CONTEMPORARY JEWELS AMIDST A VINTAGE LEGACY
It is always exciting to see works of new jewellery designers. I came across one such talented designer- Amy Burton, recently, during my story for Solitaire Asia Pacific magazine’s April- May 2017 issue. So read on to know more about her style, inspirations and her family roots.
Creating a name for oneself in the same arena as one’s successful parents is difficult. But Amy Burton managed to do just that, amidst her parent’s vintage jewellery legacy, Hancocks. Burton always had an inkling towards design. “As I spent time at Hancocks, around all this incredibly beautiful jewellery, I realised I constantly had designs buzzing in my head,” she shares. “Eventually I decided I needed to do something about it.”
A jewellery exhibition by JAR in London inspired the young girl, and she soon enrolled herself in a design course at GIA London, followed by gemmology courses. All the while she continued working at Hancocks as a buyer. Her unique and bold style received recognition throughout her courses, first from the H. Goldie Jewelry Design Competition in 2013, and later, The Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Annual Awards for her radical Skyline rings. “The concept came purely from my love of London and other cities. It is an homage to our beloved cities,” explains Burton. The rings cleverly depicted the skylines of cities including London and Paris, using irregular and interesting-shaped diamonds to form landmarks such as the Shard and the Gherkin.
Although the full collection is yet to be realised, Burton’s goal is to create unusual but wearable fine jewellery, along with a strong design aesthetic. One of the initial pieces she designed was the two-stone crossover ring. The ring features two 20ct cushion-shaped diamonds, cut from the same rough with identical characteristics.
“I know this may sound fairly ludicrous as wearing over 40 carats of diamond on your finger is far from what you may imagine as a ‘wearable’ ring,” she explains. “Every time people put it on, they are surprised at how it sits so perfectly on the hand, which is not an easy feat with stones that large.” The curves and contours of the ring are very precise, with the setting adding a vintage feel.
Towards the end of 2016, Burton launched her own jewellery line, Amy Burton Fine Jewellery, with three inaugural collections — Disorient, Unum, and Crescendo.
The three vary in their inspirations, each backed by life events. Disorient is chaotic yet elegant in its own way with sculptural designs that feature large gems, taking its final inspiration from a wrought iron gate in the gardens of the Penny Guggenheim Museum. “Chaos is something that can happen in our minds, and we all need to find our own unique way to calm it down. Designing is my way.”
The Unum collection revolves around grand centre stones that were sourced by her brother Guy, who works as a diamond expert at Hancocks. “He is constantly sourcing fantastic stones for his bespoke diamond rings at Hancocks. He often lets me work with the ones that particularly spark my imagination,” adds Burton. One special ring from this collection sports a unique ‘Moval’ diamond — a hybrid of a marquise and an oval cut — set between spirals of baguette cut stones wrapping around the finger.
Crescendo has a very playful approach with its colour graduation, sugar loaf stone shape, and a silhouette that is associated with childhood memories. “The shape itself is a retro childhood influence — Tetris,” she says. “I loved the challenge of taking a silhouette that looks very rigid and geometric, yet flows and sits perfectly over the shoulders and collarbone.”
A hands-on artist, Burton is involved in every step of the creation and closely follows each of her pieces as it travels from one master craftsman to the other. Picking her favourite between design or manufacturing, she summarises: “Both are equally as exciting. I adore the feeling I get when I perfect the design, a gut instinct that I know the design is just right. Then seeing it come to life is also totally incredible. The whole process is amazing to me.”
“WE ALL NEED TO FIND OUR OWN UNIQUE WAY TO CALM DOWN. DESIGNING IS MY WAY.”