Lorna Hewitt specialises in beautifully crafted, high quality, hand-made bespoke jewellery.
1. What is your favorite piece you've ever created
As people come to me to have special jewellery pieces commissioned, I always think my favourite piece will be the next piece I make. At the moment, amongst other things, I'm working on a natural coloured diamond ring which I think is going to be stunning. I also do very sentimental remodelling work which are equally special to me, as they mean so much to my customers, and I'm always touched by their reaction when they pick the piece up.
2. What is your proudest achievement as an artist/maker?
I have various proudest achievements, winning an award for 'technical ability and design creativity', working for the renowned Stephen Webster in London, and making the Michelin Star chef Tom Kitchin's wedding ring, amongst others things.
3. How would you describe your style?
My style is flexible as I make bespoke jewellery tailored to my customers requirements, but I think whether I make a soft organic piece or a structural piece, there is always a Lorna Hewitt Jewellery accent to it. It's difficult to describe my jewellery, but I think I would say it is hand made quality fine jewellery tailored to my customers wants.
4. What is your ultimate goal for your work?
My ultimate goal is for my customer to leave happy, loving their new piece of bespoke jewellery.
5. What kind of things inspire you?
My inspiration comes from everything that surrounds me, I take in everything when I go for a walk, shapes and colours, structures, which all translate into my pieces. Quite often I will start with stones and try them together for shapes and shades, then design round them. But if my customer has a very specific idea then I'm happy to help them translate it into their desired piece of jewellery.
6. What customer do you have in mind when you design?
The most important thing is what the customer has in mind when I'm designing a bespoke piece. It's about translating what they would like, and If they are not sure, then I am very happy to show them some designs, or sketch down some ideas for them to choose from. It's a very enjoyable process, and the customer gets to be part of designing of their very own piece of jewellery.
When I design my own work, I'm very spoilt, it's as much about what I would love to wear as what I hope my customers would love as well. I get lovely comments about my website so I hope I'm doing something right!
7. What has been the greatest influence on your artistic career?
I think my biggest influence was really the jeweller I worked for in the early '90's when I first started out, a family run business called A and R Murray, who taught me how to make everything from scratch and by hand. They were amazing, but unfortunately they no longer exist.
8. Which is more important in your work- the process or the product?
I love the process as much as the product. The process comprises a large part of my work, as I sit down with my customer to begin with, coming up with ideas and designs, then after they have left I need to work out a quote for them, which involves phoning stone dealers and working out metal prices, finding out about engraving, getting stones in for customers to see, assessing how long it all might take to make, to have the piece set, hallmarked etc etc. So I would say the two very much go hand in hand.
9. Is creating art difficult for you, and if so, what drives you to continue?
I don't think creating the art, in my case designing and making jewellery, is difficult for me. I love the challenge of each individual piece, especially because they are all very individual!
10. Have you ever been particularly moved by the reaction to your designs?
Yes I have been very moved by some of the heart rending stories behind some of the remodelling work I do, so I take it very seriously that I make something for my customer that they can cherish, keeping the sensitivity and sentiment of the piece they have brought in to have remodelled.
11. What is the most important lesson you've learned as an artist/maker?
The most important lesson I have learned as an artist / maker is to listen to the customer.
12. What are your top tips for aspiring artists/makers
My top tip for an aspiring jeweller is to learn the craft of actually making a piece of jewellery by hand, learn how the metal feels and works, how to measure out what you need, how to gauge how long the job may take, what the qualities of the stones you use are, how they react to heat and pressure and general wear and tear etc etc. I find far too many young jewellers are just learning on CAD and it means they really don't know how to design appropriately, or how to make at all. There is no short cut, it's just practice practice practice, and the mistakes you make early on will be invaluable to your knowledge base later in your design career.