Thursday, 11 June 2015
Not all that glitters... jewellery making for Tatler
How many times have you stopped and really admired a piece of jewellery? Being probably quite stereotypical here, as a man, I cannot say I ever have. Or at least I never had until a few weeks ago when a commission from Tatler led me straight to Theo Fennell's workshop on King's Road.
Tatler wanted to do something special for their Jewellery 2015 supplement and sent one of their journalists Matthew Bell to try his hand at jewellery making. I was with him to record his trials and tribulations. I am not sure I will ever look at a piece of intricate jewellery in the same way again.
Above Theo Fennell's shop is a workshop staffed with some of the most skilled people I have seen at work. The precision required to make a pair of earring's that you can buy in Theo's shop is immense. The day started with a demo from the craftsmith Richard and then off Matthew went to produce his own piece under Richard’s watchful eye. If I can tell you one thing about jewellery making: it is not easy. Matthew managed to break 5 silver saws in the first half hour. As he was sweating over his floral pendant I discovered that one of Theo's team was a world-reknowned silver polisher. How is that even a job? Well, if you're called especially to polish the FA cup then it clearly is.
Lesson from the day: it's harder than it looks. With all the guidance and ecouragement Matthew produced a nice piece, but he will have to break many more saws before he produced a ring with a colliseum and a gladiator fight (to scale!) only visible through a magnifying glass. Yes, you read that right - that's just one of the great pieces of jewellery I had a chance to admired on the day.
Tatler with my photographs and Matthew's story is out this month.
Thanks to the Tatler team for the unusual commission and to Theo Fennell's team for opening my eyes to a world I had no idea existed.