Phoebe Sherwood-Moore is a jewellery designer-maker based in Lewes, East Sussex. With a love of beautiful but humorous pieces, her own creations showcase the beauty of using oak and precious metals together. This week I interviewed her to get an insight into the design process of her award-winning first collection.
How long have you been designing jewellery and what was it that led you
into this career at first?
As far back as I can remember I have always loved making
things and I remember spending summer holidays with a best friend
endlessly filling sketch books with ideas for jewellery and fashion designs. It
was at school I had my first taste of jewellery making and I loved it but was
adamant at that point that I wanted to pursue a career in illustration.
After completing my A-levels I spent some time traveling the world while
working as a fashion model. I came back Sussex to study an art foundation at
Brighton City College where I picked up metalwork again although I
had originally intended to specialise in fine art. I later learnt to
make jewellery the traditional way after enquiring at a local
workshop where I landed on my feet by being offered work experience followed by
teaching on the job. I worked there for five years, during which time they
encouraged me to start my own collections in my own style. This is where a
culmination of years’ worth of ideas and experiences came together
and the Woodland collection came to life. Two years on, I run my business from
my little studio in Lewes, where I am also teaching my assistant to make
What made you decide to use the
woodland as an inspiration for your award-winning first collection?
I've also always loved nature so I think it's hard not to design
things that revolve around it. Inspiration is everywhere you look and I think
some of the most pleasing forms are natural ones.
to use real oak in place of an acorn was an important part of the design
process. It came from an acorn to start with before it grew into an tree. Oak
has renewing properties and is a reminder of how all living things are part of
the circle of life. The playful red squirrel silhouettes darting around the
chain create a visual circle which is completed by the oak leaf shaped clasp. I
chose squirrels because they're fun but also because they collect and store acorns
for food, as a result, unwittingly planting new oak trees which will bare more
acorns for their future generations.
Is there a reason that you chose to use silver for this collection and
if so, do you feel a particular preference for silver over other precious
Silver is a beautiful metal both to
look at and work with. It is far more plentiful than gold which means although
it is classed as a precious metal, it is much more affordable. I work with gold
to commission but use gold plating within my collections so people can have the
look of gold without the cost.
How do you feel oak and silver work
You get a wonderful contrast of colour and texture so they are very
tactile and have a lovely weight.