Our interview with jewelry designer Rebecca Gladstone.

Rebecca Gladstone circle

With a restrained and minimalistic approach, Rebecca Gladstone’s jewelry has an instant magnetism that can only come with such sophisticated designs. Handmade from silver and bronze, the United Kingdom designer individualizes each piece in a gorgeous array of geometrical shapes. She hopes to create pieces of jewelry that her wearers feel as an extension of their bodies. I couldn’t agree with that notion more, making me want to buy up all of her charming, one-of-a-kind designs.

Find out how her process and how she came to start her own line with our exclusive interview below…

Rebecca Gladstone rings

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A JEWELRY DESIGNER, AND HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT STARTING YOUR OWN LINE?

When I first started making things, I worked with textiles and print-making a lot. The crafts are more enjoyable than drawing and painting, even though that was my background. I was always fiddling around with something and I remember jewelry design was something I always wanted to do. My art technician while I was teaching was a qualified jeweler and we sort of ran these jewelry making workshops and that is when I really knew that that is what I wanted to be doing. That is kind of where it all started and began to put some things up online and it grew from there.

YOU TAUGHT ART AND DESIGN FOR MANY YEARS? ARE YOU STILL TEACHING?

I taught for about seven years but I don’t teach anymore, I don’t have the time. Teaching was really great. To have that dialogue with other students about their creative practice that can’t help but inform your own work. It is really exciting to be around people that are just sort of starting out on their creative journey and I try to include that feeling in my own work.

Rebecca Gladstone necklaces

GEOMETRICAL SHAPES SEEM TO INFORM YOUR WORK A LOT, WHERE DO YOU THINK THIS COMES FROM?

I don’t know why I am necessarily drawn to them. I can’t pinpoint it to one sort of thing. The geometrical forms their appeal is really how minimal they are. I am actually the opposite, if you could see my studio it is quite chaotic (laughs…)

HOW DOES MINIMALISM COME INTO PLAY WITH YOUR JEWELRY?

To me, when I work, it is cleaning up in a way, paring things down. I like very clean and simple shapes and I think it is about reducing something down. It is a very personal thing, I just do not like those jingle-jangle sort of jewelry.

WHAT AFFECT DO YOU HOPE YOUR JEWELRY HAS ON ITS WEARERS?

I don’t want my pieces to be a costume or wear people down. I want them to be an extension of the wearer and not an intrusion. Like clothing, you don’t want it to feel like tight, like a pair of trousers or shoes that don’t fit, you want it to feel quite natural on your body.

Rebecca Gladstone 1

WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN DESIGNING AND MAKING A PIECE?

To play with the actual materials will tell me if that is actually going to work or not more than the sketch. When you are playing directly with the materials accidents and things can happen and you can create shapes and forms you wouldn’t come about in your sketchbook.

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?

You can see inspiration everywhere, a kind of cut on clothing or something you see at the store and I am always sort of jotting things down. Sometimes what can happen is that you end up with too much information, too many sketches or ideas.

HAVE COME UP WITH A METHOD THAT HELPS YOU FILTER THROUGH ALL THE INSPIRATIONS?

Just before this collection, I had that particular problem, I had just too much going on in my sketchbook. So I decided to take one shape, which was the half moon and just build from there. Also, I like to take everything out of my sketchbook and put it on the wall. You instantly see what is working or not. I can’t recommend it enough.

Rebecca Gladston green wall

DO OTHER INTERESTS INFORM YOUR JEWELRY MAKING AT ALL?

My interest really comes with how engaged with the process you can be. To work on a task for hours and hours, time can pass you by without you realizing. There is a sort of physicality to it. It feels like a part of me more than an interest, it is very natural. I can’t imagine what I would be doing if I wasn’t kind of touching and making things.

SINCE THE START OF THE LINE, WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE MOST PIVOTAL MOMENTS?

I had never been confident showing my work but when you decide you are going to make a living with that you kind of have to get over it. I started selling at London Market, with lots of pop up shops and it gets you out and about on the ground. And it is amazing because you instantly get feedback and get to see which pieces people are  drawn towards. I think it is just about having a conversation with people and it really changed everything for me when I did that.

WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO SEE YOUR LINE GO IN THE FUTURE?

I really want the business to grow. What I am working on now is expanding my wholesale business. However, the handcraft nature of the pieces are obviously what they are all about, making things by hand. No one thing will be the same and there is going to be those variations, that is their charm.

Rebecca Gladstone brunette

IS THERE A PIECE OF JEWELRY YOU WEAR REGULARLY?

Yes, it is a really, thin fine square stacking ring. I wear that all the time, it just creates a really thin line across your finger. I have glasses so I am quite self-conscious with too much jewelry on me, so I try not to wear too much maybe one ring or a pair of earrings.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE SHOULD BE SEEN? HEARD? KNOWN?

SEEN – I always think it of this, to see the beauty in everyday and the mundane. If you can’t do that then you are going to struggle.

HEARD – It is to be quiet and hear the silence. I think we don’t do that enough.

KNOWN – To know when it is time to leave the party. That is really important, to leave with dignity. I have to remember that one!

 

x Find out more about Rebecca Gladstone’s jewelry line and where to buy here x

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