sapphires in shades of blue, green and yellow come to life nestled amongst 18ct gold and silver. His 'spiral' rings and bangles are set with a scattering of precious stones and gold detail. New this year is a collection using rose-cut sapphires, tourmalines and aquamarines cut from a collection of rough gemstones. Using his metalworking and gem-setting skills he creates a constantly evolving and bold lustrous collection.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

London Craft Week: Demonstrations at Craft Central for Made in Clerkenwell Open Studios

London Craft Week is a new annual event which showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery program - featuring hidden workshops and celebrated makers. Founded on the ethos of making, London Craft Week aims to introduce the talent, people and techniques behind the products. Here at Craft Central, during Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios, there will be a chance to meet the makers, see demonstrations of their skills and learn about the processes involved in the making of these beautiful objects. All of these demonstrations will be taking place from 7-10 May at the Craft Central building at 33-35 St John’s Square EC1.

Thursday 7 May 6pm

Millinery demonstration from Bridget Tomlin

Beautiful to look at and an inspiration to wear, Bridget Bailey’s work has a 30-year pedigree, with collections designed for labels such as Mulberry, Saks Fifth Avenue and the V&A. Her work is inspired by the diversity of the natural world and the ways in which textiles and millinery can be used to describe and explore the texture and structures of its flora and fauna. The materials are fabric scraps and off-cuts, vintage silk threads, and found feathers. In order to uncover the jewel-like qualities inherent in what can be considered non-precious materials, the pieces are created with thought and attention-to-detail. Bailey is known for her sculptural and dramatic use of fabric combinations and piece construction. Her demonstration will showcase a unique approach to colour, textile and millinery techniques.

More about Bridget Bailey here:

Fri 8 May 1pm & Sun 10 May 3pm

Millinery demonstration from Katherine Elizabeth

Katherine Elizabeth is an award winning milliner whose achievements include the Walpole awards, Lff Profile Awards and Dzina Fashion Awards. In 2012 Katherine won the London Lifestyle Award for Best Fashion Retailer, being voted the winner out of over a thousand retailers. All her hats are hand-crafted to the highest standard and are stocked by some of the most luxury department stores in the city. As well as designing for her eponymous label, Katherine has worked with top designers such as Stephen Jones and Catherine Delaney. She has also created for John Galliana, Dior and Asudari, alongside making bespoke pieces for Lily Allen, Dita Von Teese and Henry Holland. Her pieces are all handmade by a small London team based here at Craft Central. Her demonstration will appeal for those who have a penchant for French lace, sumptuous Italian silks and hand embellished beadwork. 

More about Katherine Elizabeth here:

Fri 8 May, 5pm

Ceramics demonstration from Helen Beard

Helen Beard has a unique method of decorating her porcelain, a technique she researched and developed during her training at Edinburgh College of Art. Using stain impregnated sheets of newspaper she transfers a freehand sketch on to her porcelain and then colours using washes of underglaze stain. The result is an uninhibited and immediate drawing to adorn her pot. Her one of a kind ceramics, which are each individually thrown on the wheel and hand painted, are made for exhibitions and commissions. Helen’s studio is based at Craft Central and she is regularly inspired by the local area - from swimmers at Ironmonger Row baths to market traders at Smithfield market. Watch her as she illustrates her pots, the pieces come to life one by one, and often a story will unfold.

More about Helen Beard here:

Sat 9 May, 12pm

Jewellery demonstration by Angela Cork

Angela Cork is one of Britain’s most innovative silversmiths and part of the prestigious elite represented in The Goldsmiths’ Company’s collection. Her distinctive style employs simple, clean designs. She has won many awards and is acclaimed for her contemporary and sculptural objects.  As well as designing and making her own work, she teaches at several learning centres and is a course tutor at Bishopsland Educational Trust. Angela will be demonstrating her jewellery benchwork – showcasing her cutting-edge style, extraordinarily precise design and refined traditional techniques.

More about Angela Cork here:

Sat 9 May, 3.30pm

Textile designer Ptolemy Mann talks about the ikat dyeing technique

Ptolemy Mann is a contemporary textile artist and designer known for her unique and colourful hand-woven artworks and textile designs. Ikat is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles prior to dyeing and weaving. Ptolemy will start her talk by showing her own archive of traditional and modern ikats that she has collected from various trips. She will then show how she has adapted the technique for her own practise. Her unique approach to hand dyeing and weaving in a dynamic modern context brings her craft into the 21st century. A modern-day Bauhaus philosophy of product and art making combined with intelligent colour theory underpins all of her work – albeit creative or commercial.

