Hello to you!
I am launching a new jewellery collection in a few weeks. Did you know?
I am so excited to share 20 new pieces with you. Yes, 20! I have been wildly busy prepping for this one.
Ahead of the launch, I thought you might be interested to read a little more about my design process and how I draw inspiration from the outdoors to transform into contemporary jewellery pieces.
Experiencing nature as it is
You’ll have probably noticed that our jewellery collections pay tribute to the undeniable glory of the natural world.
The first stage of my process is to get outside and physically experience the nature and weather around me. Sometimes, when it’s been possible, I take longer trips away, and at other times I am quite content spending this time around my home in Bristol.
I try to keep my mind loose and open-minded to whatever natural elements arise. Sunlight strobing intermittently on the sea’s surface, unexpected drizzle casting circular ripples into grey puddles, oak tree bark cracking and casting a rugged pattern.
I look for the unseen, unexpected, and unnoticed details. At this point, I try to forget the end goal of jewellery and seek the feeling I experience in the elements. Scent, sound, touch, temperature, colours, and shapes all play their part.
‘Old school’ techniques come in handy at this point as I turn to the trusty pen and paper. I like to research my chosen natural theme to ensure I look at the subject with depth and understanding.
For me, the analog process of the pen to paper, mark making, noticing how my pencil sweeps across the paper, sparks something. More ideas arise in crescendo! I believe there is a lot to be said about the importance of pen on paper, the touch and connection, rather than turning straight to the digital world where we are always ever so slightly disconnected.
At this point I spend time listening to experts on podcasts, watching documentaries and reading research and journals, educating myself on the subject matter in all its variables as best I can.
Now I start to create a vision for the jewellery.
Using scribbles and rough sketches (in the most part only legible to me!) I start to plan the shapes and elements that will create wearable jewellery. I print photos that I’ve collected or found, scribble words, make endless lists and questions to myself to push the ideas forwards.
The next step is to create sample pieces, choosing the right metals to use, the thickness, and observing the finish.
I aim to weave in my key inspirations into this sample making. I look for new techniques to make the jewellery samples; if the collection is inspired by rain, can I use water? If it is inspired by wind, can I utilise movement to shape the item?
Once established and tested, I create maquettes in card or wax and then into metal. At this stage, things are removed, added, bent, hammered, and changed a lot. The process suddenly becomes very loud!
Closer to the end of sampling and editing I check how the jewellery feels when worn. How is the weight? How do the attachments hang? Is it comfortable? Will it be easy to clean?
It is at this stage where the selection begins, after making lots of items the skill now comes down to my knowledge, eye, and gut feeling, cherry-picking the best pieces out of the bunch to make up the final collection.
Mother Nature provides bountiful inspiration for my designs. With this in mind, I cannot just take and take from her. I ensure that sustainability and care for the planet flow consistently through all areas of my business.
During the design process, there are pieces that I create in silver that aren’t included in my final collections. Pieces that I imagine will work beautifully but eventually don’t make the cut. These are either sold as one-off items in The Wishing Well, our exclusive online shop for subscribers, or melted down and recast.
Within this line of work, I am fortunate enough to link up with some incredible creatives, artisans, and makers. I’ve worked with some astounding photographers and models to shoot my collections. Their input makes the jewellery come alive in images. I love the sense of feeling and emotion that is ignited and the creative collaborations that form.
Finally, with a little technical magic, some admin, pricing, writing and marketing we launch the collection with you online! Phew!
I love seeing your Emma Aitchison jewellery in the wild. Please do tag us in your photos, this gives me such a sense of love and achievement and encourages me to keep creating. It is a very special moment.