Posted 25th August 2017
Laura Nelson is a designer/maker from Yorkshire based in South London. Since an early age Laura has been a lover of all things silver and shiny. Originally trained as a product and furniture designer, her jewellery draws on her design skills and love of making. Laura has a curious approach to design as she likes to explore different materials and processes. Her work has an honest and minimal aesthetic with a focus on contrasting textures. Each piece is designed and handmade in the UK.
1. Hello Laura tell us, who or what has been your biggest influence?
I am inspired by the work of Barbara Hepworth, I think her understanding of form and material is fascinating. I also love the work of David Mellor, and how he transformed the systems used to manufacture his cutlery. His aim was to give those working in his workshop more variety in their work, rather than repeating the same task day after day, giving each individual more of a sense of ownership. I think this kind of thinking and foresight into how designs will progress into production has had a big influence on me.
2. How has your background in furniture design influenced your jewellery?
I think it has definitely influenced the aesthetic of my work, for instance the channel in the Bar Necklace White, has been routered out to neatly allow the chain to run along it discreetly. This type of detail is something I would of definitely specified when designing furniture. I often view each piece of jewellery as a small scale model or a sculpture rather than a piece of jewellery.
3. What is your favourite piece from your current collection?
The Contrast Bangle, I love the texture. I also made many variations in plastic until the desired look and feel was achieved. I like how the matte flat side slowly shines through wear.
4. What materials do you most like working with?
I like working with silver and using the influence of more industrial processes to manipulate it.
I am always on the look out for different processes and materials to experiment with, I think this curiosity stems from my time working within furniture and exhibition design, as I would regularly deal with different manufacturers such as metal spinners and casters and would always try and visit them. I am hoping to work with ceramic and glass very soon.
5. How important is it to you that everything is designed and made in the UK?
It is important to me simply because that is where I live at this moment in time. I design and make my pieces, so it is easy for me to make everything within the UK. The UK also has all the facilities I need to produce my work, my pieces have a very industrial and brutal aesthetic which I think reflects the place in which it is made.
Wherever you are in the world, I think it is important to keep manufacturing local where possible. This helps to create a more personal relationship with external suppliers, for instance I like being able to speak to the person who has hallmarked my pieces when I collect them in Hatton Garden. I make a conscious decision to ensure all the silver I use is mined in the EU, so it is ethically fair.
6. What attracted you to WNDRLND?
The variety of designers all in one place makes it nice and easy to browse which is great! I like that there is a wide selection of jewellery that is elegant, yet has the ability to start a conversation as many of the pieces on WNDRLND hold a narrative.
7. What is your personal jewellery style?
I wear a lot of jewellery, most of it is minimal in style. Most days I wear between 8-10 rings which I have collected from many different places, some pieces I have bought because I like their construction method and others are from places I have traveled to – I like that each ring I own has a memory for me or holds a story.
8. Who would you most love to see wearing a piece from your collection?
I would quite like see Mary Portas wearing a piece of my jewellery, I think she inspires small businesses, seems very personable and is a champion for the UK brands.
9. Which Alice in Wonderland character would suit your style of jewellery and why?
I think it would be the White Rabbit, as he is a bit unpredictable and has contrasting characteristics, sometimes he is nice to Alice and other times he is not so nice. He also leads her down the hole, starting the journey to Wonderland. Perhaps he needs a more contemporary bespoke time piece!
10. What is next for Laura Nelson Design?
I am currently bringing out a new collection alongside doing commissioned work. I am also working to create more one-off / limited edition pieces in time for Christmas, once that’s done I will be prepping for trade shows next year!
WNDRLND would like to thank the edgy statement making talent, Laura Nelson for allowing us to step inside her personal jewellery looking glass and sharing her inspiring story.
To discover the full collection click HERE