N E W S L E T T E R
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Finding unique, affordable, hand-crafted jewellery – whether for yourself or for someone else – is not always an easy task. It can feel rather disappointing having to hand over money to a huge department store for an overpriced piece of jewellery intended as a present for a loved one. And I’m pretty sure in the past we’ve all had to make the mad dash to Accessorize to grab a last minute present, only to feel guilty for giving our friend such a predictable, impersonal gift.
One jewellery designer recently caught our attention; offering intricate, bespoke, one-off pieces with a theme focused on nature, Elizabeth Terzza presents her collection of beautifully handmade jewellery to customers who are looking for that extra special something. Designing and creating jewellery from her studio in Herefordshire, Elizabeth draws her ideas from woodland walks and forest floors, with one of her most recent collections said to be inspired by a trip to the Tuscan countryside in Italy.
Here Elizabeth chats to us about all things nature, the importance of producing jewellery ethically and what we can expect from her in 2017…
Monday, 3 April 2017
Where did you study to become a jewellery maker? I moved from Yorkshire to Hereford to study jewellery design at Hereford College of Arts. I loved the idea of studying at a traditionally run art college. It was a very design led course, so I went on to spend 4 years working for goldsmiths and jewellers to build my skillset.
Do you do all of the designing yourself? Yes, I design all my jewellery collections. When I take on special commissions I work closely with the client to create something personal and unique.
What’s an average day like for you? My days can vary greatly depending on what I am working towards. Sometimes I’m running errands, posting orders from my online shop, photographing and uploading new stock to elizabethterzza.com. Other days I might be meeting customers and working on a bespoke piece of jewellery. Sometimes I lose track of time in the workshop and often stay for 14 hours a day to complete a special piece or an order for a gallery. Being a very small business, I take on most tasks myself, from hand crafting and sourcing materials to web design, photography and accounting. I enjoy having different branches to my business, there is always something new to do and no two days are the same.
What is it about nature that inspires you? The British countryside is my favourite source of inspiration. I collect little botanical treasures from woodland walks. Some of my favourite things about jewellery are the stories that come with each piece and the memories jewellery can evoke. I have fond memories of playing with sycamore seeds as a child and collecting twigs to build bug houses.
My olive collection reminds me of adventures in the Tuscan countryside. I’ve been drawn to nature from an early age, always adventuring and exploring. I used to collect leaves and lay them out neatly in order or organised them into little ‘families’. I draw inspiration from the simplicity in nature, usually studying one aspect at a time, a silhouette or a subtle texture. I enjoy transferring my minimalist illustrations of nature into precious metal.
Where do you source your materials from? I use recycled silver. Usually, I will purchase old silver trays, spoons etc. Other times I buy recycled silver from a company in Birmingham, it arrives in sheet or wire form. The diamonds I use are lab grown. They are exactly the same molecular structure as natural diamonds but being created in a laboratory means that they are 100% conflict free.
Do you have a favourite piece(s)? One of my favourite pieces is the first bridal headpiece I made in 2010. Creating this piece was a technical challenge and I keep a photograph of it in my studio as it reminds me to keep pushing myself to learn new techniques.
How do you usually advertise your work? I use social media to raise awareness of my work, it’s much more fun and personal than ad campaigns. I enjoy the one-to-one connection with customers and find the instant feedback very useful. (Instagram.com/elizabethterzza)
Do you have any plans to open up a store? No plans to open a store at the moment. But who knows what the future might bring.
What can we expect from you in 2017? In 2017 I will be releasing a new collection, Moth. I’m also working on a collection of wedding and engagement ring sets which will be made with recycled and fair trade precious metals.
Who would you like to read about in our Career Chat section? Tweet @TheStyleLane