A piece of jewellery can say a lot about the person wearing it… being an animal lover, I often opt for simple pieces with equestrian or country notes through them.
Sylvia Kerr’s jewellery encompasses these themes perfectly, by taking one look at the collections you can immediately see the person behind the designs is also very much an animal lover.
But just how do these pieces of jewellery make their way from ideas to style staples?
From early mornings feeding her beloved pets to afternoons in the workshop designing and piecing together her jewellery designs by hand, it’s clear to see no day is the same for this jewellery designer.
I leave you with Sylvia as she explains a typical day in (and out) of her jewellery workshop!
“What I love about my job is that any day is never the same. My day tends to start by being awoken by an animal of some sorts wanting something! (I have cats, dogs, rabbits and chickens at home, so my mornings before work are always pretty busy!)
“Once I’ve sorted out my menagerie of animals, and my caffeine levels are suitably topped up, then it’s off to the studio.
“As well as our collection of country and equestrian styled pieces I also have a large number of private commissions which means time spent designing and crafting genuinely unique bespoke pieces for clients, so that requires much attention.
“I’ll spend my day either at the design desk, (I still prefer to work with paper and pencils!) overseeing admin, talking clients through design possibilities for their bespoke pieces, catching up with our marketing and PR team or in our jewellery workshop. I love nothing more than a whole, undisturbed day at the workbench making jewellery and the team know when I’m focused in creative mode, as I keep the door shut and immerse myself in creation.
“Whether designing a piece for one of the Collections or an individual client, the process is the same. Generally, I use an image as my source of inspiration and I then “design” the piece of jewellery from this lose reference. So much thought and consideration goes into each design. It’s SO important that the piece is not only eye-catching and beautiful but that it is tactile and beautiful to wear. I want the wearer to feel at their best wearing my jewellery.
My day tends to start by being awoken by an animal of some sorts wanting something!
“I also feel that Jewellery has to be durable and practical. It’s such a disappointment when something you love breaks or catches on everything. When I’m designing, I give everything a nice weight. This means it feels lovely when worn and enduring enough to be enjoyed for years to come. I consider my designs not only just fashion accessory but timeless classics that won’t date; “friends” that you will still want to enjoy in 10 years’ time. This can be a long or short process. Sometimes it comes like a flash, other times the blank white page stares back at me for far too long!
“Once the design is there, I will start to create it. Working at the bench, I’ll build the piece by hand using whichever precious metal the client has requested. When its almost ready, the piece is sent to the Assay office to be Hallmarked. Once back to us, we hand polished and add any stones which need to be set. If it’s an addition to one of our collections, then an original master has to be created, which then goes to our caster who produces the finished product. This can be done using 3D printing, but I still prefer to make these by hand. Very often the design will evolve as I move from drawing to crafting an actual piece.
Working at the bench, I’ll build the piece by hand
“By late afternoon, I’ll have a break and take my two rescue dogs for a walk, and then I’ll head to my livery yard for 6 pm to see my beloved horse Farah and ride if I have time, then head back home.”
It’s all in the detail
“As the Collections have grown in number and size, it was essential to me that pieces from the different collections could all be worn together. This is where the idea of our signature “leather strap” detailing came to me. This is a piece of quintessentially equestrian styling that is subtle but seamlessly pulls every piece together. This feature appears throughout all our collections and can be seen perfectly in the Derby earring.
I have taken the leather strap and transformed it into a superbly versatile earring. If you look closely, it gradually slims down towards the end which tapers and curls to finish. It does come with hearts too which can be added for a very different look.”
Creating A Buzz
“I find bees fascinating and will always help a tired, hungry bee back with a little honey on a spoon.
We seem to have lots of bees around the studio and at home (perhaps they know where to head if they are feeling lethargic!) so it only seemed natural to create a little pendant to honour their “busy-ness” and importance to the environment. Our honeybee pendant is small but perfectly formed and is a lovely addition to your jewellery box,
whatever the season.”
To discover Sylvia Kerr’s collection for yourself, head over to the website or follow them on social media:
Facebook: Sylvia Kerr Jewellery
Thanks for reading,