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Gemmeus Historical Jewellery - In the Beginning 12 August 2010
I have been an historical re-enactor since 1994 at Kentwell Hall, Long Melford in Suffolk.
I came in to making historical jewellery from an unusual direction. When I was little, I was often taken to antique fairs and developed an interested in antique silver. Not until my family moved to Suffolk in 1999 did I start to think about how the pieces were made.
For sometime I didn’t have the means or the space to explore silversmithing and at this stage never thought I would ever become a jewellery designer and maker.
While in Kentwell, during the Tudor re-enactment in 2005, I first picked up the silversmith’s fret saw and realised from that moment I was hooked!
After the event I found a silver jewellery making evening course in the local college run by Ian Goldsmith (yes his real name!).
It was 2 hours a week on a Monday night and was very full. I attended for a term and learnt to cut, shape, solder and in doing so, created my first ring.
After that, students were open to choose what they wanted to make next and I chose to mix my love of history with Jewellery and decided on medieval design dated from 1490’.
On nearing It’s completion I wanted to learn how to set stones, but Ian was unable to give me the time during the lessons so I taught myself. Through trial and error I made a small pieces set with cabochon gemstones.
During the next couple of years I continued to attend Ian’s own new jewellery school for hints, tips and general guidance and also attending West Dean College for weekend short courses in silversmithing and enamelling. I experimented with different historical designs with encouragement and challenges from family and friends in Kentwell Hall.
In 2007 I set up Gemmeus Historical Jewellery and began attending local craft fairs.
I continued running the business in my spare time while working full time in an office.
I had a fantastic break in Oct 2008 when I was approached to have a feature on my work in the East Anglian Daily Times.
From there, amazing opportunities started to materialize.
In early 2009 I made a necklace and brooch created from a piece in the exhibition for The Wallis Collection museum boutique in London this was for “The Treasures of the Black Death”. 
In the June of 2009 I made a Mantle brooch and Girdle for English Heritage for the refit of Dover Castle.
 
 
I have also been lucky enough to supply The National Trust, The National Theatre along with the Production of Anne Boleyn Falling in Love by Red Rose Chain Film and Theatre Company.
Over the last few years I have made many individual commissions from rings to Crowns! (please see commission pages for further details)
In November 2010 I took the plunge and gave up the office job and now run Gemmeus Historical Jewellery full time.
In 2011 I took part in London Jewellery Week, "Treasure" the most prestigious event I have taken part in, from this I became a supplier to store in London's Piccadilly.
I attend various Historical and High quality Craft and Design events around the country, please see the events page for further details.
If you would like to commission a jewel that offers an alternative to the high street, for yourself or for that special someone please contact Nicky on 07720840024 or email enquiries@gemmeus.com
Please return regularly for further features on Gemmeus Historical jewellery.

 

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