Introducing the latest Adorngirl one to watch, the jeweller and businesswoman Maura Heslop, is a woman after my own heart. Having previously set up a self-titled jewellery line, she has spent the last twelve years bringing up her family, and is now back with Lucky little blighters, an exciting bespoke range that demands attention.  I interview the established designer as she candidly gives us an insight into what it takes to be a jeweller.

What goes into the process of creating your jewellery collection? I remember you mentioned that your jewellery was quite organic?

I can find inspiration from anywhere, and all the pieces are handcrafted. I work from my studio in Golders Green creating statement individual pieces in Sterling silver or brass. I also create bespoke pieces for clients, I  get the brass gold plated and work in gold if its requested

Do you have a favourite piece?

My brand new huge sterling silver star hand piece and tiara

What was your pathway ‘what advice would you give aspiring jewellers?

I grew up in Exeter, Devon and moved to London at 18 to do my jewellery degree. I studied a Sandwich course Jewellery BA Honours Degree at Middlesex Polytechnic I worked for a Jeweller in Devon for a term, and travelled to Kenya and went back in college for the last term of the third year.   My degree show was a success as I received orders that continued coming and sold all around the UK including Liberty, CAA and abroad. I did a touring exhibition with the Crafts Council, exhibited at the ICA.  I had about 12 years off as I was bringing up my two children and my husband and I also fostered babies and teens, so it was very hard to be creative and have time to make while caring for everyone. The kids are all doing really well my youngest is 15 and I’m at a stage where I have time to think again.

little blighters

To aspiring jewellers I would say research stuff that inspires you from whatever angle it is, art, fashion. nature, sculpture etc. Fill sketch books with your ideas and if you aren’t able to do a degree in jewellery for whatever reason try to  save up for a jewellery evening class or two. Mess about with different materials and try buying ‘art clay’ in copper to start with. You work it like clay, heat it with a torch and it transforms into metal. If you are happy with the designs you can buy ‘silver clay’ which can be hallmarked.

 Look up how to work in different techniques on YouTube and you will see what tools to buy, You tube is fantastic for learning techniques if you aren’t able to go to University. Try cuttlefish bone casting. Working in paper , wire plastics, 3D printing. Just experiment and experiment until you find your ‘thing’. Definitely try some evening classes which involve soldering and sawing metal, if you are into metal. Otherwise you could knit in wire use paper you have painted, varnish it.  Maybe do some work experience with a jeweller you admire.
The main thing is to work your bollocks off and don’t find excuses not to buy a little bench and tools for your house. Get a job and save and don’t go out so much, buy cheaper clothes do whatever you can and make it happen!
Lucky little Blighters can be found online and soon to stocked at Wolf & Badger