London Rocks Jewellery: Bespoke Wedding Rings, Lobsters, and Elizabeth Taylor
Today's blog post is from one of our premium exhibitors who is a true gem (sorry, we just couldn't resist), and also the winner of the 'Least Likely Place I Thought I'd Read The Word Lobster' Award...
London Rocks are a jewellery workshop focussed on completely bespoke designs with a modern aesthetic and created with traditional, handmade techniques. Based in London’s Jewellery Quarter in Hatton Garden, they stand out from the crowd with alternative contemporary designs, unusual diamonds and gemstones, and their focus on bringing the ring-making process to the forefront of what they do, making them totally curious. It's such a wonderful feeling knowing exactly what went into such a crucial part of your love story - we're major fans! The lovely Juliette from London Rocks chatted us through the process of ring design from start to finish - and yes, we get onto the lobster ring!
Why did you decide to set up your own business?
It all started with a diamond mounting apprenticeship when I was 15 years old. Once fully trained, I found myself making work for incredible well-known jewellers, but with no opportunity to create designs that I was passionate about or meet the clients I was making for. Ultimately, I wanted to break down the hidden world of the jewellery workshop. Goldsmithing is far from glamorous and we are working with metal, extreme heat and chemicals, which is a real juxtaposition to the polished diamond rings people associate with our industry! We wanted to bring the jewellery workshop into a retail space and put the craft at the forefront of our offering, whilst bringing the craftsmen that are all too often shut behind closed doors into the limelight and show-case their incredible talent. Our retail shop has a glass floor that looks down onto our work benches, no there is nowhere to hide, it really is all made on site!
What's been the coolest/best moment of your career so far?
Opening our new retail and workshop space last November was incredible - with the glass panel looking over the jeweller's benches and it's open kitchen style space, it felt we were finally giving the business the visual impact it has always deserved. On a making level, we have had the opportunity to work on multiple commissions where the stones have been extremely rare and completely unique. Its amazing to even view these diamonds and gemstones, but being given free reign on design and then seeing the finished article is something else! A recent piece that stands out was a ring inspired by an orchid flower, it had a pear cut yellow diamond to its centre, and graduated natural pink to colourless diamond petals – a real showstopper!
What do you think the most Curious couples will love about your designs?
Our aim is to get couples excited and engaged with our jewellery and how it’s made. Engagement and wedding rings are items that you wear for life and that get passed onto generations to come, so we love knowing that each design is personal and will help tell part of that couples’ story. We are offering beautifully crafted items but with a contemporary twist, so we hope that reflects in our pieces and compliments our personal approach to working with each client.
Who is your fave famous wedding from history and why?
It has to be Elizabeth Taylor's third marriage to theatre producer Mike Todd in the late 50’s, simply for the incredible 29 carat Emerald cut Cartier diamond engagement ring. One of our favourite cuts, here at London Rocks – timeless but striking! Todd also famously bought her a diamond Cartier tiara that she wore to the 1957 Academy Awards.
Who or what inspires you?
We have a lot of different inspirations that influence various levels of our work. Working alongside various craftsmen and artists continually gives us an appreciation of the jewellery trade and that was a big part of what London Rocks was set up to do. We wanted to give those real craftsmen a platform to be known so they can inspire others and gain recognition. Other external influences from a design perspective are the Art-Deco period, for its symmetry, geometric forms and colour palette. Flora and fauna can also be seen throughout our commissions, the stones and materials are all from the earth so there is a natural connection there.
Describe the type of couple you are hoping to meet at Most Curious
We work on all sorts of commissions from classic pieces through to completely unique designs using one-off cuts or stones. The only common ground we hope to find in our clients is a desire for well made jewellery with the ability to customise as much or as little as they want - the only limit is their imagination!
What do you love most about your job?
Meeting and designing pieces alongside each client. We are in a really lucky position where our work is varied and we get to tap into different styles and help develop ideas no matter how weird and wonderful. Its always great when a client wants to incorporate a personal reference, whether it be incorporating a hidden stone or a shape that is symbolic to them. We get to really design and problem solve not only the aesthetics but how the item will work structurally. One of our stand out briefs was an engagement ring commission that was centred around a lobster! (There it is! Worth the wait, huh?!) The design process took some thought and we ended up using rose gold, with black diamonds and a stunning Asscher cut diamond as the central stone. The ring came out beautifully and the customer felt we got the balance just right, between hitting the brief but making something timeless and more importantly wearable for years to come.
Catch the lovely London Rocks Jewellery at Most Curious on the 2nd-4th March 2018 (that's this year - aaagh!) Tickets are available now via our shop.