How do I create a new jewellery collection?


Well, it’s a weird one, really. I spend most of my time with numerous ideas whizzing around to the point I can’t really control them. When I first started out making jewellery, I made what came into my head, there and then, because I could. In some ways this is really an ideal way to be at the start; it helps you discover your strengths and also which materials and ways of working are you passion.

There comes a point, though, when any creative person must tame the beast, not least because of financial restraints but also because it can be creatively quite exhausting! That time in my case came fortuitously at the same time I discovered which mediums and making methods I enjoyed most. For me, it’s always been gold and the higher the carat the better. Anything that reminds me of the ancient world and buried treasure is a dream for me!

I also really enjoy working with wax. In the same way that sculptors use wax, jewellers do too. Like hand forging (which I also do), working with wax is a very slow process. I find it therapeutic at times. The process allows you time to really feel and connect with the materials you’re using and to develop a connection, to build intention into the form you’re creating. It’s cathartic and I hope the wearer will feel this too while exploring each piece’s textures.

So, when forming a new collection, I’m drawing on my understanding of a wide range of techniques, materials and a topic that interests me at that point of time.

Recently, I launched a new collection called ‘Motherland’.

I’ll tell you that the journey developing the Motherland collection has been an emotional rollercoaster for many reasons. I put everything into this, not just physical things.

The collection came into being at Melbourne airport on my way to Tasmania where I saw an article in National Geographic detailing Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb and its treasures. Of course, being Egyptian, I HAD to buy this magazine and a sketchbook and pens on the spot. So, the new collection was born. It was actually a whirlwind as me and my youngest sister sat on our flight discussing the different patterns and artefacts in the magazine as I sketched out the patterns.

When I got back after the Tassie trip, I showed my dad, who despite spending his life as an Obstetrician is an extremely creative person. Together we discussed the merits of various stones I’d seen in Australia, which is known for its incredible sapphires.

Then comes selecting patterns and shapes for various types of jewellery and buying stones to fit each piece, as well as back up stones in case things go wrong (and they do go wrong)!

Then comes the making. For me, this was 2 solid months of making, sanding and polishing followed by a train trip to London to have everything hallmarked.
Every item of gold over 1g must be hallmarked. I take all of my pieces to the London Assay Office.
Hallmarking in the UK began in 1300 (yes, really) and it’s a tradition (and legal requirement) passed on by jewellers today. It’s your quality guarantee.

The comes the collection launch. Most recently for me, this involved a launch at London’s Oxo Tower and private view.

Then comes the hard part…for many jewellers, the hard part is marketing.

So, this collection embodies family love, hard work, shared ancestry, all that glitters AND a wild trip in to the Tassie outback.


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