Georgia Huxted has been with Laings for over two years and is both a bespoke jewellery designer and goldsmith! Based in Southampton the talented jewellery-lover is responsible for creating and bringing to life beautiful pieces for our bespoke customers.
So let’s find out more about the Georgia…
- Describe your role in a nutshell
At Laings I work as a bespoke jewellery designer and maker. This involves anything from working on repairs and restorations to bespoke designs, where I’ll create the pieces right from the initial sketch to the finished piece.
I have always enjoyed being creative, as well as being hands-on – being both a bespoke jewellery designer and goldsmith has allowed me to enjoy the best of both worlds! I love meeting with clients to discuss their ideas for a special piece of jewellery and then getting back to the bench where I can turn these ideas into reality.
- Tell us about your journey to Laings
I studied for a BA honours in Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery Design at the University for the Creative Arts in Rochester where I graduated with a 1st in 2008. I was lucky enough to get a job with a family jewellers in Guildford straight after graduation. Here I worked at the bench, as well as meeting with clients. As it was a small business I was able to be involved in all areas of the business and so decided that working on bespoke jewellery was the area that I wanted to focus on. I then moved to another family business in Winchester where I continued to work on one-off creations and I was also given the opportunity to learn more about traditional methods for restoring jewellery. From there I moved on to Laings!
- Describe your typical work day
Every day varies for me, but most days include a variety of bench work, which could be anything from resizing one of our in-house rings for a client, working on a bespoke design or restoring an old family piece which is in need of some attention. I will also often have design appointments with clients to discuss how we will develop their pieces and any changes that they would like, or you can also find me working on drawings back in the workshop. Then there is the admin that goes into bespoke pieces, I spend a lot of time sourcing diamonds or coloured gemstones to suit the clients specific taste.
The very first stage is always to meet in person so that we can talk through what the client is looking for. At this point we will pin-point certain details such as material and budget and I’ll begin to narrow down the design by sketching as we talk. I would then take some time to properly draw up these designs to give the customer several different options and I’d also look into sourcing a selection of stones. This way when the client comes back we can decided which designs to move forward with. I also find that showing them a selection of different stones is a fantastic way for customers to get really involved in the design process. Throughout the design journey I will always touch base by emailing over photos and updates. However, I do like to see the client in person, between finalising the design and presenting them with the completed piece, when I’m still working on the project. This means they get a feel for how it’s going and it also involves them as much as possible, ensuring that we are all on the same page! It can also serve a practical purpose, allowing the client to try the piece on before the final process of stone setting is started. Once the piece is made and has been hallmarked in Edinburgh I will start to set the stones. This is often the most time-consuming part of the process, however it is by far my favourite as it really brings the piece to life. After a final polish and a little quality control it will be ready for collection!
I really enjoy working at Laings as we get the opportunity to enjoy all sorts of different things! Last summer we hosted our annual Rolex event at Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight. We travelled over from Hamble to Cowes on a Seafin Yacht and then spent the day showcasing the new Baselworld Rolex collection, as well as a selection of our jewellery, to clients from the Royal Yacht Club. We were positioned at the starting line of the Fast Net Race and it was a fantastic day, chatting with fabulous customers and treating them to an incredible day of sun, sea and champagne.
- What’s the best part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is getting to know clients as we go through the design process, building relationships with them and then being there to present them with their finished piece of bespoke jewellery. Working with jewellery is a very emotive job, most people have jewellery made to celebrate something special, such as an engagement, a big anniversary or to commemorate a loved one. I will always be amazed at how an item of jewellery can ignite such emotion in people and it is a pleasure to be trusted with such a meaningful project.
- And the worst part of the job?
The worst part of the job is definitely the physical side – it can get very grubby especially if I have a lot of polishing to do and I inevitably end up with war paint style lines across my face!
Last December I designed and made a stunning cocktail ring for a long-standing customer of ours. She had one large diamond and three smaller ones from some family pieces and we spent a long time planning how to use them to create something really unique and special to her. In the end we added 3 new round diamonds to match her smaller ones, creating a cluster style ring with a pear cut diamond on each shoulder to really give it the wow factor. Little known to my client her Husband had been in touch asking if we could possibly have it ready in time for Christmas and so after several days of hiding away in the workshop it was finally ready by Christmas Eve. It was a tough job getting it ready in time, but it was such an unusual ring I absolutely loved making it!
Thank you for taking the time to meet our Bespoke Jewellery Designer, Georgia. Follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, or if you have any questions please pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.