Arts & Crafts: Meet the Cambridgeshire jewellers




Looking for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas present for someone special? Meet three local jewellers, all designing and making in their own distinctive style

Lynne Strover, Lynne Strover Silver

Silversmith and jewellery maker, Cambridge

Your style?

Simple, bold and beautiful to wear. Tim Knox, when in Cambridge and director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, described my work as “looking like something from our antiquities department”.

The collection

I make necklaces, earrings, brooches and rings using sterling silver. I often use semi-precious stones in my necklaces and always consider carefully shapes and colour and how the piece will look when worn.

The story

I had my own gallery in Fen Ditton for 27 years which had a strong Cornish connection selling British contemporary artworks. I was inspired particularly by the artist Breon O’Casey, a painter, printmaker, weaver, jeweller and sculptor. Some years ago, I went on a silversmithing course at West Deane College and I was stirred to learn more about working with silver. I sold the gallery in 2018, bought a house and set up a workshop in the heart of Cambridge.

Motivation

I enjoy the physical processes, the hammering, annealing and polishing silver, as well as the thought process involved in designing something beautiful to look at and wear. Selling is essential too – in July this year I had a very successful open studios in my workshop which encourages me to keep creating.

Christmas collection

I have recently introduced gold vermeil (sterling silver plated with 18ct gold) earrings to add a touch of glamour for the festive season and have a new range of cast rings, bold and beautiful, and not for the faint hearted.

What will your Christmas look like?

Whatever my family choose.

New Year motto?

Not to make a New Year motto…

See lynnestrover.co.uk and @lynnestroversilver

Buy by appointment at Lynne’s Cambridge studio

Jewellery £50-£600

Karen Faulkner-Dunkley, KFD Jewellery

Jewellery maker, Ely

Your style?

Elegant, hand-crafted jewellery in silver and gold for stylish women. Contemporary but not quirky and designed to help the wearer look and feel confident, stylish and special.

The collection

I make necklaces, torques, pendants, bangles and bracelets, a huge variety of earrings and rings. I have made the occasional heirloom silver tiara for weddings and proms. I work in sterling silver and gold, but silver is my main metal. I love to mix silver and gold. I also re-model jewellery transforming sentimental but unworn jewellery by re-imagining it into something new.

The story

I taught further and higher education for 12 years and enjoyed the teaching but hated the bureaucracy. I had always been creative and loved jewellery, so I bought lots of books, taught myself and started making – that was 22 years ago. I also run bespoke jewellery making courses.

Motivation

My inspiration comes from the nature all around me. Many of my designs feature flowers and leaves. Over the past five years I have tried to infuse meaning and symbolism into my work. My aim is to create jewellery that will be cherished and worn often, not relegated to the box.

Christmas collection

I’m currently making lots of rings and earrings, many with stones. There are additions to the Constellation collection and many one-of-a-kind pieces.

What will your Christmas look like?

Quiet. Time spent relaxing with my immediate family with good food and wine consumed. There will be long walks in the countryside and along the beaches of Norfolk and evenings spent in front of an open fire.

New Year motto?

Do what makes your heart sing.

See kfdjewellery.co.uk and @kfdjewellery

Buy online and at Primavera, Cambridge. Sparkle with KFD Jewellery parties by arrangement.

Jewellery £30-£1500

Bernadette Molyneaux, Illumi Jewel

Jewellery maker, St Neots

Your style?

Romantic and modern, classic combined with Aegean culture. I specialise in 14K gold and rose gold accompanied with semi-precious gemstones, minerals and crystals. Each piece of jewellery uses a keystone as the main ‘star’ and each type of stone is inspired by and dedicated to a specific Greek Goddess.

The collection

I make mainly necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I like modern, wearable pieces that express personality and say something about the wearer.

The story

I was working as a product photographer when the pandemic struck and everything became much quieter. I was thinking about setting up an online business to curate other people’s jewellery but then I found a jewellery-making kit that I’d forgotten about so started to design and make my own. I got hooked and have been making and selling jewellery every day since.

Motivation

I love the focus that making jewellery gives me and particularly enjoy creating bespoke pieces – it is lovely to design and make jewellery with someone in mind.

Christmas collection

My winter collection is based on a celestial theme. Jewellery can be requested in beautiful festive packaging including baubles and boxes – and can be ordered with truffle chocolates. Some pieces come with a keyring (made by me).

What will your Christmas look like?

There will be the smell of mulled wine and I will be decorating the Christmas with my two little girls while listening to music, watching lots of movies and eating chocolates. Hopefully family from up North will be able to join us this year.

New Year motto?

Keep chasing your dream and don’t stop. There are no failures – only gained experience.

See illumijewel.co.uk and @illumijewel

Buy via website and Facebook members' club

Jewellery £20-£60 (bespoke may be more)


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