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Now, I’ve got to admit, I’m totally fan-girling over today’s Spotlight interview! 

Ruth Tomlinson’s absolutely gorgeous designs first caught my eye a couple of years ago, and I’ve been an avid fan ever since – so I still can’t believe she agreed to be interviewed on The Jewellery Spot!

I think it’s that combination of pastel stones, and organic textures that are so sublime, a modern take on the traditional. 

And did you know many of the stones are specially cut for Ruth’s jewellery in Amsterdam? Now THAT’s what I call attention to detail!

Here she describes just HOW much thought and detail goes into each and every piece…

How would you describe your jewellery?

Ethereal treasures filled with unexpected details and imbued with an otherworldly sense of a bygone era. 

Some of Ruth’s one of a kind rings

What materials do you use?

Natural diamond crystals in their original raw state. Antique diamonds recycled from old jewels dating back to the Georgian and Victorian eras, and old cut diamonds from the 17 and 1800s that contain a sense of history and character. They were cut entirely by hand. It was before laser cutting technology was developed.

We also have some of our diamonds cut especially for us by master diamond cutters in Antwerp, this hand cut element means each stone is complete unique. We also use other precious gemstones such as Rubies and Sapphires set in different tones of gold. 

Where do you create your jewellery?

In our central London Studio, where it’s all designed and entirely handmade.

What’s the favourite piece in your jewellery collection? 

One of our asymmetric champagne diamond ring designs.  It consists of a cluster of old cut diamonds surrounding a beautiful 1 carat rose cut diamond. We had it specially cut, keeping the outline form of the original raw diamond crystal that it was cut from. It’s a beautiful mix of organic shape and historical influence.

What’s the piece you’re most proud of creating?

Probably my first fine jewellery piece. It’s a design that is still part of our collections: a raw champagne diamond ring with rose cut grey diamonds clustered on either side of it. The natural two carat diamond offers a luminescence to the style. It suggests it’s understated enough to wear everyday, but still says ‘luxury’. 

What’s your design process?

I’m always looking for beauty and inspiration in the world around me. I’m very much a maker, so the jewels really come to fruition during the making process. This is when I translate my ideas into tangible treasures.

How did you start creating jewellery?

I’ve been making jewellery ever since childhood. I took inspiration from growing up at the seaside in Morecambe Bay, Lancashire and by learning an early appreciation for nature. I’d create adornments from natural found treasures and I went on to study 3-D Design in Manchester followed by an MA at the RCA which has led us to where we are today. It’s been an organic process, a natural progression of my childhood hobby into a career!

Why did you fall in love with jewellery design?

To me, working with such precious materials is a privilege. Each piece of jewellery should be unique, just like each of us, and this is how I like my jewellery to make people feel. I hope to evoke a sense of wonder around the work. I strive to create a modern British classic of the future, handcrafted and ready to take on its own story. Not just throughout our lifetime, but for generations to come.

What are your aspirations for your business?

We’ve just launched a new collection that’s introducing a new direction for the brand – I’m so excited to reveal it all in due course!

Where do you feel most inspired?

Being outdoors and amongst nature, particularly at the sea. 

Who and what else inspires you?

I’m passionate about the Earth’s treasures, and it’s these that drive me. The magic of minutiae, tiny intricacies, small imperfections, and the individual’s search for preciousness. I seek out the unconventional beauty within and this fuels my creativity.

My inspiration comes from the idea of life cycles and changes in nature, in transience from birth to decay. I’m interested in archaeological finds, whether contemporary or historical, natural or industrial. 

My work’s often a response to my immediate environment. It may be a fleeting moment on a train in India, or being totally immersed in a single jewel at a museum. My eyes are wide open to new discoveries and I love to observe and absorb my surroundings. I hope to evoke a sense of wonder around my work which leads people to question the idea of preciousness.

What do you think of Ruth’s work? Are you surprised by level of detail that goes into it? I’ve got to admit I didn’t realise quite how much thought goes into just selecting or commissioning a stone!

To see more of Ruth’s work you can visit her website here…

Victoria
vrichards81@hotmail.com
Hi I'm Victoria - journalist, jewellery designer and comms/pr expert. I'm obsessed with original, contemporary jewellery and helping other designers create successful businesses to help spread the jewellery joy! I'm also completely addicted to pancakes.
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