Pearls – My Continued Passion
Hello & Welcome,
It seems ages since last we had a chat! Where do the months go?
I do hope you have had a wonderful summer. Mine has been full of exciting new projects, interesting places and great people! Let me share some of my adventures…
Some Snippets from Summer
The summer merchandising went well, with quirky Lighthouses, Beach huts, bathing belles, shells and driftwood all dripping with Pearls, Diamonds and very expensive watches.
As some of you may remember I also created a pearls summer picnic window complete with a silver tea set for afternoon tea and strawberries. It was great fun doing the windows, even more fun to see the expressions on the clients looking into the windows!
At least they made people smile and caught their eye.
In September I was working at the IJL. What a great event and honour to be there. I truly love the atmosphere and being surrounded by the trade and friends I have known for over 30 years. I still get that ‘buzz’ and joy of being part of such a great industry.
I merchandised a beautiful stand crammed full of exotic gems and Diamonds.
In the afternoon, I had the pleasure of speaking along side our very own Louise Tippey! (President of the British Pearl Association) Louise shared her passion for pearls and the reason why she has become so involved with the Pearl Industry. An inspired story truly. I shared my experience on merchandising and gave a small visual display on how to change ‘a look’ with minimum effort. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and enjoyed speaking afterwards with the audience.
Merchandising Delights in London
Last week I went on a trip to Bond Street. It is a trip I enjoy several times a year just to get the ‘mood’ and ‘feel’ of what is being created and expressed. It is so important to be aware of what is happening. As usual it was a wonderful day, such an overload on my senses.
The displays were bright and cheerful, full of life and movement. It is difficult to say which display I loved the most, but, Mikimoto came very close with the deep blue sea colour, complete with stacks’ of Pearl books, pearls draped and displayed on them, all of the South Sea variety. Delightful!
I then wondered through the Park, the roses and trees looked beautiful. Some people were exercising their horses in the ‘horse lane’ that runs on the main pathway. It is always exciting to see the horses, elegant and powerful being put through their routines.
It is such a contrast to watch them whilst the City roars and throbs around the Park!
The Victoria and Albert Museum
After a short walk down past Harrods I visited one of my favourite places, the Victoria & Albert Museum. Cool, restful and oozing history, I made my way up the stone staircase to The Bollinger Room. For those of you who have not discovered this room, the treat will be enormous! This room never fails to excite my soul and trigger my imagination.
Through the door is a world of historical jewellery from earliest times to modern day. Artists such as Georges Fouguet sit next to Renne Lalique in all their Art Nouveau splendour. Faberge in all his richness and opulence is displayed with some of his playful carved animals. Rather like today, the lady’s of the time waited for the arrival of his new enamel colour so that they could buy silks to match!
The lighting in this room is very clever, just enough to make all the pieces twinkle and come alive, yet dim enough to cast a magical spell of intrigue and mystery….
This is the fascination with jewellery, since ancient times the human race has been involved in displaying craftsmanship in all its many forms, thus giving us evidence
Of how rich, powerful and clever these civilisations were. Jewellery represents all of these things in the past and present day.
I am continually amazed at the technical knowledge the ancient craftsmen had without all the advancement and no how we have today. Creating jewellery in past centuries was not just being clever with design to please the eye and lift the soul.
It was SO much more. Knowing how to handle and control the metals used, making then malleable and ductile and studying a gemstone for many days before deciding to cut or cleave to attain the maximum beauty and yield, is truly a skill of masters. Passing this knowledge down and skills through the ages helps us today to still create amazing pieces.
Today a considerable amount of jewellery is mass produced without any of the time respected skills handed down. Hand finished possibly, handmade rarely other than commissioned or bespoke pieces. Luckily we still have ‘Master Craftsmen’ trained and given the recognition they deserve for carrying on the wonderful skills. I am privileged to know some such people who rightly can claim that title. Their expertise and skill is breath taking. It takes many years to ‘feel’ the metal and judge a stone. To create a piece which is still practical to wear but with fine elegance is something you can not always teach. Being able to be part of the piece you are making ensures you can deliver perfection.
So the next time you are lucky enough to walk past a jewellers windows, peek in, and remember that the old second hand or antique pieces have taken many hours to be made by a skilled craftsman simply by sitting at his work bench, head down, working everything out without the aid of computers!
Till the next time,
Love Maria x