While planing my trip to London I reached out to the talented jewelry designer Tessa Packard to try and arrange a studio visit. Unfortunately Tessa was going to be out of town but I really wanted to share her work and space, so I asked her to do the 5 minutes feature instead.
Tessa was delighted to participate and as we exchanged emails, she showed concern that she might not “fit the bill” of the featured studio spaces of this blog because she doesn’t actually do the jewelry herself. Well, anybody who has ever created a piece of jewelry, art, furniture or object knows the work that comes before actually creating the thing. In particular for jewelry where inspiration, ideas, sketches, searching for gemstones, doing the piece, selling it and dealing with clients is all part of the function of being a jewelry designer. So yes, Tessa definitely fits the bill.
Tessa started her eponymous jewelry brand in April 2013. After a career in the art world she found that she was missing sketching and creating jewelry and accessories, something that she had always felt the urge to do. In 2012 she decided to turn the page and make that wish come true. She researched and prepared the launching of her new brand becoming as she puts it her “own businesswoman”.
What attracted me to Tessa’s work from the beginning was the narrative she uses to create her jewelry. There is an idea that she follows up with research and creates these beautifully storytelling books where she sketches her ideas, inspirations and makes her collections come to live. Then there are the beautiful sketches, watercolors designs that take talent and a lot of time to create and that remind me of the watercolors that big jewelry houses like Boucheron and Cartier do for their collections. Do check Tessa’s sketching process on her pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/tessapackard/scrapbook-predator-prey/
I love the big bold jewelry, the colorful use of gemstones and the story behind each piece. I’m sorry I missed Tessa while in London as I would have loved to meet her personally and photograph all of the details of her taxidermy animals and beautiful sketchbooks.
And so far Tessa has the best answer ever for what she would be if not a jewelry designer: a cowboy in Wyoming! Now, if that’s not cool jeweler, I don’t know what it is! Have fun getting to know Tessa and her work!
Tessa Packard London : Contemporary Fine Jewelry
(All photos are courtesy of Tessa Packard London. Check her instagram and pinterest feed for some really nice pics of her studio daily life and of her sketching processs).
How did you get started with designing jewelry?
“Being a self-taught jewellery designer, I started by dreaming big and having a lot of determination.”
What do you like most about your studio?
“It’s my version of an office meets concept store.”
Favorite piece of jewelry you ever designed?
“My Shanghai Fire Knuckle Ring. It pushes the boundaries of what people expect from fine jewellery.”
Currently obsessed with (gemstones, colors, inspiration)?
What jewelry do you always wear?
“Two new necklaces from my Predator/Prey collection: the Honeycomb Necklace and Wasp Trap Necklace. I think they look beautiful layered together.”
What’s on your desk right now?
“A very long To Do List!”
Pick 3 objects in your studio that make it special
“My beautiful taxidermy magpies; my framed jewellery sketches on the wall; my mood boards – they say everything that needs to be said about what’s going on in my head.”
What inspires you?
“Different cultures, stories and legends and the canon of History of Art.”
How do you describe your jewelry?
“Timeless, unique, and with strong narrative integrity.”
3 words to describe you?
“Workaholic, practical, opportunistic”
If you weren’t a jeweler/jewelry designer?
” I would be a cowboy in Wyoming”