Jewellery Road Trip – Episode 3


Road Trip – Episode 3 Three Star menu

I don’t know about you – but I usually have a starter and a main. However – with the 4 course menu on offer here, you wouldn’t want to miss a single one!

You know the drill by now: fill your tank, pack overnight bag, I suggest anything with elasticated waistband…and maybe a bit of fasting before setting off on this leg of the road trip, you’ll be feasting!!


Oh yes, there’s a name that speaks for itself!! This is a little gem that will make your mouth water!

Clifton Rocks shop front

Clifton Rocks, based in Clifton Village-Bristol, carries a selection of wedding and engagement rings by various designers and features a constantly changing collection of local and national contemporary jewellers.

Clifton Rocks even have their own team of in house designers.
Clifton Rocks is owned by Clare Chandler, who has been designing and making jewellery for over ten years.

Clare’s collection includes wearable, organic forms featuring semi-precious stones. She specialises in creating pieces of jewellery with moving parts.

Emily Burnett is influenced by the bright colours and wonderful patterns found in the garments worn by African tribes. The repetitive shapes and colours in nature are also an important influence to her work. Emily works in sterling silver, with accents of vitreous coloured enamels to add excitement and fun to her work. Recently she has been experimenting with semi-precious stones which add sparkle and sophistication.

Sam Richards first began making jewellery around seventeen years ago when a friend taught her some basic silver-smithing skills, but her work has gone far beyond that and is based around designs
in silver, gold and platinum as well as setting diamonds and semi-precious stones. With inspiration taken from her weekends away near the Brecon Beacons in Wales, her work reflects the organic beauty of nature.

Jacks Turner is one of the UK’s top emerging talents in contemporary jewellery design. Working primarily in 18ct gold and platinum, Jacks combines conventional goldsmithing and stone setting techniques with the latest in computer-aided design technology to create distinctly modern pieces that compliment both the contemporary and the traditional. Each piece is hand finished and set by Jacks to her exceptionally high standard.

Her work is characterised by clean lines, simplicity and elegance and her style has been nationally recognised with awards such as the prestigious “Design Innovation Award” for her work in platinum.

See, I promised mouth-watering jewellery, so – we’ve had our appetizers, delicious like little canapés served on an appropriate silver tray. Now for the starter:

Mike Gell shop front

Situated within Hereford’s historic town centre, the emphasis of this great gallery is on supporting British makers who excel in high quality design and craftsmanship. Mike has been in East Street for 28 years, and proving its success, has had a number of different premises each one slightly bigger and better than the previous. No wonder there was a constant need for more space, Mike Gell’s contemporary British jewellery gallery showcases over seventy jewellery designer-makers.

Mike Gell Jewellery has been in its current premises just over six years. It is a lovely light and airy gallery with plenty of space to display work and for customers to browse. It’s not just other designers show-cased, Mike is a renowned jeweller himself with his own workshop on the premises of the gallery and regularly passes on his knowledge and expertise to students at the Hereford College of Art.

His love for gemstones is obvious and since 1980 he has been making and developing stunning sets of rings that can be worn individually or stacked in beautiful combinations.

There’s also a passion for chain work, and Mike creates variations by incorporating beads and pearls. With a vast array of styles to choose from there is something to suit all tastes and budgets.

I’d suggest a glass of bubbly now, merely to cleanse your palate and to get you ready for the main course – and a rich one it is.

craft centreLeeds exterior gallery3

“Our aim is to take you on a journey to experience the talent, skill, originality and beauty of contemporary craft made by UK designer makers today.” They are a small but efficient team of six and between them look after everything from visiting trade shows and inviting designers, to installing new exhibitions and doing all their press and publicity, even keeping the gallery spotless! That’s commitment!

Somewhere in the middle of all this they find time to sell beautiful pieces of contemporary craft.

The team at the Craft Centre & Design Gallery are truly passionate about beautiful things. On top of a stunning selection of jewellery all year round, there are exciting exhibitions throughout the year, sometimes themed like BLOOM 5th July – 27th September 2014

Celebrating everything floral; buds, blossom, shape and colour, this exhibition intends to bring the natural glory of the summertime inside the gallery, showcasing work inspired by the beauty of flowers; drawing from not only their silhouettes but also textures and colours.

If you can’t make it to that show, then certainly put this one in your diary…

Jewellery Show 1st November 2014 – 10th January 2015

This year 30 makers come together to showcase their unique contemporary collections resulting in some fabulous gifts for Christmas and wonderful collectable pieces by some of our renowned makers.

With all this deliciousness, I hope you have left room for dessert, something gooey, sweet, really yummy…..I’m thinking sticky toffee pudding, chocolate fondant, …

Focus shop front

Focus Gallery began in 1971 with Norman Roland at the helm and since then has established itself as Nottingham’s most respected and well known place for beautiful and unusual art and crafts.

In 2004 Lorraine and Angelo Murphy became the proud owners of Focus Gallery and the gallery onto the next level, by introducing a wealth of fresh talent, whilst continuing to showcase long term exhibitors and makers “We see the gallery as a great place to find inspiration, discover British Arts and Crafts at its finest and discover the wealth of valuable techniques used in the UK to create these wonderful pieces of art.” From recycled materials to precious metals and gemstones, the gallery’s collection of handcrafted jewellery by both local and UK based artisans is renowned for its quality and choice, ensuring you can always find something unusual yet unique.

Inspired and wanting to have a go yourself? Why not try their Jewellery classes for beginners…? Why not organise a workshop for you and a friend? All Materials for these classes are provided, but feel free to bring any objects or beads you may wish to include.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are also included in these classes….told you, you won’t go hungry at this trip!

Don’t blame me if the seatbelt feels a bit tight, or your waistline has expanded…I am merely your Maitre D!

Images with thanks to:
Clifton Rocks
Mike Gell
Craft Centre&Design Gallery Leeds
Focus Gallery


About Author

Jewellery designer and Silversmith based in Edinburgh. I create bespoke, one off Jewellery pieces in silver and gold, as well as bronze, copper and brass. Many of them are set with diamonds, pearls or unusual precious and semi precious stones. I love the idea that every individual piece is unique, which makes it even more special for the person who wears it. Inspiration for my work comes from art, nature, conversations and chance.