Goldsmiths Fair is now on! I always get such a buzz from attending this outstandingly beautiful jewellery fair. It started yesterday 26th September and is now on until the 9th October. The fair takes place at The Goldsmiths Company, Goldsmiths Hall, Foster Lane, London EC2V 6BN. Telephone 44 (0)20 7606 7010 www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk
The fair is the opportunity to see (and buy) the work of some of the finest, most inspired and adventurous jewellers in England.
How the fair works
The Goldsmiths Fair presents the work of over 150 jewellers over two weeks. Even the grand hall cannot accommodate all of them at one time, so there are 90 jewellers displaying their work each week. Those of you who can do the math will have worked out that a small number stay for both weeks but most of the exhibitors change over at the end of the first week.
Why you should go
I repeat myself, but these are the finest jewellers in England. There is nothing commonplace or mass-produced here. Go here to be inspired, if nothing else. If you are a man of style the stunningly beautiful jewellery you see here will make your heart soar. And almost all of these jewellers accept commissions. These are the craft masters who will turn your idea into a beautiful piece of jewellery. This is your chance to be a renaissance prince and commission a masterpiece.
Our intention in this article is to write a brief piece that will give you an overview of the magnificent work on display at the Fair this week. There will be a second article next week. We hope to follow this with a couple of in-depth interviews. For now, here are some of the jewellers producing some beautiful men’s jewellery.
We have written about William Cheshire’s jewellery before. William has a really masculine sensibility and his men’s jewellery is outstanding, manly and stylish. Have a look at this men’s occasional ring from his Libertine range. It has strength, solidity and grace. A ring for a successful man.
For me there is a fifties Italian feel about his rings, combined with an edgy modernity. He reminds me of Tom Ford in his ability to reference sexy men’s style and bring it up to date. Really, they should work on a collection together.
Here is William wearing the ring. He also undertakes commissions from his studio in Hatton Garden. Details from his web site
William is working on a new Men’s collection, to be launched spring 2012. This is something to look forward to and we will report more on that nearer the time.
I had to include Craig’s work. All of it is great but the pin he is wearing is abso-damn-lutely beautiful. Craig works in Mokume Gane. This is a Japanese style derived from the making of Samurai swords. Layers of precious metal are layered together and subjected to heat and pressure. The metals deform into the beautiful patterns that you can see in the pin. The uniquely patterned metal is then worked further to produce the final piece, ring cufflink, pin or bracelet.
These are solid pieces yet elegant and light in appearance. The pin is manly with just a hint of its Samurai origin. It looks superb against the grey of his jacket. I could see it looking spectacular against a black jacket or on formalwear.
Craig is one of a tiny number of jewellers in the world who make Mokume Gane exclusively in precious metals, a rare distinction. Jewellery for the elegant, cultured, cosmopolitan man.
I did not get as much time with Ben as I would have liked. Ben’s work is opulent, disciplined and classic; he uses the finest precious and semi-precious stones. These Tiger’s Eye Cufflinks are stunning. He takes commissions for cufflinks like this or for original designs from clients.
Vicki makes architecturally-themed rings and cufflinks, amongst her other work. Her iconic representations of cities and architectural styles make for striking and ostentatiously beautiful men’s jewellery. These are craftsman pieces and make great talking points. Here are Vicki’s Gothic arch cufflinks (modelled incidentally by Craig Stuart, the master of Mokume Gane).
Here’s a picture of Vicki. Behind her you can see some of her city rings, including London and Sydney (bottom right).
An Alleweireldt (Oxx Jewellery)
An is the creative director of Oxx jewellery. She produces some very interesting and beautiful cufflinks. Here is a very individual eye and her pieces reflect that. These solid silver cufflinks are satisfying both to the eye and the hand. The washed and etched effects give them an edginess that will appeal to many men.
An also produces these album-cover cufflinks. This pair features a logo with which many men will be familiar. Most albums can be designed onto cufflinks in this way and An accepts commissions to produce the album-cufflinks of your choice.
Readers of this site know that we are big fans of David Webdales work. His jewellery has bags of spirit and energy and it is not for the faint-hearted. Some of his work, particularly his belt buckles, is big, edgy and elegantly tough-guy. At the moment he is attracting a lot of attention for his beautiful stick-pins. Here is one in Gold and Amethyst.
Here is David wearing the pin. Those readers who have read our earlier pieces about David will remember that he also works in leather. Currently he has a collection of man-bags that, like his jewellery, are striking, luxurious and comfortable. You can see more of these on his website.
Emmeline makes big, beautiful; pieces. The crystal-cut necklace below is set with coloured satin metal flakes and is a really powerful piece. Emmeline also has rings in this collection, which showcase the metal detail beautifully. These are pieces for aspiring rock stars, actors, men who have the presence to make a big statement.
Here is Emmeline, wearing a geometric necklace from her collection. It clearly goes well with stylish dresses if you are looking for a gift for someone who wears those clothes well…..
Yen produces unique and timeless jewellery. Her beautiful necklaces and bracelets are made of precious metals and stones and sparkle and scintillate, catching the light in their own unique and beautiful way. These are tactile weaves of precious metals which are surprisingly soft and flexible to the touch.
So if you buying for a woman, especially one of style, here is beautiful upscale jewellery for you.
Here is Tim Lukes, who we have featured before. Tim is a master jeweller with a wide range of classical skills, including those of silversmith and classical engraver. He is noted for his prestigious commissions and his ability to work precious metal on a large scale.
Tim has some wonderful cufflinks in his collection. They are in precious metals and beautifully designed. If you are going to the show do take a look at them. If you are not, catch them on his website.
Marianne is an accomplished master jeweller, who we wrote about before. Marianne makes the most beautiful watches, either singly or in small production runs. These watches are amongst the most beautiful and elegant things a man can own. Have a look at the watch below. If there was one watch that you were going to own for the rest of your life this would be it. Each watch is unique.
Tomasz work was especially interesting because of his wonderful cuffs and their engineered manly style. His men’s jewellery is superb, assertive, romantic, even slightly sinister in its beauty. It is very sexy, upscale and captivating. Once you have seen his jewellery, you cannot pull your eyes away from it. The details such as concealed clasps, magnetic joins, all speak to the engineered craft that real men find attractive. Jewellery for the Alpha male.
Here is Tomasz showing two of his pieces. The gold and precious metals cuff is very heavy and makes a real statement. However the leather and precious metals cuff is really striking. It has echoes of roman gladiators and renaissance condottieri and is one of the sexiest pieces on show.
Here is Tomasz modelling several of his pieces.
We have written about Josef Koppmann’s jewellery before. He makes big bold pieces which are striking and modern, cultured and elegant. If you wanted just one jeweller who was both modern and upscale, he is it. Josef offsets his big designs with subtle contrasts of gold and silver. He uses unusual and striking stones such as obsidian and the beautiful opals shown below.
Last time we wrote about Josef’s elegant and powerful cufflinks. This time we have two pictures of his very original and eye-catching dress studs. The blue opals are wonderful; their irregularity would look beautiful against a dress shirt.
Here is a picture of Josef wearing the companion cufflink to the opal studs. His jewellery is simply magnificent.
This is my flying roundup of the first week of the Goldsmiths fair. The jewellers mentioned here a re just a small selection of those exhibiting. There are many more master jewellers and craftsmen exhibiting, all of them producing the most beautiful and spectacular work. I will report on the second week next week.
But if you have an opportunity to see this wonderful exhibition, please, GO.
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