A Precious Craft - Sussex life go behind the scenes at Gold Art, Brighton
PUBLISHED: 08:33 18 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:21 20 February 2013
Brighton has long been a centre for the jewellery trade. One company keeping the goldsmith's craft alive in the city is Gold Arts which has been there for more than 30 years. We took a look inside their workshop with jeweller Matthew Evans
Brighton has long been a centre for the jewellery trade. One company keeping the goldsmiths craft alive in the city is Gold Arts which has been there for more than 30 years. We took a look inside their workshop with jeweller and diamond mounter Matthew Evans
MATTHEW Evans has been in the jewellery trade ever since he started as an apprentice 20 years ago. He works in the busy workshop of Gold Arts above their shop in The Lanes.
He and his colleague, jeweller and diamond setter Robert Draycott, handle everything from newly- commissioned pieces to restorations and remodelling of older pieces.
Matthew is a diamond mounter. He makes the frames for the precious stones to sit in and Robert then fixes the jewel into the finished piece.
Their raw material is gold, platinum and precious gems.
Gold Arts specialises in certified diamonds and customers often choose their stone and then discuss a suitable design for the jewellery into which it will be set.
Matthew says he likes working with diamonds because the stones are difficult to break. Sometimes customers literally come in with ideas on a piece of paper that they would like to see become reality and the company prides itself on providing a full bespoke service.
The customer can come in, pick a stone they like and then we do everything from the first idea to the finished article, said Matthew.
A ring starts as 3mm square gold wire which is rolled to give the desired depth before it is formed into the band and rounded by hand. A typical ring takes about 4 to 5cms of the precious wire.
Matthew said: One piece could take a whole day to do. Its very satisfying when you give the finished piece to the customer and they walk away happy.
Sometimes we get to see the engaged couple smile with happiness when they see their rings but to be honest that happens more often downstairs in the shop!
As well as the bespoke designs and repair of broken pieces, the company can remodel an older piece that a customer wants bringing up to date.
Because everything is done in-house, the jewellery never leaves the premises which gives customers peace of mind for treasured family pieces.
Another, more unusual, service offered by the company is as a partner of the American company LifeGem. They can create a diamond from the ashes of a loved one or pet or from hair. This jewel can then be set into a piece of jewellery and worn as a permanent memento.
Gold Arts has other branches
with workshops in Chichester
Visit their website to find out more