Meeting Abby Mosseri at The Goldsmiths’ Fair this year, I was struck at how well-travelled her pieces looked. Even though they were newly designed and formed, you just got a sense of the history and different cultures oozing out of them.
Abby works with untreated gems sourced from artisan mines across the world. They’re traded initially through indigenous people. She picks them because of their vibrancy, shape and unique character. This explains why her pieces have such a strong sense of history about them, even though they’re newly formed!
Find out here how Abby’s inspired by ancient cultures and how she designs jewellery built to last for years to come…
First things first. You’ve travelled a lot, where would you choose to live if you didn’t live in the UK?
I have travelled a lot and fallen in love with many places, but my heart is here on the British Isles.
How would you describe your jewellery?
Modern classical, laid-back luxury.
I’m fascinated by the adornments of ancient cultures, particularly artefacts from Egyptian and Minoan civilisations. It’s important for me to create pieces that represent the rich heritage and ancient craft of jewellery – in both technique and design.
They’re modern treasures – designed to be worn every day.
What materials do you use?
High carat gold, sterling silver and natural gemstones.
Where do you create your jewellery?
In my studio in the centre of Lewes.
Where did you train to be a jeweller?
I trained in London’s jewellery quarter – Hatton Garden. There I worked as an apprentice with a master jeweller – which was amazing and where I gained an appreciation for true craftsmanship. After that I went to study Jewellery Design at Central St. Martins in London. That’s where I developed and honed my design style.
What’s the favourite piece in your jewellery collection?
Right now the verve rings – they’re in their infancy and I look forward to adding to this collection.
What’s the piece you’re most proud of creating?
Maybe the palace ring at the moment. It’s a special piece that’s been brewing since my 2018 trip to Rajasthan. The design was inspired by the Ancient Stepwells of Rajasthan. And the aquamarine was sourced and then cut in Jaipur on an adventurous gem hunt I went on in 2018.
How important is it to you that jewellery is well made?
It’s uppermost in my mind. My mission is to make jewellery that can be worn centuries into the future. Its robust and precious.
What’s your favourite part of being a Jewellery Designer?
Maybe configuring designs using gemstones.
What’s your proudest moment of being a Jewellery Designer?
Probably exhibiting at Goldsmiths Fair this year. This has been a show that I’ve been visiting since graduating from Central Saint Martins. This year it was my turn to exhibit and I have to say I loved every minute of it.
How important is jewellery design to you?
I am quite particular, of course. I do like jewellery that has an art element.
How did you start creating jewellery?
Making crochet necklaces with string wool and shells as a child. And of course the classic daisy chain at around the age of five!
Why did you fall in love with jewellery design?
I fell in love with jewellery making processes.
What are your aspirations for your business?
I go year by year and see what comes along. I’ve had business aspirations before, but over time (and with hindsight) I’ve realised that not all of them would have worked, or been right for me. I just keep my sights on what I am making and it usually works out well.
How do you juggle all the different aspects of the job?
I plan my day, make a timetable. I keep an eye on the clock and make sure I have cut off time to finish a job and begin the next. This is a rule of thumb and helps in busy times. It’s not an exact science of course. Unexpected things come up and time runs over. Or sometimes jobs are quicker than I expect them to be.
What advice would you give to people looking to buy jewellery from independent makers, but who don’t know where to look or how to go about it?
Go to jewellery fairs and craft shows and see who’s making Jewellery in your area. Check out designers on Instagram too.
A jeweller has to be multi-skilled – i.e. web designer, photographer, tea maker etc! How do you find that?
I hire freelancers and I enjoy making the tea myself.