This week, we grabbed the chance to chat with Judith Jones of A Touch of Gemstones ahead of her show at ILFWDA, off-schedule during LFW. Read all about her work here!
Hi, Judith – how did you become a jewellery designer?
Believe it or not, I stumbled into it after a mental breakdown due to several other illnesses & having to close my beauty salon. I used to design jewellery but not actually make it and sell it in my salon. I have always loved learning about gemstones and designing jewellery and just fell in love actually making my pieces. I just zone out and let my creativity flow. I like seeing the images in my head unfold on my jewellers bench right in front of me. I find melting silver, bending and hammering silver so therapeutic.
Coming up with so many unique designs can’t be easy. Where do you get your inspiration?
My designs come from all walks of life. I can be in a church and see gorgeous stained glass imagery, to being in nature and see something to trigger an idea. I also look at fabrics and other countries’ traditions and get inspiration.
Tell us all about some of your LFW designs.
The collection I am showing at ILFWDA are a mixture of tradition, abstract, mythology, to putting gemstones you generally never see together out on the high street jewellers. I have one called my medusa collection – a peacock freshwater pearl and amethyst necklace, bracelet & earrings that the silver I have shaped into a snake formation. Creating fluidity of the piece but a nice modern twist with classic dark gemstones. Then i have my kunzite and blue opal abstract set, which I formed silver into shapes and blended together captioning an abstract-like design. Then the more rare and harder gemstones to get, Russian Diopside and Tanzanite both getting harder to source and rarer as Russian diopside mines in Serbia are only open 3 months of the year due to the temperature in weather. And tanzanite one-source gemstone, they have been getting hardly any out of the ground and several mines have been exhausted and closed down.
What’s unique about your jewellery, compared to other facets of the industry?
The difference between mine and other facets is I see all genuine gemstones and want to use them, where most places will stick to the big 5, emerald, ruby, sapphire, diamond, tanzanite. I like to use everything from abalone from Australia/New Zealand, to unknown bronzite, quartz, obsidian, chalcedony and many others – the list can go on! And as for my designs they are completely unique, like the gemstones. I usually only create one-offs or very limited amount of a design, say no more than 30. Making my clients feel unique, special, one of a kind, and stopping the mass production industry in their tracks.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The proudest moment so far was last year. I was a finalist in the 2017 UK beauty and fashion awards. That and pleasing every customer that comes to me for a commission to be made, or how thrilled the receiver of my piece was.
So, you’re really inspired by gemstones – what other materials do you use in your work, and why?
I love the history of gemstones and hearing the backgrounds, and I’m amazed by the look of them and how they can be cut and set. I mainly use sterling silver, but do from time to time get my hands on gold when a commission or repair job comes in my workshop. I love working with silver as it’s strong yet can form easily into the design I make. I’m still in my infancy so cannot wait to experience white gold, titanium and platinum.
What does ‘fashion’ mean to you?
Fashion means to me to show people’s’ personality and how they see fashion. Whether you are young or old, petite or curvaceous, you have the right to show your flare of fashion in the world. We are all equal and allowed to be fashionable in our own way. And create our own trends and fashion styles.
What’s next for you?
To carry on learning, meet all kinds of fashion designers to work with, sell and leave and imprint on the fashion world so I can say “I created that” or “I started that”. To carry on building both my gemstone business and my jewellery brand. And get A Touch Of Gems Wirral brand out on the celeb red carpets and put on the map.
Thanks for chatting with us – lastly, where can we see your collection online?
I am on most social media, you can buy or message for a commission on our website, http://www.atouchofgems.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/atouc hofgemsjewellerywirral/
Photo: Nick Mizen; Model: Jessica Jane Taylor; MUA: Shannon Keegan at POWT Liverpool
Photo: Ian Williams; Model: Carla Jade; MUA & hair: Ellie May Beesley & AliceMarie Rouillon
Photo: Ian Williams; Model Jamina Angeline Wittke
Photo: Alan Taylor; Model: Sarah Emily Shaw; Dress: Shanyu Xuan at Cherry Blossom Boutique Liverpool
Photo: Alan Taylor; Model: Kim Sherbrooke; MUA: Anika Ahmed at Enhance by Anika Middleton
Photo: Alan Taylor; Model: Melanie Franzoni; Hair: Kathy Griffiths; MUA Jeanette Flynn