I’m Roo. I love history and jewellery, and historical jewellery is my thing.
I create jewels inspired by all-sorts of histories, and I’m currently studying for a MArts in History with Innovation at the University of Bristol. Whilst this current jewellery project is very much a part-time venture (whilst I’m studying full-time), I’m planting the seed to a much larger goal…
making historical designs accessible
Since 2013, when I (briefly) studied Ancient History and Egyptology at University College London, I realised that I wanted to wear and own the incredible ancient world jewels within my history books, and out of reach within museum cabinets. I realised that I wasn’t the only one with my nose pushed up against the museum glass, and lusting over these incredible early jewels. I therefore started making some of the pieces that I wanted to wear. I was studying Egyptology at the time, and I loved the symbolism behind the amuletic charms commonly found among grave goods.
I began independently researching such artefacts, and I taught myself wax sculpture for lost-wax casting (the oldest method of jewellery production). My brother would help me melt the metal and pour my casts, in our Greater London garden. Soon, boom, I had a clutch of sterling silver amulets - initially for just me.
Since then I’ve worked in London’s jewellery scene, travelled a fair bit (and lusted over many more treasures) and then returned to education to make things happen. Whilst I’d say I’m a self taught jewellery producer, I have had some technical guidance from Kim at the Bristol Folk House - and she’s bloomin’ amazing!
TRANSPARENCY AND AN EDUCATIONAL CORE
So, I aim to launch a collection that makes historical jewellery designs accessible, and which brings artefacts into the every day. However, I am very very keen to acknowledge, credit and celebrate the original creators of my inspired collections. I want to share snippets and accessible histories of the places and the peoples who originally made the treasures. Whilst many museum treasures and private collections of antiquities have fed into my designs I will also use my brand to raise awareness on the provenances of museum objects and be transparent about the stolen works which fill our western museums.
the jewellery world is dirty
I also have a mission to be clean and help educate consumers about the reality of the jewellery industry. precious metal and stone mining in fraught with human ethical issues and most pieces of jewellery will be contaminated along their long and murky journey from mining to consumption. Furthermore, mining of stones and metals has a horrific impact on our earth.
so, let’s clean up our act
I’m therefore keen to use fairly mined materials or, from an ecological stance, use recycled metals, and vintage and reworked stones, which uses up fine materials which are already mined and in circulation.
I produce my work locally in the UK to cut any air-miles and support local manufacturers and independent artisans who specialise in casting and plating precious metal jewels.