As I’m entering the Goldsmith’s Centre building to visit Sophie Breitmeyer’s studio there is a young woman and her cute dog in front me, and I remember thinking that this is a pretty cool place cause you can bring your dog to work. As I’m giving my name to the security of this very modern building that young lady with the dog approaches and introduces herself as Sophie. Now, I get to see an awesome studio and jeweler and get to play a little bit with Hackle, Sophie’s cute Jack Russell cross.
Sophie graduated from Central St Martins College of Art and Design. Being the great granddaughter of a DeBeers diamond dealer, the jewelry world came naturally to her. She went on to win the Bright Young Gem award at the International Jewellery London in 2010 and doing some consultancy for other jewelry brands, helping in the development of their jewelry designs.
As you can see, Sophie is not only a very talented jeweler, she is a woman of many facets. She has developed her own namesake jewelry business, where she creates seasonal collections and at the same time grows the bespoke side of the business. She also teaches Jewellery illustration at Central Saint Martins and privately to anybody interested in learning how to draw jewelry and do watercolor renderings. She does some consultancy for other fine and fashion jewelry brands and she is an award winning jewelry designer. If this isn’t impressive I don’t know what it is, plus I have no idea how she finds the time to do it all and immensely well.
Sophie’s studio is a very functional, well lit studio with a bright window. I’m amused to see her laptop on top of her workbench and she assures me that while she works she watches tv-series while working. I love the mood board in front of the bench where thank you notes from clients and important mementos are attached. There are three of them that are particularly important for Sophie. One is a flyer from Central Saint’s Martin that says “sorry for the inconvenience but we are trying to change the world”. She laughs as she says this is so true of the school but that at the same time is a great motto and way of living. The second one is an invoice from the film production company that made the movie “The counselor”, directed by Ridley Scott. Sophie created the engagement ring that Penelope Cruz got from Michael Fassbender in the movie. The third item is an envelope stamped with the Buckingham Palace stamp (no questions asked for this one). Around the bench and the mood board there are beautiful frames of models wearing Sophie’s pieces and some press clippings from the many magazines that have featured her work.
Sophie is an extremely talented sketcher and her watercolor renderings of commissioned jewelry are true pieces of art. She has folder after folder of beautiful art work and countless watercolor paintings of gorgeous jewelry. She also loves paper agendas, which she refers to as “her whole life” and these are carefully stacked by the bench. They are all written and underlined with to do lists and useful information and some very funny quotes in the middle. Sophie is probably what you would call a little bit of a neat freak cause all of her jewelry material (and by this I mean from the tools to the gems) are neatly organized in small boxes, carefully labeled and easy to find. It is inevitable that I mention Hackle, Sophie’s dog, which is either running around asking you to play with him or siting at Sophie’s lap while she works. And of course that one of the perks of visiting a jewelry designer studio is to see their beautiful jewelry. Sophie’s pieces are dreamy, a perfect use of gemstones and metal, with bright colors and delicate settings. I’m biased because I love rings and her Indian Shadow rings are just beautiful.
I thank Sophie for the time she took to show me around her studio and for sharing the stories and her life at the studio. By the way, she has a new collection that was on the works and you can see it here: http://sophiebreitmeyer.com/violet/
Sophie Breitmeyer Jewellery
How did you become a Jewelry designer?
“Ive always been creative, this coupled with my great grandfather being a diamond dealer meant that for me the jewellery industry made sense. Since I was a teenager this has been my dream.”
What’s the first thing you do when you get to the studio?
“Coffee & work out my list of things to do…”
What do you like most about your space?
“I love my corner of the studio, its super organized chaos”
Pick 3 objects in your studio that make your space yours
“My pin board, my frames & my collection of books.”
What’s your favorite spot in the studio?
“My corner! As a share the space with 2 other business’ this bit is all mine. “
Any studio rituals?
“Fun day Friday… The music gets louder, the chat gets worse, and lunch is invariably in the pub.”
What do you love & hate doing at the bench?
“I love fabricating. Hate polishing.”
What makes you procrastinate?
“Anything not to clean up the massive pile of castings. I hate monotony!”
Any pets in the space?
“The one & only Hackle. My Jack Russell (Cross) He’s the best assistant I could ever hope for.”
What is currently inspiring you?
“Nothing inspires me more than other design fields. My 2014-15 collection began with Elie Saab couture.”
What piece of jewelry do you always wear?
“A signet ring that my grandfather gave me in 2005, 60 years after he was given it by his mother in 1945. It has his initials & the dates engraved on the inside & a pair of diamond studs that my mother gave me. “
Currently obsessed with which gemstone/metal?
“Coloured diamonds, the pink, champagne, grey, nude, brown colours. Rose gold all the way.”
Piece of jewelry you’re most proud of?
“The engagement rings I make. Specifically my first one & my friends. There is nothing more special than becoming a part of a couples story.”
What’s your dream jewelry piece? (if there were no time and budget restrictions)
“A tiara but a modern one, a hair piece. There is something so magical about diamonds in your hair. “
The funniest thing a client ever told you?
“Being rung up by a client on a Monday morning who proposed on the Saturday. His fiance was so excited that even though the ring was too small, she had got it on & her hand had swollen over the weekend and now she couldnt get it off. We had to cut the ring off and rebuild it… She was mortified but you had to see the funny side! “
If you weren’t a jeweler/jewelry designer?
“I think I would have studied Art History so who knows where I’d be…”