In anticipation of the “Spotlight on Abby Mosseri” week here at DesignYard, we caught up with Abby in her Lewes studio. She’s just back from a successful show at the prestigious Goldsmith Fair. It’s all systems go in her bright and spacious studio as she puts the last touches to her collection for the event in Dublin early November.
Over tea she tells us how really the seed for becoming a maker was planted in her youth when she’d explore her father’s carpentry workshop. “I remember spending a lot of time fascinated with the tools he was using and still find that workshop environment very inspiring. Certain tools, machinery and workbenches offer an unbounded opportunity to create.” After completing an apprenticeship with a goldsmith in Hatton Garden she went on to study Jewellery Design at Central St. Martins and gained work experience with goldsmiths in London and Brighton, before setting up her workshop in Lewes in 2012.
Her jewellery is heavily influenced by her extensive travels through Africa and Asia, where she is exposed to traditional tribal adornment from a young age. She becomes fascinated with similar artefacts from ancient civilizations – specifically Egyptian and Minoan civilisations are a source of inspiration.
Abby aptly calls her body of work ‘modern treasures’. It’s the perfect moniker for a collection that has a lovely old world charm, but a contemporary, pared back aesthetic. “I am fascinated by high karat gold. Its rich colour gives my work an opulent feel. I use delicate textures and subtle brushed finishes to give the gold a pared back understated look.” Abby makes a gorgeous ready-to-wear collection featuring silver and 18k yellow gold, though she is often asked to make one-off bespoke pieces for her customers.
Abby loves to create what she calls “mini collections”. In her design process she skips paper and pen and goes directly to arranging gems on her bench – painting with gems if you will. She uses untreated natural gemstones that are hand selected and custom cut. She selects these gemstones for their shape, form and vibrancy.
“I buy from gemologist dealers who travel to gem-rich countries worldwide and acquire rough materials directly from independent family run artisanal mining businesses. Their negotiations are personal, open and direct with two-way negotiations resulting in fair prices being paid to the miners. They have full control over the distribution of their income, feeding the profits of the transactions directly into families and extended communities. Over the years I have developed longstanding relationships with these gem dealers. I take time to select particular gems and discuss the origins of the individual gemstone.
“More recently I have been exploring opportunities of working with gemstones that have been reclaimed from old jewellery. Sometimes they are re-polished or re-cut before I rework them into my new collections.” The gold I use is now 100% recycled, either bought from my trusted supplier or indeed recycled by me in my studio from scraps or leftover precious metals – nothing goes to waste. The “melt up” is an age- old goldsmithing process that is particularly important when reworking a customers’ inherited jewellery for example.
Abby has enjoyed a great response from our DesignYard customers over the past year and we are delighted to showcase her new work in our “Spotlight on Abby Mosseri” week from 4th – 9th November.
Special note for your diary is our next “Meet the Maker” event. Join us on Thursday November 7th from 5 – 8PM, for a tipple and some nibbles and met the wonderful Abby herself. She will be in the gallery talking about her inspirations, showcasing her work, with some new hot off the bench pieces and answering any questions you may have. You can see Abby’s Currently available pieces here
We can’t wait to see you there!
The DesignYard Team