We first met Mark Nuell at Goldsmith’s Fair in 2018. Instantly attracted to his work, we were delighted when he agreed to show some of his beautiful pieces at DesignYard.
The day his parcel arrived was like Christmas – each package revealed a new marvel: stacking rings, necklaces and earrings with Mark’s signature free-form gems. Expertly cut sapphires and zircons set in substantial bi-metal silver and gold rings with settings that reach dizzying heights, the exceptional craftsmanship shines through in each piece.
More recently we caught up with Mark at his studio in Cockpit Arts (London’s leading studios for contemporary crafts and the UK’s only business incubator for makers and designers) located in Holborn near Hatton Garden – London’s jewellery quarter. Here Mark is surrounded by other creatives including Catherine Mannheim and Sarah Herriot – familiar names at DesignYard. Being so close to other artists encourages collaborations like this Morganite ring he made with designer Yen Duong, or sometimes a purchase from a fellow designer like his civil partnership ring by Catherine Mannheim.
In his studio it is just himself and his studio assistant Betty (his adorable Staffordshire bull terrier). The studio is a bright and well-appointed space, exuding a calm that hides the bustle of his busy workplace.
Mark exhibits at select galleries like DesignYard, and the prestigious Goldsmith’s Fair, where two of his sapphire rings have been acquired for the permanent collection. He is also very sought after for bespoke work. The focal point of his designs is always the gem, most of which he cuts by hand in his studio. The gem is also where his journey into jewellery design and making started.
Born in London, he moved to Australia as a young child, where his father mined Sapphire. Mark learnt to cut and polish these gems and spent six years as a gem cutter before studying jewellery design and making in Sydney. He still visits the sapphire mines where he meets the miners and cutters, giving him unique access to rare and beautiful sapphires.
Mark works exclusively with natural untreated gems which he handpicks in Queensland, Australia. At the moment Mark is obsessed with natural Australian zircons – champagne and pinkish browns that have the fire of diamonds! As with all his gems he selects which he has cut from rough gems he sourced in Australia.