Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do
I am Helen Naylor. I have a degree in English Literature and Philosophy and a PGCE in English. I have been an English teacher for the last 8 years and began learning how to make jewellery 5 years ago. I live in Manchester and have travelled extensively, taking time out to travel the world. I gather inspiration from things I have studied, seen or learnt and use these experiences to help shape and influence my jewellery. I recently got engaged and plan on making my own bridal jewellery, using yellow diamonds.
What’s been your general career path
I started making jewellery approximately 5 years ago, going from working with a needle and thread and beads to wire work and then my true passion, working with precious metals and gemstones. After taking my diploma last year, I set up my website with an online shop and have begun to sell my jewellery in Manchester. I’m hoping to take a qualification in gemmology within the next year to continue to further my skills and knowledge, developing my business and jewellery skills further.
Macbeth ring, copyright Helen Naylor
When did your interest in jewellery making start?
I have always been fascinated with gemstones and wanted to learn how to make jewellery from a young age. I never thought I would have the opportunity or the time to pursue jewellery making but I decided to write a list of things I wanted to achieve in life, and top of the list was learning this skill Which class/es did you take at the London Jewellery School and why did you choose that class?
I took the Diploma in Silver Jewellery as I felt it offered a broad range of jewellery making techniques and provided a really comprehensive study, with a focus on stone setting which is my favourite part of jewellery making.
What are your goals for the future?
In the future, I would like to continue developing my jewellery skills and my business. I’d love to win an award one day at the Goldsmiths’ awards and become so established that I have my own premises.
The Tempest ring, copyright Helen Naylor
What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?
This is a really hard choice! I think my favourite would have to be my ‘The Tempest’ ring and necklace. I adore opals and the contrast of the silver and gold together. I like my thought process around each piece in this collection and finding the perfect quote to go alongside the piece I have created. The quote that goes with ‘The Tempest’ ring is ‘I would not wish any companion in the world but you’ and when I look at this ring, I fall in love every time. The quote with this necklace is ‘The clouds methought would open, and show riches ready to drop upon me’. I used the tiny 1.5mm diamonds on the side to represent how you must be tough and hard to weather any storm in contrast to the stormy, murky depths of the boulder opal.