You know you’re doing ok as a jewellery designer when you’re selected by The Goldsmiths’ Centre to be part of their talent programme (where only six people are selected!)
Last year, the very talented Judith Peterhoff was chosen to take part in Setting Out – a business incubator run by The Goldsmiths’ Centre. Since then she hasn’t looked back, creating gorgeous jewellery inspired by imperfections in nature and the human form.
I’m a huge fan of sculptural, organically inspired jewellery. So I love the irregular textures and shapes of her beautiful pieces.
Read her story to find out how she grew up in Germany and how she was crazy enough to take part in an Ironman triathlon…
How would you describe your jewellery?
I design for the woman who appreciates design and wants to wear something delicate, interesting and unique.
My jewellery is formed of classic circular shapes, embellished with textured surfaces and delicate clusters of precious metals and gemstones. This creates a dappled, organic aesthetic. Then I also play with contrasting finishes.
Matt and shiny surfaces sit alongside each other and add depth, individuality and a tactile quality.
What materials do you use?
I made the decision to work in an environmentally conscious way. I’m proud to be a fairtrade foundation registered jeweller. I use recycled materials as standard – sterling silver or 18ct yellow gold. Or fairtrade materials when commissioned.
Where do you create your jewellery?
I never stop dreaming of new jewellery ideas! The actual making? Both at my workshop at home or the Goldsmiths’ Centre.
Who is Judith Peterhoff?
Oh, that’s a good question! I’m originally from Germany and I studied fine jewellery design in the Netherlands, before moving to London. I loved rummaging through crafts when I was little, combining beads, patterns and textures. I was always destined to be a jewellery designer!
In my spare time I’m a keen triathlete. This year I have completed my second Ironman Triathlon, which was an amazing experience.
A lot of people think I’m crazy, but I just love the exercise, the commitment to something so big and the whole experience of pushing yourself to your limits.
You were recently chosen by The Goldsmiths’ Centre to be part of their new creative talent programme ‘Setting Out’. How did it feel to be selected for such an honour?
I applied for the business incubator ‘Setting Out’ at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in 2018. I was over the moon when I was accepted. It’s a very selective process – only six of us were selected to do the course. It’s such an honour to be part of such a prestigious group.
The All Set Event was the launch event for our new collections, celebrating what we have achieved in the past year. It was a great event and an incredible experience to be exhibiting at the Goldsmiths’ Centre. I met so many lovely people and had great feedback on my new collections.
Where did you learn your skills?
I studied jewellery design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design Maastricht (MAFAD) in the Netherlands. They encouraged me to experiment, discovering my love for the curious.
After graduating, I moved to London where I gained invaluable experience in Hatton Garden, working for some of London’s top jewellers. I explored, learned and honed my skills as a maker for six years. In early 2017 I took the plunge and used my expertise and creativity to launch my eponymous jewellery brand – Judith Peterhoff.
Are there any jewellery making skills you’d still like to learn?
So many! I’m a bit of a skills-nerd. I love learning new techniques and playing around with them. I’d love to learn filigree work. When I was younger, my dad gave me a filigree necklace from Bulgaria. The delicate details fascinated me and still do.
What inspired you?
I’m inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi: the beauty in imperfection. Whether that’s in human form (a freckle, a beauty mark), or in nature (a rock or a crack running through a piece of wood). It’s all beautiful to me.
What’s the piece you’re most proud of creating?
I absolutely love my Orno Collection. The fluid lines and irregular clusters are exactly what my brand stands for. The inspiration for those pieces are freckles on your nose and I feel they just perfectly reflect that effortless beauty.
What’s your proudest moment of being a Jewellery Designer?
Taking the plunge and quitting my day job to start my business. It took me a while to make the decision and build up the confidence.