More about Ptolemy Mann here:

Sun 10 May, 1pm

Loom weaving demonstration from Margo Selby

Margo Selby runs a woven textile design company that produces exceptional quality fabrics, rugs and accessories, which blend effortlessly with both contemporary and classic interiors. In the early 2000s, Margo began to develop relationships with weaving mills to explore the possibilities of production.  During this process, she united her innovative hand-woven structures with industrial machinery to create the first 3-dimensional fabrics that soon became the trademark of the Margo Selby brand. Today, Margo’s extensive training in woven textiles remains central to all the design developments. She will be demonstrating hand weaving on her own loom. By showing how to simultaneously connect with the materials in a hands on way, Margo allows for a greater understanding of the construction and behaviour of the final product. 

More about Margo Selby here:

Friday, 17 April 2015

Made in Clerkenwell Summer 2015: Fashion & Accessories highlights

Our bi-annual Made in Clerkenwell: Open Studios will be taking place next month. Avoid the high street and opt for handmade!

From 7-10 May, we will open our doors for you to explore our 2 fascinating Victorian studio buildings in the heart of London’s historic Clerkenwell. Both venues are located within convenient strolling distance - start your visit in Clerkenwell Green and find St John’s Square just 2 minutes away.

In this series of blogposts, we are very excited to profile some of the charming and covetable designs available. In this post, it is the fashion and accessories preview, showcasing a range of hats, scarves, bags and other accessories.


Milliner to the stars, Katherine Elizabeth’s achievements include the Walpole awards, Lff Profile Awards and Dzina Fashion Awards. In 2012 Katherine won the London Lifestyle Award for Best Fashion Retailer, being voted the winner out of over a thousand retailers! The hats are made from a selection of fine French lace and Italian silks with beautiful hand embellished appliqué and beadwork. 

Uglylovely is the brainchild of Sahar Freemantle who discovered a love for beauty in the unconventional, following her degree in Costume Design at Edinburgh College of Art. Sahar explores the eccentric and whimsical, such as insects, rusted objects and old lace in her work. 

Parisian Myriam Lengliné is the London-based milliner behind 'La dame au béret'. Myriam specialises in couture millinery, vintage-inspired high-fashion showpieces and dramatic bridal headdresses. Her unique handmade/handstitched hats and headpieces are made following traditional millinery techniques and primarily use antique and vintage materials. Her inspirations range from the highly decorative and ornamental styles of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the glitzy Roaring 20s, the lean and sleek elegance of the 30s to the film noir glamour of the 40s and 50s femmes fatales, from traditional folk costumes to alternative subcultures of the 70s and 80s.


Kuku Big Bag is a brand of handcrafted, functionally designed leather accessories. They are a modern take on traditional leather work and the belief in maintaining this art is upheld by the individual craftsman who hand make each bag. With leather sourced from selected European tanneries and traditional leather working tools, Kuku Big Bag is a mark of quality and professionalism, designed for those who appreciates its aesthetic statement of bold, contrasting colours and its juxtaposition of shapes. Kuku Big Bag is inspired by contemporary lifestyle, creative culture, functional designs and most important of all, objects that are designed around our ever increasing mobile culture.

Driven by a love of traditional crafts, Lydia has created a beautiful range of small leather accessories using the skills of years gone by.  With an understated aesthetic the focus is on a high level of craftsmanship to ensure the pieces last a long time and will ultimately take on their own character and age. Lydia has created a functional and timeless range of bags, belts, card holders, cases and wallets.


Sarah Eyton is a London based designer, creating jewellery and fashion accessories for men and women that make a statement. Beautiful and elegant, Sarah’s work is attention seeking and bold yet subtle at the same time. We love her selection of stylish and sophisticated bags and clutches, all made from compacted 100% wool felt. Soft and flexible with just the right amount of rigidity.


Hand crafted luxury silk scarves and stoles will be available from Kop London. Each piece by Kop is from a larger material that passes through the lives and hands of many craftspeople and makers who have given their time and skills to make these magnificent pieces that we can love and care for. Kop connects their stories creating the emotional value that infuses each piece. We unleash talent and endorse sustainable fashion with ethical sourcing. Kopḗ marries traditional craft techniques with global fashion as the finest products are crafted by quality into luxury. Kop are not defined by an age group but by joy, confidence, style, elegance and our love for colour.


Textile designer, Beatrice Mayfield, will be showing her intricate hand stitched and embroidered brooch accessory range. Beatrice specialises in hand constructed, embellished and embroidered textiles. Using a range of traditional techniques, stitches and processes, the pieces incorporate a high level of craftsmanship with contemporary design.