Jewelry is a family affair for Jessie Thomas who has a shop and workshop she shares with her father David Thomas, a master goldsmith in London. Her father, who trained under Georg Jensen and the Swedish Crown Jewellers has his pieces on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Goldsmiths Company. The jeweler, who launched her brand in 2018 was creating bespoke pieces for her clients since 2014 is known for her subtle and simple design. As a little girl, Thomas grew up above their shop and had early memories of smashing bits of metal with a flat hammer. A graduate of Edinburgh University, she learned her craft by becoming an apprentice goldsmith to her father.
Well, I suppose partly because it’s the family business. It’s very traditional in the trade for skills to be passed down within the family and I am incredibly lucky to be properly bench-trained by a master goldsmith. David learned from the House of Bolin and Georg Jensen so it’s a good lineage. Beyond that, I enjoy the process of designing and hand-making a piece from start to finish. It’s an incredibly difficult craft and I’m constantly learning and developing my skills: one day I’ll be hand-carving wax, the next using heat in a certain way to manipulate metal. There is also a lot of creativity involved: I have the opportunity to create tiny wearable artworks. It’s challenging!
What is your brand ethos?
Wearability, timelessness, and a commitment to true craftsmanship. My pieces are highly refined, created by me in a sustainable way using ethically sourced materials.
How would you describe your signature aesthetic?
It’s based in every day and classicism. Pieces that are simple and wearable, but I also want them to feel modern and luxurious. I’m looking to create the perfect jewelry wardrobe: pieces you’ll wear forever, that go with everything and any time. I hate the idea of waste, but at least jewelry can always be given a second life.
What was your inspiration this season?
It developed out of a diamond mounting technique used in art-deco jewelry, especially brooches. It’s a bezel setting with knife-edge wires on hidden hinging. As a technique, it’s not used so much anymore, but aesthetically I find it very pleasing as you use it instead of jump rings and it gives you clean, uninterrupted lines. I liked the challenge of working out how they did it, then David and I made all the tooling together, which is very old fashioned and probably a waste of time, but I like that. Beyond that I was keen to do a diamond collection, so that linked well to the technique.
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Who is your customer?
Everyone! All are welcome and jewelry works for everyone. Unfortunately, the pricing of hand-made jewelry in precious metals can feel like a barrier, but I am happy to refashion people’s old unworn inherited pieces if that’s a possibility. Beyond that, a lot of women buy my pieces for themselves, which is what I loved about making the ready to wear, as I enjoy that relationship. I also work with people who are designing their own engagement rings, and usually, that means we can be more experimental.
What are your plans for the label?
I’m making more one-off pieces using stones I’ve sourced and loved. I learned from David to carve the piece to fit the stone – I like that symbiosis. You’re giving the stone a tiny house. That’s fun.
Source: Forbes – Business