We are pleased to present Ruth Tomlinson's latest creation, during a special Trunkshow in our Marais shop from June 15th to June 25th. You can also admire and purchase Ruth Tomlinson's treasures on our e-shop. To celebrate Ruth's exhibition at WHITE bIRD, we have sat down with the designer and asked her a few questions to know more about her history, inspirations and her favorite pieces from her latest collection...
1. First of all, could you introduce yourself to our new clients who are not completely familiar with your work?
I’m Ruth Tomlinson, a jewellery designer and maker based in central London. My designs are characterized by a sense of ethereality and the unexpected, with lots of tiny details to draw the eye in and be discovered… like a miniature world unfolding. I’m heavily inspired by a my natural surroundings (both here at home in London, and on visits to remote, far-flung destinations), and am fascinated by historical jewellery, and I draw on both of these influences in my jewellery designs.
2. When did you create your own jewellery brand and why?
I’ve been making and selling jewellery of some sort since childhood. I graduated from London’s Royal College of Art 20 years ago - I really explored and developed my personal design style then, set up my brand, and haven’t looked back!
3. Who is your client? What is her/his style and personality?
Our clients are looking for an alternative to traditional jewellery styles, but that are at the same time timeless and can be considered ‘future classics’. They tend to be independent thinkers, with an interest in art and design, and a passion for the natural world. They don’t want to blend in with the crowd, but they are subtle about how they do that.
4. Where do you create your jewels and what does a typical day look like for you? Do you have any rituals?
I work from my atelier in London’s historical jewellery district Hatton Garden. I cycle down Regent’s Canal to get from my home to the atelier, a very peaceful and pretty urban landscape that sets me up for the day – I guess you can say that’s a ritual. I commit 2 days per week to creative development, designing and making at my jewellery bench where I let my ideas come to life my imagination takes over. This is when I can enjoy uninterrupted explorations of all the possibilities waiting to be discovered in my jewellery making process. The other days are split between offering bespoke consultations to clients, meetings with my team, and the general running of a jewellery business.
5. What are your greatest influences in jewellery, art, design?
I often look back in history for inspiration, the preciousness of time and stories from the past… whether it be a renaissance paining or an Etruscan jewel in the British Museum.
6. What is your relationship to objects?
I like to think I live fairly selectively; I don’t have many objects but the ones I do have I LOVE or can’t live without them (and they are useful).
7. We are very pleased to welcome you in Paris this month, for the inauguration of the exhibition of some of your newest creations, in our Marais shop! Among the jewels we received, do you have a favorite? If so, why?
Any piece with an antique cut diamond – I find them so beautiful and charming in their unique beauty. And the thought that a master craftsman cut each one painstakingly by hand in centuries past is a wonderful part of their secret story that adds to their allure.
8. Chinese Mini-Portrait:
If you were a piece of jewellery, it would be: The Crown of Princess Blanche, also called the Palatine Crown or Bohemian Crown, is the oldest surviving royal crown known to have been in England, and probably dates to 1370–80.
A stone: A raw diamond discovered centuries ago and set into a beautiful medieval ring. The stories I could tell!
A flower: Some sort of wildflower growing in a meadow… perhaps a type of umbellifer, they are my favourites.
A dish: A curry with its wealth of flavours, or maybe a humble dahl.
A work of art: The armada portrait of queen Elizabeth 1.
An author: I can’t imagine myself as an author as I’m dyslexic, I see things through images rather than words.
An artist: A pre-Raphaelite artist, like Sir John Everett Millais, I always look to go to a dreamlike place when I’m designing, like those artists did.
A country: India with its wealth of decorative arts and jewellery.
An animal: A hummingbird living in a tropical forest, feeding off delicious flowers.
A sport: It would have to be yoga, entering a new mental space, connecting my mind and body.
9. Finally, after a tough year, is there any project you would like to share with us for the coming year?
It was tough but one of my most creative yet! We launched lots of new Midas pieces, I used the time to really develop this collection which has been big success so far. So lots of new designs and ideas in the making ready to launch in Autumn this year.