Jewellery Designs

Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards: Meet Anna Harvey

At Ernest Jones, we’re always looking to the future, which is why we had the honour of sponsoring Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council’s ‘Commercial Jewellery’ Award 2022. Despite the sheer volume of talent, there could only be one winner. Discover more about Anna Harvey and her award-winning design.

24 March 2022 Editor - Ernest Jones

An incredibly prestigious awarding body, Goldsmith’s Craft & Design Council was founded in 1908 with the premise of encouraging, stimulating and promoting the pursuit of excellence in craftsmanship and design in the UK. To recognise and celebrate craft and design, the Council holds The Craftsmanship & Design Awards every year, making it the perfect platform for young designers to foray into the world of jewellery.

Affirming Ernest Jones’ long-lasting commitment to nurturing talent, we set a brief as part of the ‘Commercial Jewellery Award’, for which entrants had to create a distinctive and contemporary jewellery set to appeal to the Ernest Jones luxury-seeking customer. A challenging task, contestants were expected to create a staple piece inspired by our strapline, ‘Celebrate Your Story’ that featured a contemporary leitmotif that could become a future iconic symbol.

As expected, the level of talent was exceptionally high but after a thorough process, a winner was decided: Anna Harvey. Securing first prize with her ‘Tied Together’ design, it succinctly encapsulated the understated luxury that Ernest Jones represents, making Anna a deserved winner. We met up with Anna to gain more of an insight into her award-winning design and her thoughts behind the process.

How do you approach the design process?

I often have an idea of the piece I want to design before I move on to creating loose sketches. From there, I tend to do my research into the design inspirations and create a moodboard, which helps with the design process.

I also consider what metals will complement the stones I use and what settings will work well technically, as well as aesthetically. Of course, taking input from others within the jewellery production process is also important to make sure that my designs will translate from a two-dimensional drawing to the three-dimensional finished piece.

What factors did you consider when designing the winning piece?

For the ‘Tied Together’ pieces, I considered designs I felt captured the theme of understated luxury and the concept of modern yet classic fine jewellery heirlooms. I looked at creating jewellery that incorporated gold and platinum along with diamonds for a subtle sparkle – and an extra hint of opulence too.

I also wanted to create a motif that could potentially be expanded upon beyond two or three designs as well.

What do you love about the Ernest Jones brand?

To me, Ernest Jones’ accessibility is a particularly special aspect of the brand as I feel it’s become increasingly important for fine jewellery to be available to as many people as possible. This accessibility also influenced my designs for the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council’s ‘Commercial Jewellery Award’, as it was important to me that the design I created was suitable for a variety of people’s individual stories.

Where do you find your design inspiration?

My inspiration tends to come from anywhere and everywhere! I admire vintage and antique pieces and hope to reinvent them with a contemporary twist. I especially loved the Art Deco period of the 1920s and 1930s as the items produced felt so ahead of their time.

Who or what influences you?

My daily life influences me the most, including the people I interact with and the places I go. In terms of designs, influence and inspiration can come from almost anywhere; from an architectural detail on a building on my way to work, to a vintage ring I picked up at a flea market.

What skills do you need as a jewellery designer?

There are many skills I would consider essential to jewellery design, but for me, skills that are especially important are: a passion for jewellery, the ability to draw, and an understanding of whether the designs you draw can actually become physical pieces.

Jewellery is often an emotional item and I believe that a designer should be passionate about the pieces they design. The ability to draw is particularly significant for me as I not only draw out all of my designs, but I also find it is often the simplest way to communicate an idea. Finally, the understanding of transforming the designs from a two-dimensional drawing or rendering to a finished piece has become a particularly important skill to me as it is essential for producing a design.

How did you discover your love of jewellery?

Jewellery has been something I’ve been interested in for as long as I can remember, although my appreciation for design came later. I’ve always loved sparkly things! I recall playing with beads when I was little and my bedroom was filled with boxes overflowing with anything that sparkled.

I explored my passion for jewellery design as a teenager working on a school project and eventually came to study jewellery design in London. Studying jewellery design over the past year at the Istituto Marangoni (London) has not only exposed me to the many facets of design but also to the wider jewellery industry through opportunities such as the Natural Diamond Council.

How would you describe your design style?

I would describe my design style as refined and modern, and all about the diamonds! As mentioned earlier, I love diamonds and anything sparkly so try to incorporate them in my designs whenever, wherever.

Without giving too much away, what inspired the winning piece?

The inspiration for the piece was the concept of connections, knots, and the universality of their symbolism. To me, the knot design was incredibly versatile as anyone could use it to celebrate their own story.

What does the future hold?

I’m definitely excited about everything; from continuing to work on new designs and honing my art but also to see where existing ones – including ‘Tied Together’ – end up! I’m especially looking forward to working closely with Ernest Jones to hopefully bring my designs online and to an Ernest Jones store near you in the future!