THE JEWELLERY ART OF: ANDREW NEILSON OF GOLDNEILSON LONDON
This is equally true of Andrew Neilson, whose remarkable journey from photographer to jewellery designer is one that has evolved through technology and a background in chemical engineering.
We caught up with Andrew for breakfast in the beautiful garden setting of Number Sixteen, one of my favourite hidden spots in South Kensington.
Andrew’s two new jewellery collections called Coalescence and Air, set to launch in September of this year, exhibit a fusion of sculptural design and metallurgy. Andrew loves the idea of mixing hand-forged metal pieces, gold and steel grains, set with brilliant cut round diamonds – a reflection of my own deep love for assorted coloured gold and gem stones.
When was your brand founded and where is it produced?
GOLDNEILSON was founded in 2014 and our first two collections Coalescence and Air will launch formally in Summer 2015. All the pieces are designed, handmade and stone set in the UK by the founder Andrew Gold Neilson.
We create one-off pieces, laser welding raw gold grains and platinum wires into structural forms. Then setting them with the highest quality diamonds from traceable sources. Every single piece we make will be unique as its formed from different grains or hand cut wire each time.
With which stones do you like to work with? What is “your way” of evaluating stones?
We primarily work with white and coloured diamonds, in some pieces we may use a larger structural gemstone, a spherical ruby for example. Most of our pieces are handset with up to 100 brilliant cut diamonds. For us diamond cut, dimensional accuracy and stone clarity is the key to allow perfect micro pave hand setting. We only source stones from suppliers who can provide the level of quality in these areas and also have a clear path of traceability from mine to supply.
What is your earliest memory or experience of jewellery?
In my career as a jewellery photographer, I have shot thousands of pieces of fine and luxury jewellery over the past 10 years, before that, I remember seeing images of the Niessing Tension Ring probably from the early 90s. Its teutonic form is something that resides in my design process now.
How did you begin working as a jewellery designer?
I was a Consultant Chemical Engineer for many years, practising the science of how materials form and flow. In parallel, I expressed my creative side through photography, which turned from a passion into the business NEILSONPHOTOGRAPHY, one of the most respected jewellery and fine product studios in Europe. Having shot literally tens of thousands of pieces of jewellery, I began to see making pieces could offer a new challenge and a fresh source of creative expression in a direct physical way. So in parallel with our daily work, I studied conventional jewellery manufacturing techniques at a local jewellery college, combined with jewellery CAD design. I followed this with a study of pave stone setting with one of the world’s best setters.
What are you trying to communicate with your jewellery?
Freedom of form, and the luxury of knowing that each piece is unique
Where do you find your inspiration/influences?
The complexity of liquid interacting with surfaces. Structural forms and geometric progressions. These are mirrored in nature, in space and architecture.
What is the signature piece in your collection?
My Coalescence triaurum diamond cocktail ring. This piece is made from white , rose and yellow gold grain, laser welded to form a frozen form mimicking the creation of each grain as it splashes into water. Each of these gold grains is then set by hand with up to 100 diamonds in a variety of flush and pave settings.
How does work take place in your atelier when you design a new piece/collection?
I am responsible for the design , and the manufacture…for now we have no others working with us.
How much time goes by between the inspiration and the finished product?
It can be months or a few days. The Coalescence Collection has taken 6 months to conceive and then prepare the initial collection pieces.
What must never be forgotten when designing a jewel?
Someone apart from me must love it, if you wish to sell it.
How much do you think one can tell from a woman’s own collection of jewellery?
We don’t need jewellery to live, so its accumulation is personal and reflects the style and aspiration of the individual.
Costume jewellery follows the catwalk trends for fashion, and allows all lovers of this to obtain jewellery at an affordable price. Fine and high jewellery are aligned with couture. It sets a place that others aspire to.
I would love to hear what you think. Leave me a comment below! Thank you!
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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