1. What is your first jewellery memory?
My grandmother’s jewellery boxes. She always had so many beautiful rings with all different coloured stones! I used to get away with wearing some of it sometimes. I remember being so intrigued by the hallmarks but annoyed that they were too small to read!
2. What's the first piece that you designed?
The first piece of jewellery I designed was the Sunshine Signet. In London we were having a very dark and cold winter that seemed to be going on forever! I was constantly dreaming about summer and this was my way of bringing myself closer to the sun. For me, sunshine is really important for wellbeing. It automatically puts a smile on your face allows you to relax and let your mind wonder and grow. If you look into the natural world a lot of other life also prospers most in the sunshine.
3. What is your favourite stone? Why?
The pink sapphire – definitely! First of all, the colour contrast between pink and gold is beautiful, so using them in gold jewellery always looks great! Secondly the stones themselves are known to have a variety of positive influences on wellbeing including improved confidence, love, composure and cardiovascular health. And…. who doesn’t need those in their life?
4. Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year-round?
I never take my Rose Garden Signet or my grandmother’s bracelet off. I don’t think of jewellery as a seasonal thing but every now and again it’s nice to have a little switch round with your arrangement and freshen things up. But my Rose Garden Signet and my grandmother’s bracelet have been with me (and my grandmother) through a lot and that’s important to me. There’s a strong connection that’s built through these experiences. That’s why it’s important to me to make jewellery using solid precious metals, which is built to last multiple generations. I want people to have similar connections when they wear my jewellery.
5. Who are your favourite jewellery designers?
My favourite jewellery designer is Castro Smith. He uses traditional hand engraving techniques to create pieces of jewellery that are outstandingly beautiful with original and interesting concepts behind them. I think of his jewellery more like art. And to top it off he’s and absolutely lovely guy. I’m also a big fan of Polly Wales and her use of colour and stones!
6. What are your greatest design influences?
Most of my design influence stems from the connection between jewellery, modern culture and positive living. I’m intrigued with modern culture and how wellness and jewellery sit within this equation. For me wellness is having fun, listening and dancing to music, eating good food, spending time with family and friends, being in the sunshine, maintaining and environmentally and socially progressive life, being by water, being exposed to new culture, feeling motivated and passionate, being kind, feeling and being healthy and generally doing what brings yourself and humankind closer to a positive existence. Its these ideas which I explore and try and develop into jewellery that can build similar connections with the wearer.
7. If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you do?
Good question. Well, I also work in environmental sustainability within the fashion industry. Environmental progression is something very important to me, which is why I have maintained this profession as well. As my jewellery life has grown, I have channelled my efforts more into the brand to ensure that it is not only a low-impact jewellery brand but also a positive pillar of society. Currently all jewellery is made from recycled metals, our packaging is made from recycled materials, jewellery is made to last multiple generations and every time a piece of jewellery is sold we plant a tree, meaning the jewellery is carbon negative (by quite some way!). This is just the start – expect to see much more contribution towards environmental progressions from us.
8. What do you currently listen to in your studio?
Music is one of the most important things in my life and I spend most of my time listening to it. Weather that’s in headphones, through my studio speakers or through a sound-system somewhere. There will always being music playing whilst I’m making jewellery! One of the only times I cant listen to music is when I’m reading. And of course, music works hand-in-hand with fashion and style, so, naturally it influences me and my aesthetic. Today I have been listening to Benji B’s tribute show on BBC Radio 1 to this years Notting Hill Carnival. Benji runs a stage there on the Sunday and this year was a very special year so it’s good to hear it back again! I’ve also just bought tickets to go and see Kon for a night of disco re-edits. I could go on about music and its influence all day, so I’ll stop here before I begin to bore you! But if you do want to hear more about my musical inclinations I have playlists available on Spotify @Bleue Burnham.
9. What is your dream travel destination?
Right now, Sri Lanka is top of my list. Looking forward to making it happen!