We caught up with London-based jewellery designers Luke Shimell & Emma Madden, who won Best New Design in Week Two of Goldsmiths’ Fair 2013. Has their experience at the Fair made an impact on their business?
I. Give us a potted history of your career and how you got where you are.
We started working alongside each other as goldsmiths in a little jewellers in Devon about six years ago. Luke then went on to train as a diamond mounter in Mayfair, whilst I went to Bishopsland after finishing my degree at UCA in Three Dimensional Design. Since 2010 we have been based in Shoreditch, East London, in a studio working as a partnership. Over that time we have been honing our technical skill whilst developing and refining our collections. Our work has been showcased in curated exhibitions with other London based designers and makers as part of Metric Collective, which we co-founded in 2011. We launched our first fine jewellery collection at Goldsmiths’ Fair last year.
II. How would you describe your work?
Our collection, Symmetry, is contemporary yet it echoes ideas of ancient architecture and classic mathematics. Each geometric piece is built by multi-layering simple primal forms of lines and circles, transforming them into complex three-dimensional structures.
III. As a first-time exhibitor how did you find Goldsmiths’ Fair?
We really enjoyed exhibiting at Goldsmiths’ Fair, it was the perfect environment to showcase our latest gold pieces. Not only was it a brilliant opportunity to directly meet the visitors to Fair, it was great to be a part of a group of the UK’s top makers working in precious metals. We loved the diversity of the exhibiting makers from the large-scale silversmiths using traditional techniques to the more contemporary jewellers that mix other materials with precious metal. The Goldsmiths’ team were extremely welcoming and supportive and the grandeur of the historic Hall really did make it feel like being part of something special.
IV. How did exhibiting at the Fair impact your business?
Being awarded ‘Best New Design’ for week two was a real confidence boost, and provided a good talking point for everyone that came to our stand. We made a number of very useful contacts, including curators, and we have already exhibited at three new shows with people we met at Goldsmiths’ Fair.
V. What advice would you give to first time exhibitors?
Our advice would be to have a good price range of work. It’s great to have show pieces, but it’s also important to have smaller, less expensive items. Plan your display, it doesn’t take much to make your stand more individual, show your work off to its best!
Photography credit: Frances Saddington