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Stephanie Ray earrings

Stephanie Ray earrings

All of us here at Jam are admirers of Steph’s jewellery, especially her cube earrings, which Jacqueline got for Christmas and wears all the time!

Now based at Cockpit Arts in London, Steph has been making jewellery since she graduated from Loughborough Collge of Art and Design in 1996.

Steph’s jewellery designs have always owed themselves to her love of clean lines and simple forms. As her work has developed, pieces now frequently focus on the inclusion of contrasting wooden elements, the delicate patterns of bamboo, warmth of walnut and understated glamour of ebony.

‘The addition of another material creates so many more exciting design opportunities that just ask to be explored’ explains Steph.

What’s your favourite thing about being a jeweller? 

Stephanie Ray necklace

Stephanie Ray necklace

The variety of work involved and the continued learning to improve your business.

Do you play music when you’re working, and if so, what? 

I listen to mi-soul radio (download the free app) or podcasts (usually TED talks, Science weekly or Freakonomics).

Could we have a photo of your work space? 

I share a studio with 3 other jewellers at Cockpit Arts which is great as we can bounce ideas off each other and get valuable feedback.

Stephanie Ray studio

Stephanie Ray studio

What are your favourite parts of the making process? 

Designing and making a new collection.

How did you start working with ebony and are there particular challenges to using that as a material? 

I had previously worked with bamboo and walnut so wanted to explore other woods.  Ebony is great to work with as it’s very dense and can be finished with a beautifully clean crisp edge. It also means I can turn it on the lathe. I wanted to laser cut it initially but it’s very oily, that dissipates the laser beam apparently so that didn’t work at all. It’s all part of the making process, learning and discovering what you can do and what you can’t.

Stephanie Ray bracelets

Stephanie Ray bracelets

Whose work do you admire?

Giovanni Corvaja makes absolutely stunning work, I also love Zoe Arnold’s jewellery and the narrative behind her work.

Non-jewellery wise I have admired Jim Partridge for over 20 years, his use of wood and form is beautiful.

What’s your favourite piece of your own work? 

Stephanie Ray pyramid cube necklace

Stephanie Ray pyramid cube necklace

At the moment it’s the pyramid cube necklace in black rhodium and gold leaf from the new collection that I’m just launching.

No expenses spared, what would you make? 

That’s a hard one. I’d like to use the time to experiment with designs and to use more 18ct gold as I love the rich colour.
I’m also making large wooden wall pieces at the moment with silver figures scattered through them. They’re very time consuming but I’d like the opportunity to make a really large one for a public space.