Notes from the Travelling Designer

Notes from Abroad

A few snippets for you from my recent trip to the USA and UK where I attended the largest industry show and made some fantastic connections for future projects. Precious also to reconnect with current and new suppliers whilst hearing the latest first hand from the top voices in the diamond and jewellery world.

A dash of art and inspirational tourist exploring was enjoyed also.

Alice x

Part One: Vegas - the Shows


Me having a virtual tour of one of my diamond suppliers cutting factories, a state of the art holographic machine to "try on your diamond" and meeting one of the brothers from the Italian family boxing firm who have made all my gorgeous leather and suede displays and boxing for over 12 years.  

Part Two: LA - French 75's

Alice in LA

LA was about catching up on some design work and creating new connections. A client and now wonderful friend as many of you become, hosted a fantastic evening at her house to celebrate women and fine jewels. Hilariously one had studied fashion at Central St Martins and another a similar close connection so the world really isn't that big is it? I look forward to returning next year to create some special pieces for some of the women.

Part Three: New York - Art and the Art of Diamond Cutting

Alice in New York

I essentially absorbed myself in art for 3 days with some meetings dotted in-between. Whilst we do have art and some fantastic architecture in New Zealand, there's nothing quite like MoMa, The Met and the Guggenheim to spark inspiration for a designer, go and see some classics as well as some new movers and shakers.

Such a highlight was standing alongside some significant diamonds being cut in one of the longest established family sight holder companies in New York. Being able to meet these incredibly skilled craftsmen and see them in action was a true privilege and one I will remember for a long time to come.

Whilst the industry is supporting the African communities from where the diamonds originate in keeping the diamond cutting there before the material is exported, it is lessening the need to maintain skilled cutters in the destinations, so it is sadly becoming a dying art closer to home. That said, really special stones and ones being re-purposed and cut are kept 'in-house' and some final facets are saved for when they arrive on our shores closer to their final destination. A very special experience.

Alice Looking at gemstones

A large heart diamond in the process of being cut - waiting to have its cleave and final facets cut. A stunning emerald I found and a very beautiful 20 carat emerald diamond.

Part Four: England - Meetings and a dash of competitive golf

Alice in London

A couple of days with work in London then some blissful time in the beautiful sun drenched British countryside with family and friends to finish off the world tour.

I stopped by the place where it all started - Central Saint Martins - the original buildings now empty as the university has moved to the very modern Kings Cross.

Quite special to sit and contemplate on my return train to the country on quite how busy I've been, the jewels I've designed and gems I've worked with since those days at St Martins. I could never have imagined it. 20 years on and it's important recognise the journey and to acknowledge the steps taken as well as some of the brilliant people who've come along with me.


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