About Sarah Alexander
I loved drawing from a very young age, and always wanted to go to Art School to study fashion design or painting. I got my wish when I went to study at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen. After doing an introductory course in jewellery in my foundation year, I found I was incredibly drawn to the creative beauty and intricate challenges of jewellery design and making.
I went quite theatrical for my final degree show, using dancers to wear my jewellery pieces and using film and mannequins to display my pieces. I completed my degree with a BA Honours in Art and Design, specialising in Jewellery.
On leaving art school I was determined to work in the trade and returned to my home my town of Edinburgh. After working on some private commissions I felt that I wanted to work more in the retail side of jewellery, as I enjoyed meeting people and being part of a team, (not to mention a more regular income!).
I started with Laing back in the 90 's, firstly as designer for their Glasgow shop, before moving to the store in Edinburgh and eventually being promoted to Head of Design for the company a few years later.
My very first commission was a daffodil inspired brooch to be auctioned for the Daffodil Charity Ball. It was quite a challenge for a novice but I got great feedback from our client and was delighted with the end result! I felt then that I could design and create anything.
Over the years I have worked on an incredible variety of work, from simple earrings to highly ornate necklaces. That's the best part of my job in that every customer brings a new experience.
I particularly enjoy the process of remodelling older pieces of jewellery, often combining several items into one functional and current piece. To me it's a challenge to work out a new identity for the jewels and to piece them together in a new format, creating something special for the next generation. I particularly love re-modelling an inherited family piece into a new engagement ring, it's so lovely to design a ring that has such meaning to the client.
Some of my favourite commissions have been the Queen’s hat pin which was made on behalf of the Edinburgh City council to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. Making the new Celtic Rugby league trophy was a challenging highlight, creating a one off spectacular trophy set with jasper, lapis and elegant Celtic patterns.
I have converted gold watch straps into bracelets, made wedding bands like castles, made a kilt pin for Ross King, gift products for Scottish Rugby Union & Standard life and even a bespoke Monopoly set. I’ve worked with some fabulous diamonds, sourced unusual coloured gems stones and recently worked with a team to design and create the incredible and spectacular 175 Laing diamond necklace to commemorate Laing’s 175 year anniversary.
The other great part of my job is my customers. I love spending the time to get to know them and really understand what they love. It's a very personal service where we work together to create beautiful pieces of jewellery that are truly special and unique to them. That moment where they see their creation for the first time is guaranteed to make both of us smile.