We were just in magnificent Paris, the city of elegance, grandeur and nonchalant style. The sound of accordions by Notre Dame, the smell of crêpes and art in every corner left us alive with inspiration. Here's a film made by our resident filmmaker showing our favourite places, the ones we didn't want to forget. What's your favourite part of Paris?
It was National Endangered Species Day in the USA yesterday!
Seeing as the US is such a vast, diverse source of beautiful nature and wildlife, we thought we'd celebrate the day too. And who better to be a mascot for nature than the humble bumble bee?
There has been an 87% decline in the rusty patched bumble bee population since the late 1990s, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Rusty patched bumble bees now remain in just 13 states, down from 28. And they're important little creatures, pollinating more than 90 commercial crops including nuts, fruits and vegetables!
This day is about focusing on the need to protect and save threatened and endangered animal and plant species.
Sketching is a key part of Luke's design process, so seeing this exhibition of talented artists was hugely inspiring. The sketches showcase various techniques, drawn in black chalk or coloured pencils. The exhibition is a must-see, especially if you are a creative.
Luke's inspiration comes from many different places. Galleries and museums are a treasure chest of ideas. We went to The Beaney one morning before the city had woken up and saw beautiful works of art. We stood hypnotised by striking, life-like paintings and gazed at jewellery from Greek and Roman times. It was an incredible reminder that the same things fuel good design again and again: quality and fearless experimentation. The sheer range of colour and form in the museum is striking.
Insider Information: here Luke is inspecting the enamel and micro-welding - which
uses argon gas, another way of soldering without havng to apply heat.
Here at Luke Goldsmith Jewellers, we love teaming up with talented, hardworking individuals or businesses. Being next door to The Skinny Kitchen, we thought it was about time we popped in and tried one of their famous juices. And who better to take then esteemed Canterbury poet, Katrine Lynn Solvaag. From chilly Bergen in Norway, Katrine has just finished a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Kent. Often found performing at spoken word events in venues spanning from a yurt in the Greyfriars Garden to the plush bar Bramleys, Katrine is the typical hard-working artist who needed to kick back in The Skinny Kitchen's relaxing ambiance. We asked Katrine six questions to delve into the life of a creative a little more...
What's your creative style?
'I rarely tend to stick to any one style because I'm constantly trying out new things. However, I do take a lot of inspiration from things I read - both poetry and novels. One of my favourite techniques to play around with is black-out poetry, found poetry, collage and centos, because you can create so many weird and amazing things by adapting material found elsewhere and manipulating it.'
Inspiration: A poem and a Strawbazzle juice
Katrine picked The Skinny Kitchen's Strawbazzle juice, which like her poetry is sweet but with a spicy twist. Here's an excerpt from her poem, 'Herbarium of Past Lovers':
will you press me like a flower? keep me
hidden within your holy scripture:
a complete collection of Shakespeare’s work.
caught between the thumb worn pages of A Midsummer Night’s Dream
while the Fairies declare: And I! for I was never a part
of your colour-coded life plan, will never understand
why you would push me away and still keep every single petal
See more on JMArt Space.
What's your favourite piece of jewellery?
'My favourite piece of jewellery is a moonstone crystal necklace I've had for almost two years now. I can hardly go a day without wearing it.' What's our favourite juice from The Skinny Kitchen?
The 'Strawbazzle' juice is top of our list at The Skinny Kitchen. It is so summery and fresh-feeling!
What inspires you?
'The beautiful thing about inspiration is that you can find it absolutely everywhere. In the lines of skyscrapers spiralling upwards, in seagulls silently circling beneath a starry night, and in kind smiles exchanged between strangers.'
What makes a good artist?
'This is a difficult one, because a lot of people create in different ways. I find that several get into creative hobbies because it either allows them to cope with difficult situations, express themselves or simply relax. I think the most important quality would have to be dedication. It's easy to say one will write a novel for example, but it truly takes a lot of time and willpower to go through with it.'
Who inspires you?
'I'm a giant fan of Caroline Bergvall's "Drift." I love the way she works with sounds from multiple languages to create a performance which brings attention to a horrendous situation. I'm also a big fan of Hollie McNish, and I'm looking forward to reading through her book "Nobody Told Me".
What is your dream as an artist?
'I honestly don't know what to expect from the future. My hope is to be able to continue creating and getting it published, but as the past has shown: things rarely turn out the way we anticipate.'
How was the photoshoot for you?
'I enjoyed the photoshot! It was a lot of fun and I adore the jewellery. Who wouldn't like being a model for a day?'
We're working on some exciting new collections here.
Ever wondered what a jeweller really does all day? Well, there are a lot of different, highly skilled processes involved. This film shows just a few of the different methods of jewellery making. More to come soon...
Six years ago we opened our boutique in Canterbury.
We were excited to launch the brand in the heart of the historic city and still today find it an adventure everyday working in this traditional, romantic trade.
Our regular customers have become friends meanwhile fresh faces come through the door everyday. We would like to thank all of you for your passion which propels us to make more exquisite pieces and bespoke commissions.
Did you know that sapphires come in a range of dazzling colours?
A stone of wisdom and prosperity, the sapphire has long been relished as sacred.
Luke's favourite shade is Atlantic blue, what's yours?
Luke is working on some exciting pieces for the summery sweet 'Eye Candy' collection. You never know what wonders you are going to stumble across in Luke's atelier or what's going to happen to the gemstones you find.
Watch this space...
Bespoke Wedding Ring: Luke made this beautiful wedding ring for a customer last week.
What's amazing is that the ring can be worn several different ways, meaning it can be bright coloured gemstones (picked out by the couple's children) in the day and diamonds for an evening out.
It is truly a work of art.
Do you know who Charles Rennie Mackintosh was? We have an exciting commission we are working on which is inspired by the Scottish designer's distinctive and natural style.
Mackintosh respected craftsmanship and tradition, values which are at the core of Luke Goldsmith Jewellery. Here are some initial sketches.
What do you think?
I spy a secret meeting going on regarding some specially cut precious stones which have just come in. They are drusy gemstones, exceptional because of how they've been cut. They definitely have a beautiful texture and sparkle.
Atelier Access All Areas: Bohemian #2
It's been a busy day in the atelier...
Luke always begins making a piece of jewellery by gathering inspiration and then sketching some initial ideas. These sketches are then refined and built upon until he's happy. This can mean lots of changes from the initial sketch to the final piece. Like any designer, the process is creative and evolves everyday.
Here's a sketch from the Bohemian collection.
The 'Bohemian' collection whisks away the wearer into a world of sweet, spring-time softness. Inspired by Art Nouveau's fantastical evocation of nature, Luke has crafted pieces which include butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and the precious bumble bee.
The focus falls on interesting forms, mixed materials such as mangano calcite and silver and using colourful gemstones for a burst of theatricality into classic, elegant creations.
And the flower motif used in the collection has a story of its own...
When Luke was an apprentice, the flower was the first piece he ever made. A throwback to where it all began, Luke continues to work with the flower in his bohemian collection, which is being expanded due to demand. The flower will keep being reinvented, adorned with different natural elements to keep the organic, fresh feeling. Creations using the flower may also be realised in Luke's bespoke service.
We love the Art Nouveau movement, especially this doorway shot in Prague. It is a style which will always influence some of the work here at Luke Goldsmith jewellers.