In August we ran our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year competition and were overwhelmed by the outstanding entries! And so many of you have been wanting to know more about our winners and what inspired their winning pieces! So today we are talking to Kim Styles of Kim Styles Jewellery about her Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring that won second place in our competition!
Congratulations Kim! Your Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring is simply gorgeous. Can you tell us a bit more about the piece and the inspiration behind it?
Thank you LJS! I have been making some very pretty rings for clients and I thought it was about time I had one of my own as a show piece so potential commission clients can see at first hand exactly what I do.
How and when did your jewellery making journey start?
I started my jewellery making journey way back , my 3D foundation course tutor suggested jewellery might be a good direction for me as I loved making small highly detailed things. I signed up for a four year degree course at Sir John Cass in London, ‘Jewellery, Silversmithing and Allied Crafts’ and from the very first day I knew it was what I wanted to do.
Have you had any formal training? If so where did you train?
I trained at Sir John Cass in London. I graduated in 1987 with an honours degree and after that I worked for various well known jewellers in and around London for a few years.
Where do you typically find inspiration for what to make next?
I find inspiration all around me, my best pieces come from the most unexpected sources, like a piece of twig with large pods on it that I found at the edge of a road, or a neighbours flamboyant Passion Flower growing over the fence. Once something sparks my imagination I have to make it!
Floral Cluster Ring by Kim Styles Jewellery
What are your favourite techniques or medium?
My favourite medium is precious metal, silver is lovely to work with but my absolute favourite is yellow 18ct gold, so rich and easy to work with. My favourite techniques are piercing, forming and shaping metal and soldering. I also love engraving all the very fine details on the leaves and flowers I make.
What are your favourite tools?
My most treasured tool is my grandfathers Archimedes Drill, but my piercing saw and my torch are the ones I use constantly every day.
Do you offer workshops or classes?
I do occasionally offer one to one classes upon request.
What is the favourite thing(s) that you have made to date?
My Spring Necklace, the first life size floral necklace I made. My Peridot Garden Ring which was a commission and my Morganite and Sapphire Cluster ring.
Spring Necklace by Kim Styles Jewellery
Peridot Garden Ring by Kim Styles Jewellery
What is next for Kim Styles Jewellery and what do you hope to achieve in the next 18-24 months?
I have a packed itinerary of craft fairs for the next few months, including ‘Handmade at Kew’ and ‘Desire Winchester’ among others, interspersed with a few commissions and probably some new rather quirky designs. Over the next 18-24 months I hope to widen my client base, see my work in more galleries and continue to build on the success of the last couple of years.
Do you have a website? How can we see more of your work?
Examples of my work is also on display and can be seen in the following locations:
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Kim. Your work is just stunning and we are so thrilled you shared it with us. All of us here at LJS wish you the very best of success!
Thank you LJS, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and I am so thrilled to achieve 2nd place in Jeweller of the Year!