The Ruby Collection : Camilla Gough
Camilla Gough’s Snap Dragon Blossom ring
Has the Melbourne contemporary jewellery scene changed in the last 15 years?
There is a greater desire for purchasing contemporary jewellery through the emergence in the last 15 years of galleries such as e.g.etal who support locally crafted contemporary jewellery. The number of practitioners these galleries can support has increased since the time I have been making jewellery, which is great.
How have you as a jeweller changed over the last 15 years?
After 15 further years to practice the craft, my skills have improved! The craft of making jewellery by hand is complex and requires hours of practice in order to reach a level of skill that will give you the ability to respond to the wildest of ideas.
You have been making jewellery for at least 15 years now what is it that keeps you motivated and inspired?
As an artist, I have an inner engine that drives my practice forward so luckily I don’t have to rely or seek outside inspiration to stay motivated. I would never want to loose the freedom of going to my studio every day so there is a motivation to keep my business buoyant! I rarely make the same piece twice, which is a luxury, so I am never bored. My formal training is in fine art so my work is a gentle evolution of my art practice interwoven with the exquisite craft of jewellery that I am endeavouring to master.
What has been your best “e.g.etal experience”?
I have enjoyed lots of lovely experiences through my dealings with e.g.etal. The staff over the first 15 years have been gorgeous to work with!
One great couple who’s wedding rings I made, asked me to incorporate a secret within the construction that we would reveal to them exactly 1 year after their wedding. I engraved a charming poem over both rings that seemed to resonate with the way they presented their relationship to me. I soldered detail over the engraving so they could never read the poem, I liked that the poem was woven into the gold and would stay with them through their journey. The couple did return to the gallery exactly one year to the day to discover the secret! I managed to gain access to the roof of the city building I work in and I wrote the poem on the edge of the roof in letters that stretched the circumference. It was a brilliant bright blue sky that accompanied their discovery, it would have been a magical experience!
How does being a jeweller add to the way you define yourself in the world?
My style of practice is to respond to individual story and personality of the client so my approach to designing jewellery is to uncover the nature of every presentation. I like to get right to the heart of things so I am hopeless at light conversation!
How does contemporary jewellery made by independent designers such as yourself differ to your average piece of jewellery?
Jewellery is intrinsically personal and quite often bought as a declaration of love. Feeling love is the greatest joy and the impression is intensely exclusive. What could be more fitting than translating that love into the gift of a unique piece of handcrafted jewellery!
Jewellers making independently by hand are fastidious with quality as the name of the maker is directly linked to the crafted piece. Jewellers that have the opportunity to sell through e.g.etal are thorough with translating their expression into objects that can be worn. The adventure for the buyer is to choose and wear a piece of contemporary jewellery that displays their personality or the unique love they share with their partner.