KICKGEM WITH BEAU HAN XU EMERGING JEWELLERY DESIGNER
The series of KickGem interviews with brilliant women and men who are about to dazzle the jewellery world with their exceptional talent and creativity. I handpick the best of emerging jewellery designers you need to know about!
Name: Beau Han Xu
Alma Mater: Goldsmithing, Silversmithing Metalwork and Jewellery, Royal College of Art, Graduate Gemologist, (GG,GP,AJP) GIA
Occupation: Artist & Jewellery designer
Hometown: Ordos, a city in Inner Mongolia, China
LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW… London – I have been living here for three years and I love it. So much so that I hope to make it my home for years to come. Places I really like are often extreme opposites of each other. I love Claridges for it’s quintessential Britishness and also the Chinese restaurant Kai in Mayfair for its modern chic-ness. I love the luxurious Harrods shopping experience and also the experimental designer offering at Dover Street Market. I love the heritage at the V&A and also the ‘now’ experience of the Saatchi Gallery. London is a city of extremes.
IN THE BEGINNING… I am a bit of a magpie – I love sparkly things! In China magpies bring you luck so that is an added bonus! When I was young, my parents brought jade and amethyst ‘caves’ or cut geodes into our home because they bought good fortune and they really fascinated me. I think my love of sparkly things grew from there.
BEIJING OR LA… It is hard to decide as these two places mean very different things to me. In LA, I took a two year Professional Make-Up Artist Diploma and was fortunate to be taught Amway Artistry by Hollywood make-up artist, David Song. I also took a Gemologist GIA course in LA. LA is about international fashion and social networking. With all this studying my favourite way to relax was surfing at the beach.
Beijing is different – another extreme! The Oriental spirit of heritage and the traditional culture are important to me. There is nothing more peaceful than the formal gardens at the heart of the traditional houses in Beijing.
LA DEBUT: In LA I was fortunate to be involved in the making of the Chanel Champion shoot advertisement and other shoots featured in GQ, Bazaar and Vogue China.
LONDON DEBUT: This is all just taking off for me now and it is really exciting. I graduated from the RCA last year and was fortunate to be selected to be the first ever fashion/jewellery brand, as part of the Dyson Sponsored Innovation RCA incubator. I have just shown my SPLASH Collection as a Bright Young Gem at IJL and it was really well received. London suits me and my work! In 2014 I was awarded first prize in a fine jewellery design competition initiated by Susannah Lovis in Burlington Arcade as well as being selected as one of the finalists for the International Talent Support Competition (ITS). I was also selected as a finalist in the Edgard Hamon Jewellery competition, 2014.
JEWELLERY EDUCATION… Being at the RCA gave me a new perspective on jewellery. I was encouraged to be practical and explore different ways of creating jewellery, new ways that are not the traditional approach to jewellery. This led to my first collection SPLASH.
SPLASH… SPLASH challenges the traditional jeweller’s art and, in doing so, the accepted understanding of jewellery – i.e. the combination of metal and gemstones. Each of my unique piece harnesses the reflective energy of the precious stones used, diamonds and gemstones, with fine glass, and uses an inimitable metal-less technique to transcend the constraints of traditional stone setting. Inspired by Nature and the Ethereal, each piece in the collection freeze frames an inspirational moment in time: a droplet splash frozen in time. Intricately crafted, the diamonds swim beneath the glass, each movement enhancing their maximum reflection.
JEWELLERY DESIGN… Never under estimate the importance of detail in design – every part of the design must be perfect so it is truly precious. I like to work with diamonds because they sparkle as well as with organic gemstones like red coral and pearls. The latter are very different from the symmetry of diamonds – these organic gems bring their own life to jewellery.
JEWELLERY TRENDS… I believe that fashion influences jewellery through shape, contemporary fashion looks are often bold and exaggerated. This is a movement which is being picked up by many of the younger generation designers.
FASHION… British Burberry is always on my wish list. It ticks all the boxes for me – heritage, classy, and elegant.
ONLINE SHOPPING… I am not keen online shopping – I know it is convenient but I enjoy the instore experience too much!
FIRST JEWELLERY… The Chinese believe different stones have a special meanings – for instance coral brings luck, pearls bring serenity. I was always fascinated by these beliefs as a child and even now they are in my head when I am choosing my materials.
PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING… Definitely a 5 carat Princess cut yellow diamond with a full setting around.
ROLEX OR CARTIER… I prefer the watch brand IWC Schaffhausen – they are beautifully crafted and technically precise and quietly elegant! As well as the beauty heritage brand Breguet! Simply amazing and fascinating.
FINE JEWELLERY… To me high craftsmanship with precious stones equals Fine Jewellery
VINTAGE JEWELLERY… In Beijing in the Forbidden City Museum there are Qing Dynasty Hairpins which are decorated with kingfisher feathers and inlaid with sapphires. Kingfishers were the birds of the Imperial family and the feathers on their backs are a vibrant blue. Chinese craftsmen pulled the feathers off a living bird and then mounted them in different jewellery pieces. They are amazing!
FASHION JEWELLERY… I appreciate how fashion jewellery has evolved but it’s personally not my style.
BEAUTY ESSENTIALS… Process tangible / Magical Fantastical / Organic sense of beauty / Freeze-frame Nature Art
A PARTY TO REMEMBER… A night our at Voyeur West Hollywood
MY WEAPON OF CHOICE… Magical Wand
WILD WISH… Build up diamonds splash magic palace!
All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE. Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.
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.
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, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.