We are over the moon and pretty amazed that our signet was chosen from over 150 finalists by the judges, Sarah Jessica Parker and Dayna Isom Johnson. Etsy asked us a few questions about our winning piece and we thought we'd share them here - it was nice to reflect on the jewellery we make and how far we have come over the years.
What was the inspiration behind your winning design?
Signet rings have been around since 3500 BC and have long since been a symbol of status. Originally used for seals of authenticity, each person’s ring would be unique and often destroyed when they died – so as to avoid forgery. We drew inspiration from the idea of a ring that’s impossible to replicate exactly, jewellery that is incredibly personal to the individual and seen as an extension of ones self.
Over time signatures have taken the place of traditional seals but signet rings themselves have remained popular and are now passed down through families.
The rugged nature of this particular design gives it an ancient feel, as if has been salvaged from the seabed. It’s nice to think it will outlive us – until a future jeweller melts it down into something else!
What makes you passionate about your work, and what drives you to create?
"I want to create treasures that are treasured by their owners because the pieces mean something personal to them. I don’t think it just needs to be available to the rich or held on a pedestal in a gallery - Jewellery is often well loved and valuable to its owner even if it came from a market stall on holiday. It’s the sentiment and what they represent that makes them most special.
Whilst this inspires me to make pieces of jewellery, it is the way objects are made that is intrinsic to my conceptions. The contrast in the way two different materials come together as they do in nature, or the structure underlying natural objects that creates a whole form is what I find beautiful. Using these natural materials also gives an object meaning that is deeper than its form." - Justin
Over the years the team has grown, there’s now ten of us! Each person has contributed ideas that have shaped the jewellery and the way we do things here. Looking after the team and sustainability of the business is essential. Happy jewellers make better jewellery.
What do you like about working within your specific medium, and what's challenging about it?
Sandcasting feels like a collaboration between the jeweller and the process. It’s very organic and unpredictable which is both the challenge and the joy of this medium. We pour molten gold into a mould made with beach sand and never quite know how the piece will come out until we clean it up. Those first brushes to reveal the newly cast piece are always exciting. No two pieces of jewellery are ever the same which makes each one special. The fact that people can choose the sand their ring is cast into also adds to the magic. The sand not only creates the texture you see on the ring, little grains are also caught in the precious metal – sometimes visibly on the surface. Each piece is completely unique and impossible to recreate. People choosing their own sand is a lovely way to personalise their jewellery, a way of keeping a piece of their favourite place with them all the time. We get sent sand from all over the world, if there’s leftovers, we add it to our growing sand collection (over 400 strong!).
What need or desire do you want your product to fulfill for your customers? How do you hope it’ll make them feel?
We create jewellery that means something to the owner. It’s more than aesthetics, there is an emotional connection as each piece has a story; either from the materials the piece is made from or the process in which it has been made.
Our jewellery is often given to mark a special occasion, a birth, a marriage, a big birthday. They are pieces that are treasured and worn every day. Someone once said that wearing their ring made them feel like they had superpowers and we just loved that. Knowing how much the jewellery we make means to the person who wears it is very humbling.
What does it mean to you to be the winner in your particular category? How do you hope it will impact the future of your work and your business?
We are unbelievably excited and humbled to have won the jewellery category. There are so many brilliant makers on Etsy and we still can’t quite believe we’ve been chosen as the winner.
How do we hope it will impact the business? World domination? Our signet rings on all of Sarah Jessica Parker’s famous friends' fingers? Ha. That new people will continue to find our jewellery so we can carry on making it. We don’t really want the business to grow any bigger but for us to continue to evolve as a team, to continue to see growth in our learning, in our quality of life and in the customer experience. We would love to one day own our own workshop and be able to offer spaces to other up and coming makers.
Personalise your signet ring by choosing the sand it is cast in and the precious metal it is made from. Additionally, you could add an engraving and/or gemstones nestled into the texture as if they have grown in place. We're always up for chatting through different ideas, so do get in touch if you'd like something special.