Master artisan jeweller Simon Wright has worked with some of the most prestigious jewellery makers in London.
Based in Clerkenwell, the epicentre of British design and creativity, Simon is a contributor to the annual Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards and for the past few years has been on the panel of judges for the CAD/CAM design section. So it might come as a surprise to learn that this successful British jeweller actually hails from Melbourne, Australia. ‘When I first moved to London in 2002 I was only planning to spend three months here, but I ended up staying for good,’ says Simon. ‘It’s such a dynamic city and has given me so many more opportunities for jewellery design than were available back home.’
‘Art is a fantastic influence on my work today. Proportion, negative space and use of colour are all disciplines that have a bearing on what goes into making a piece of jewellery’
Simon discovered jewellery and metalsmithing at Monash University, Melbourne. Studying under the guidance of celebrated Australian jewellers and artists such as Mark Edgoose, Rhys James and Miyuki Nakahara developed Simon’s appreciation for jewellery as an art form, as well as instilling in him the fundamentals of design. Longer ago still, he assisted his father in hanging art at the National Gallery of Victoria. ‘I got to handle some amazing works during that time – holding Rembrandt’s Two Old Men Disputing was a scary experience as well as being exhilarating,’ he recalls. ‘Art is a fantastic influence on my work today. Proportion, negative space, perspective and the use of colour are all disciplines that have a bearing on what goes into making a piece of our jewellery.’
Simon Wright’s specialism is fine jewellery and engagement rings. Providing a completely bespoke service, he works closely with clients to create their dream designs, using only the finest diamonds, gemstones, platinum and gold. This year has also seen the Simon Wright studio create a number of beautiful reproductions of heirloom or antique jewellery. ‘There is something quite romantic about antique jewellery, maybe the tiny design flourishes or the story of its life,’ says Simon. ‘But the stability of antique jewellery can be compromised by wear and tear over time; with a reproduction you can merge quality manufacturing techniques with design sensitive to a bygone era.’
Simon is a contributor to the annual Goldsmiths’ Craftsmanship & Design Awards and for the past few years has been on the panel of judges for the CAD/CAM design section
While Simon Wright’s customers arrive at his studio from all over the world, he is particularly sought after by fellow Antipodeans who like the idea of buying from an ‘Ozzie jeweller’. ‘What often happens is that they come to us for an engagement ring when they’re in London, then when they go back home to get married, they order their wedding rings from us, too,’ says Simon. An increasing number of Simon Wright’s customers are now finding the studio through social media channels such as Instagram and the company partners with fellow British designers, florists and creatives to produce effective digital content. ‘Instagram is a great channel for discovery and something of a community for designers,’ says Simon. ‘We put a lot of care into capturing social media-friendly imagery of our designs – there’s an art to that in itself.’
SIMON WRIGHT JEWELLERY SWJ Design Ltd 2ND FLOOR, 6 ST JOHN’S PLACE, LONDON EC1M 4NP +44 (0)20 7490 0665