A Interview with London Bird
Posted on 07 May 2015
Introducing our brand new monthly feature at the pommier, we will be interviewing our designers and getting an intimate look into what makes them tick and how they craft. We feel there is no more a perfect candidate to kick this off with than London Bird - a designer we hold dear to our hearts. Based in London with several awards under her belt and incredible designs to boot she is a wonderful ‘pomme’ to our ever-growing tree.
What is it about jewellery that compels you to design/create?
Designing, buying and of course wearing jewellery is an entirely personal experience. You choose what to adorn your body with because it makes you happy first and foremost. I see jewellery as a physical representation of your inner desires. Wearing jewellery can make you feel successful, sentimental, loved, independent, important or sexy. The jewellery you wear (or design) is as much about what you want as it is about who you are.
What are your proudest achievements in life?
I do not feel I have achieved something I can truly be proud of yet. There have been many rewarding experiences to date but an achievement in my eyes is an act that benefits more than just one person. I hope to be able to say I have achieved something great soon!
Do you convey your personality in your designs and what characteristics are reflected?
Each bird or animal in my sculptural pendant collection has specific traits which reflect different parts of my personality. The raven is spiritual, the puffin is the clown and the swan is graceful. I’ve chosen animals that I can identify with - as I’m sure many others can.
Describe your collection in 5 words
Renaissance. Wild. Sapphires. Regal. Whimsical.
Which lesser known jewellery designers do you admire and why?
I adore a Japanese designer that went to Central St. Martins. JUTIQU is a contemporary jewelry brand by designer Arubaisa Tomoko. ‘Everyday Chic’ is the concept. Using acrylic, pearls, natural zircon, silver and gold Arubaisa wanted to create a collection that could be admired as much when it's OFF your body as it is when it’s being worn. Precious gems frozen in time which i think is a wonderful notion: sculptural jewellery is my passion.
Where in London would we find you letting your hair down?
The V&A is my favourite spot to relax. It is a feast of inspiration and walking around by myself and being inspired at every turn is meditative and so fulfilling. My latest collection was in fact inspired by the Canning Jewel – a sculptural pendant from the 16th century of a Merman- amazing.
What's the biggest obstacle you've encountered as a jeweller and how did you overcome it?
Competition in the jewellery industry is incredibly fierce. Being self-taught was the biggest obstacle – not in just getting my pieces made - but noticed. The press and industry spotlight is firmly fixed on graduate talent and to stand out from the crowd took some serious initiative. My solution was to persevere, apply for every award, attend every workshop, get countless rejections, and seize every opportunity. Convincing the English National Ballet to dance my pieces down the catwalk was what finally put me on the map.
What is your favourite material to work with?
Pearls have become a new passion for me. The array of colours and the organic shapes of the Baroque pearls really stimulate my imagination. The fact that no two pearls are alike makes each one a unique little wonder of nature – like snowflakes you can wear!
Which is your favourite piece from you new collection?
I think it has to be The Swan. I lived in Hampshire for years and we would take long walks along the river Test where the chalk streams were so clear you could see the legs of the Swans that would silently come up to greet you. I strive for perfection in every piece I make and I think I came pretty close to capturing a moment on the Test with my elegantly buoyant swan.
What advice would you give to a new aspiring designer?
Get incredible product shots – it’s the one thing to invest in.
Networking – it works (don’t forget your business cards).
Intern- it sucks but will teach you a lot.
Apply - for every award, mentor programme, bursary possible… the more ‘ cards’ you hold in your hand- the faster doors open.
Be creative – collaborations are the fastest way forward.