One of the first friends I made on Twitter when I was discovering the world of bespoke jewelry was Harriet Kelsall of Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery. They do have a ready to wear line but nearly everything they create at either of their two shops is bespoke, bespoke and beautiful. After being tempted by some of the latest creations on their twitter feed I went to have a more in-depth look and just take a chance to daydream about what type of piece I’d like to have created for me if I had the opportunity to do so. That’s when I saw a blog post and I knew I had to share some of their excitement with my readers.
On 20 March 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attend the rededication of HMS Ocean. One of my favorite things to do when looking at images of Her Majesty is to take note of the brooch that she chooses to wear for the occasion. This one is truly special because it was made by the team at Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery. Below are the details they could share (and a super close look at the brooch):
The brief was to create a gift for Her Majesty which would represent the ship but also be very wearable. The team quickly settled on the idea of a brooch based on the vessel’s crest.
The trident held by Oceanus became a key part of the design and would give the brooch an interesting shape.
One of the elements that really shows off the skills of the goldsmiths was the 3D semi-circle of rope inspired by the crest of the ship. After having ideas and sketches of their own they got feedback from the officers that were involved in the commissioning of the sketch. One idea they were considering was making the rope in yellow gold with the rest of the brooch made in white metal, but one of the female officers felt it would work best all in white metal and so they made the brooch of Sterling silver, giving the brooch a lovely bright white look. After more feedback from an even wider group of officers the decision was made to pave set some beautiful blue sapphires into the waves of the brooch.
Once the design was finalised the next step was to talk through the construction of the brooch with the Chief Goldsmith Richard. He was really enthused by making such a special piece of jewellery and used his extensive experience of brooch-making to ensure the pin was in exactly the right place, ensuring the brooch would sit perfectly when worn.
The brooch was made by Richard in their in-house workshop in Hertfordshire. Once the initial construction was completed it was over to Vic, to set the sapphires into the waves. The team’s hand engraver Lee then added the mill-grain finish and the ships motto to the back of the brooch before Bob, gave it its final highly polished finish. It really was a team effort
The team at Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery are all very proud of crafting all of their jewellery by hand here in the UK, and being able to produce such an individual piece from a uniquely collaborative effort between the officers, the design team and the makers in the Harriet Kelsall workshop, all combining to bring the design to life so beautifully
If you want to read what the team at HK Bespoke Jewellery had to say, here is the link to their blog post