Mark Nuell: Modern Lapidary by Joanna Hardy
When an item catches my eye, it is usually because it is well made and of original design. Reaching this level of craftsmanship takes years of perseverance, determination and the desire to push technical boundaries. Skills and design will keep evolving in talented craftspeople, and their journey of creativity and struggle is integral to their pieces.
Regular visitors to the Goldsmiths’ Fair are familiar with many of the exhibitors and their methods; as a result, when a goldsmith or silversmith proudly displays a new departure in their technique or design, it is a moment of great excitement for a collector. Sensing these changes is what makes meeting the maker in settings such as the Fair so important. Being able to ask questions about how their work is crafted and how it has evolved is crucial in appreciating what has gone into that piece.
“There are not many gemstone cutters who are also accomplished goldsmiths and this rare combination allows Mark freedom of thought and the ability to avoid being restricted by conventional techniques.
Last September at the Fair, one such craftsperson, Mark Nuell, particularly caught our attention with two of his sapphire rings. Asking Mark to explain them in more detail opened a dialogue that allowed us to understand the journey that led to their creation. The conversation not only resulted in the purchasing of the two rings for the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection, but it also prompted me to visit Mark’s workshop in Cockpit Arts to learn more.
This article first appeared in the Goldsmiths’ Review 2020; to read the full article follow the button below. Joanna Hardy is a jewellery expert and Court member of the Goldsmiths’ Company.
See Mark at work
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