Style Curious

03/06/2009

Curiously versatile jewellery designer, Sarah Bond



Hatton Garden based Sarah Bond is the multi-talented designer behind the Saretta jewellery collection that’s being showcased by ShopCurious this month – to coincide with London Jewellery Week and the current fashion for all things gold.

Sarah never thought she would be a jewellery designer, having trained as a TV presenter/producer, following a BA in politics and anthropology, plus an MA in journalism and law.  It was working as a freelancer  in television that allowed her the the extra time to train at jewellery courses, “a semi-serious hobby at first which morphed, rather quickly, into demand from friends and colleagues …” and led her to study the profession at Central St. Martins College of Art & Design and the Sir John Cass jewellery school.



Sarah’s work has been greatly influenced by her own desire to find design-led accessories that aren’t just costume jewellery. Her collections are more adventurous in their design than traditional fine jewellery, but also aim to be wearable. “I wanted to make 'real' statement jewellery with a couture look that could be worn by everyone. I was passionate about being as far removed from the mass-produced look that has sadly engulfed many high-end jewellery houses today," she explains, "I make all my jewellery by hand and in my London studio, where I can oversee each item with due care - and each piece is hallmarked at the London Assay office".

Sarah adds that it’s nature that makes her really curious: “I love how the simplest things have such a huge impact on daily life. I enjoy nothing more than wandering with my two Labradors around the garden or in woodland, or even by the sea shore; I am constantly surprised how I always notice something new. I find natural design so intriguing - tree and flower formation (as in my floral collection), the movement of water, and of molten lava (that inspired my lava collection). My travels are really important to me as well, I love learning about new places I have just returned from a wonderful trip to South America, with inspiration for another new collection – later in the year, I’ll be off to Asia and Russia for some more research.”

Sarah says she has “a fun approach to design, I adore all the stages of creating new pieces from the drawing board to the finished piece." Firstly, she gathers inspiration over some time in the form of texture cuttings, post cards and old photos - anything that has inspired a particular design idea. She transforms this into a story-board, spread out on a large cork board on which she pins all her sketches and inspiration. The more she draws, the more clearly she’s able to see what would actually work for a collection - what would be wearable. She then focuses on texture, weight and the '3d' design of each item.  She employs the lost-wax technique, (carving and manipulating wax before it is cast into precious metal) -  and has developed some of her own techniques as well. She then works with the pieces in metal form until she’s happy with the results.
 
Pieces from three of Sarah’s collections are currently available at ShopCurious – the 'lava collection' aims to create the effect of liquid metal, the 'floral collection' looks to capture the movement and texture of flowers and nature – and the 'black magic collection' reflects the hidden powers and healing properties of precious gemstones. Sarah says, “I never try to imitate a natural design, I want to give a feel of movement and form to create a piece that is truly unique”. Some of Sarah’s collections are ‘work in progress’ as she doesn’t believe in ‘seasonal’ ranges and likes to add pieces as and when she’s inspired to do so. This evolving and organic approach to design is very much in keeping with ShopCurious' ethos of slow design. Sarah's clients are people who embrace their individuality; who love adventure and are open minded.



Sarah is also very interested in the ethical and human rights implications that she says are often overlooked by the jewellery industry. “I am currently researching and setting up a charitable organisation to bring a more ethical awareness to the jewellery industry and our buyers”, she explains.
 


On a more personal level, Sarah’s favourite place in London is “Embankment, on the way up to Parliament Square -  it never ceases to take my breath away, the amazing mix of old and new architecture and the incredible history behind it.” At dinner, she’d most like to sit next to “Michael Parkinson- I suspect he has a few stories up his sleeve!”

Finally, is there anything else we should know about Sarah? “I am a professional chef, ski instructor and polo player - that should keep you curious…” Well, actually, with all of your travels and many talents, I’m surprised you found the time to speak to ShopCurious – so many thanks, Sarah, it’s much appreciated!