The International Jewellery London Design Gallery is the place to see emerging and established design talents from across the UK and further afield.
One designer who will showcase her new collections at IJL 2016 is Ellis Mhairi Cameron, who continues to be inspired by her Scottish Highlands home.
Here, we talk to Cameron to discover more about her signature designs, her impressions of IJL and what she’s hoping to achieve in 2016 and beyond…
Q: How would you describe your design style?
EMC: I designed the Cairn Collection (which I will be showing at IJL) in response to the rugged landscape of the Scottish Highlands, where I am originally from. I worked from drawings and collages I made of the landscape, incorporating stones from Scottish beaches in the final pieces. Each piece in the Cairn Collection has been hand carved and cast in silver, so although pieces can be made in the same style, allowing me to cater to large trade orders, each piece is still unique.
Q: What would you say are your signature pieces and why?
EMC: The rings in the Cairn Collection are the most popular with my clients. A ring is such a versatile piece; it can be worn in the day or the evening and wearing something on your finger feels very personal. Often clients order several skinny rings to layer alongside one of the larger stone rings. There is a sense of endless possibility with rings.
Q: What type of woman are you designing for, and what attracts her to your jewellery pieces?
EMC: The woman I design for wants luxurious jewellery, but with a rawer aesthetic. She disregards mainstream perfection, desiring instead pieces which are full of organic intricacies and imperfections.
Q: If you had an industry mentor what would you ask them and why?
EMC: I would want to speak to them about their opinions on independent design, as the jewellery world is quite different to even five or 10 years ago. No longer is the jewellery field dominated only by big brands; clients are seeking out independent design and want something different and unique. I think that the client desire for bespoke work is hugely interesting and has helped my own business grown considerably.
Q: Are there any skills or areas of your business that you would like to develop in the coming months?
EMC: I’ll be sending out invitations to my main list of clients, but I’m always interested in meeting new clients and new trade buyers. IJL is such a great platform for ‘meet and greets’ and for clientele to see the work first hand. Trying on a piece of jewellery can be when you really fall in love with it.
Q: You’ve exhibited around the world and at IJL – what has brought you back to IJL in 2016?
EMC: I had showed at IJL for the first time last year and had a very successful show, meeting great clients and securing some fantastic trade orders. I’m hoping that this year will be even more successful. As well as the Cairn Collection, I will also be launching a new range in June 2017, so it’s going to be a busy year ahead.
Q: What are your aims for 2016 and are there any particular stockists or retailers you are trying to attract?
EMC: I’m focusing on maintaining the strong customer relationships I already have and I am excited to meet new clients and buyers at IJL in September. I’m looking for retailers and stockists who want to invest in bespoke, handcrafted work and who appreciate independent design.
See Ellis Mhairi Cameron at IJL 2016 from September 4th-6th on Design Gallery Stand P65.