Our honey bee jewellery collection is a delicate tribute to our small busy friends, and our very busy co-founder Bee on all of her adventures. Each design is first made using wax wire, inspired by ancient Roman filigree jewellery. It is then brought to life by our partner workshop in the Pink City of Jaipur with recycled brass or silver. We recently sat down with Head of Design, Amy, to find out her main inspirations behind this collection and a little bit more about how it was bought to life.
Firstly, I just wanted to say this is one of my favourite A&A jewellery collections to date! What was the main inspiration behind this collection?
Thank you so much! The theme was thought up by my Business Partner, Bee, who is a big fan of bumbles! In terms of design I was inspired by Egyptian jewellery after a visit to The Met in New York last year. I love the combination of chunky amulet style rings and really delicate filigree the Egyptians used. I achieved the Lacey effect by using pieces of wax wire which had to be very carefully joined by melting to just the right point without the whole design collapsing!
I know wildlife and especially rewilding is something that is really important to you, did this influence this collection?
My garden in Margate is a constant source of inspiration. We are blessed with lots of insects and butterflies and I love watching them collecting pollen from my lavender and other flowers. I think it’s important to be aware of nature, or it’s absence as is too often the case and I hope that my jewellery designs will help remind people of the importance of insects.
Amy sketching out ideas on one of our sourcing trips to India
These designs are all so unique! How long did the design process take for this collection?
I always start out by doing lots of rough sketches before going to work in wax to realise the designs in 3D. As the wax wire was a new technique for me it took a lot of trial and error. Strangely I really enjoy working out fiddly things so it was a fun process to go through and didn’t take too long. I then took all of my wax carvings out to India with me to give to our partner workshop in Jaipur for casting from. They are highly skilled so samples are usually ready in one to two weeks so I can check on them whilst I am still in the country and make any necessary changes. I would say that the whole process from initial concept though to final concept can take anywhere from 2 to 4 months depending on the complexity and quantity of designs.
We love that this collection paid a little tribute to co-founder Bee. What is her favourite piece from the collection?
I think she loves the chunky honeycomb rings the best and immediately took one to wear on her pinky finger!
The wax carving of our Honey Bee Hexagon Ring
What is it like working with our partner workshop in Jaipur? These designs look incredibly intricate, did the artisans find these challenging to make?
Because I do the main work upfront in making the designs from wax it’s fairly easy for them to then make up the final pieces. Often it’s just a case of adding on clasps, earring hooks or chains and sometimes including settings for the addition of semi-precious stones. They are a real joy to work with and Dhara, our main contact there, is really great at problem solving and making suggestions at the design stage to make things easier in production.
We absolutely love this intricate new collection and hope you do too! A big thank you to Amy for giving us a peek into the design process of Artisans & Adventurers beautiful jewellery. What is your favourite item from this collection? Let us know in the comments below! You can shop the full collection here.