Charlotte De Syllas is acknowledged as one of the finest art jewellers working in Britain today. Since 1966 she has been making original commissioned pieces using gemstone and metal with the art of fine carving.By using colours and different minerals Charlotte carves her stone to reflect each individual client whilst using natural forms to help inspire her along the way.
Some of Charlottes exquisite gemstone carvings and sculptural jewellery pieces can be seen in this interview.
When did your interest in jewellery making begin, and who or what inspired you?
I told my parents when I was about 15 that I was going to be a jeweller. No idea why, I don't wear it much at all.
Do you have a studio space or shop you work from, tell us about it?
We have just built a house or rather are still in the process of building a house. I have a wonderful south facing studio especially to my requirements.
What mediums or techniques do you work with?
Primarily stone. I am as much a lapidarist as a jeweller but my work is jewellery - carved stone jewellery.
Above picture: Red to Blue Tourmaline Twist ring, Jade Lilly Leaf ring, Tourmaline Bud ring, Heliodor Curl ring
Are there any new mediums or techniques that interest you?
Many. CNC for box making. I have also tried water jet for cutting stone and Laserwork on gold. I find all sorts of new technologies interesting.
What is the main inspiration for your designs?
Looking at my work I would have to say nature but also the characters of my clients.
Do you have a favourite piece?
The Cacholong Necklace for its simplicity, but others have their own qualities as well.
Do you have any interesting stories about your work?
I have a little book with stories of each piece that I make.
Where do you sell your work and do you have any upcoming exhibitions?
I mostly work on commission but I have sold through Electrum Gallery (now closed), and have been showing at Aaron Faber, 5th Av. New York for the past year. My work was in the Pearl Exhibition at the V&A last winter and I will be showing at the Lesley Craze Gallery in Clerkenwell, London from 24th Oct - Nov.
What tools could you not live without?
Diamond & silicon carbide tools.
What's next for Charlotte De Syllas?
To complete a commission for the Goldsmiths Company collection, city of London and get onto 3 commissioned rings and another large necklace.
A big thank you to Charlotte for this interview. If you'd like to see more of her work or sign up for one of her courses this year you can visit her website for more details: www.charlottedesyllas.com
HARDSTONE & GEMSTONE CARVING.
2 INTENSIVE, 5 DAY COURSES THIS SUMMER FOR 4 STUDENTS IN EACH (with one assistant)
WORKSHOPS: 8th June - 12 June. 6th July - 10th July 2015
All equipment & stones are provided in Charlotte's spacious studio in Norfolk. Beginners and those who have some experience are welcome. All equipment is provided including piercing saws, grinders, carving spindles and pendant drills. Burrs, files & polishing pastes are used so that you can go from sawing a piece of rough stone to blocking it out, carving it and polishing the finished article.
Most work is done with the chalcedony & quartz family. If trimming & drilling is what you want to achieve rather than full carving that will also be covered.