The lovely aspect of my job is to design for the individual sat in front of me. With a lot of the design work I’ve created in my early career I’ve had to design for a theoretical demographic. So I was designing for an imaginary average customer, whilst there may be boring people out there I find most people have their own interesting preferences. Commission work fits this perfectly as it’s just the designer and customer working on what is right for them.
My career started at school where I made and sold jewellery to some of my teachers. I really didn’t enjoy school and only really realised I was good at design when I left and got a diploma (with distinction) in Jewellery Design at Bradford & Ilkley College. I then finished off my higher education with a 1st in Metal Smithing & Jewellery at Sheffield Polytechnic.
After a short stint working for jewellery manufacturers around West Yorkshire, I struck out under my own steam in the early 1990s. Originally designing ranges of predominantly silver jewellery, I sold through the trade and at trade shows. I sold all over the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe, and as far afield as the US and Japan.
Finding this design work a bit static I opened my first shop in the Red Brick Mill in 2003 selling my own and other British designers work alongside a bit of my own commissioned work. From there, I moved to my second shop in the scenic World Heritage Site of Saltaire in 2007. This move was the right call and I found the commission side of my business really took off and has been my main focus ever since. I’m currently in the very characterful location of Dean Clough Mills in Halifax where I have the perfect ‘meet the designer’ location in a fabulous space.
With over three decades of designing in the difference, any commission I take on comes with a very wide breadth of experience; from designing and making anything from a clean look wedding ring to gold watch cases. The mainstay of my work is engagement and wedding rings, big birthday presents (usually full eternity’s) and remakes of inherited jewellery. The customer drives the commission though so virtually anything goes!