We’re reaching that point in the year where we cast our minds back and wonder where on earth the time has gone? 2023 has been a whirlwind of the best kind, full of new collections by existing favourite makers and the introduction of many new artisans to Inspire Makers. We’re thrilled to have added to our ever-growing jewellery collection and invite you to consider gifting jewellery of exceptional quality, with a unique Cornish touch.
With our guide to the Top 11 Cornish Jewellery Makers and Designers, we’re making it easy for you to learn about each maker, and browse their styles. Don’t forget you can pop into Inspire Makers at the top of Falmouth’s fantastic Old High Street to see all of these treasures in person, try them on for size and see how they glimmer in the light.
A Brief History of Cornish Jewellery
Drive through Cornwall and its mining legacy is clear to see, with the abandoned engine houses and chimneys from tin, copper, and silver mines peppered throughout the landscape. World famous for its rich mining history, archaeological evidence suggests Cornwall’s tin mining began over 2,500 years ago. Records show that metals were traded with Romans and Greeks and travelled all over the world.
The once booming industry began to decline in the mid 1800s, which led to many Cornish miners and their families taking their skills to mines overseas. Sadly, the last working tin mine in Cornwall closed in 1998, and many mines today are only open as visitor attractions. However, this close connection to metals has nurtured an interest in the county in the jewellery that can be made from it. From mined metal to precious jewellery, we appreciate the provenance of the elements, and the skill in creating something beautiful from them.
What to Look for When Shopping for Handmade Pieces
When shopping for handmade Cornish jewellery, consider the maker, material, fit and cost. It’s increasingly important to know who makes our products; we always recommend shopping small and locally.
Clothing and jewellery have fallen victim to ‘fast fashion,’ where items are churned out quickly and poorly with a hugely damaging cost to the workers and the environment. These items have no longevity or quality, and the most damaging effects of our purchases are hidden in the murky supply chain of companies with profit as the number one priority. We are incredibly lucky to be home to many talented Cornish jewellery designers offering affordable guilt-free jewellery.
Will the material and style suit your wardrobe? Is this a piece that you’ll wear again and again confidently, or will it make special occasions all the more special? And most importantly does it bring you joy and make you smile?
We would usually recommend trying on rings before you buy if you don’t know your size, take into account how warm your hands are, will rings feel loose in colder weather, or slip off easily when you wash your hands? Consider whether the colour matches your skin tone, and the style suits your lifestyle.
Are you comfortable investing in this jewellery piece, and will your money be going to the skilled maker who poured their love and talent into your new piece?
Spoiler alert – if you purchase jewellery from Inspire Makers, you will always be supporting a local Cornish jewellery maker.
Trends in Cornish Jewellery: Keeping Up With the Latest Designs
Cornish jewellers like to stick to traditional methods but add a spark of creativity. So the trends in our world are far more natural and considered than the corporate machine of high street retailers deciding on never-ending new trends which play on our desire to fit in. We see trends differently and far more long-term. Sustainable jewellery has its rightful place in the spotlight, as we look not just to who makes our jewellery but what it’s made from.
Sea Glass Jewellery
Cornish sea glass jewellery is the most recent jewellery trend, as designers turn pieces of sea glass, which have been smoothed and rounded by the ocean, into glistening jewellery pieces which connect us to Cornwall’s rhythms. If you want to learn more, check out our ‘What Is Sea Glass and Why Is Sea Glass Jewellery So Popular?’
Cornish jewellery designer Laura is the talent behind Porth Jewellery, and making a splash in the Cornish jewellery scene. Spending hours combing beaches, harbours and estuaries for sea glass, she then sets each piece in stunning silver, creating forever pieces with a powerful story behind them.
Laura also creates pieces without sea glass, and her collection of minimal everyday silver jewellery is brilliant value for money and beautifully made. Her silver hoops are particularly beautiful and a go-to for us. Explore our Porth Jewellery collection.
We have often had the pleasure of catching up with lovely Laura in Inspire Makers, as she holds regular jewellery workshops, where she guides you through making your own special piece of Cornish jewellery from sea glass or silver.
Recycled Plastic and Silver Jewellery
Jewellery made from recycled materials is also popular, whether from recycled metals such as silver or recycled plastics. Both of these are environmentally friendly as they reduce the need for mining the earth’s resources and provide a use for plastic, which otherwise may end up in landfill or harming our landscape and wildlife.
The work of jeweller Sarah Drew continues to be a favourite in the shop, and we’ve fallen completely in love with her designs and ethos ourselves.
St Austell-based Sarah spends much of her time exploring the beaches and woods, collecting beach plastic, sea glass, ghost nets, metal, and anything else that catches her eye!
She uses these materials to create unique recycled plastic jewellery with mesmerising compositions and textures, which are beautifully refined and worlds away from how they looked when they washed up on the beach.
Nature Inspired Jewellery
In terms of inspiration, many Cornish jewellery designers take inspiration from the landscape around them, from shapes, textures and colours found in nature. It’s fascinating to see how each designer and maker approach their craft, turning this universal inspiration into something unique to them.
Saffron & Peach is the brainchild of Paul Peters, who brings his love of fly-fishing to jewellery design, and it makes for a beautiful pairing. These eye-catching designs make for a fantastic gift for your loved ones who prefer making a style statement, and we just love the detail, even better that it’s all-natural.
Laura Drayson is constantly inspired by the untamed beauty of the Cornish coastline and the history of this county. Working mainly in silver, with semi precious gemstones, each piece is a wearable sculpture and challenges the limits imposed by classical jewellery.
Cornwall’s remote location has always encouraged its creatives to be innovative, seeking unique materials and processes to create something new.
Katy Luxton creates vibrant silver and nylon jewellery, taking her inspiration from mathematical models and geometric shapes. Embracing 3D printing, Katy achieves awe-inspiring designs.
Our Top 11 Jewellery Designers
So, here is our list of the top 11 jewellery designers in Cornwall! We have stocked these creatives and vouch for the quality and longevity of their jewellery. Enjoy meeting some new favourites! Explore our jewellery collection.
Designed and handmade on The Lizard, Jane’s jewellery collections are inspired by the countryside and the sea. Constantly soaking up the natural environment, Jane collects leaves, feathers, shells and stones, studying their intricate markings.
Often made from sterling silver, with added copper or bronze, Jane’s pieces are perfect for those who prefer wearing more subtle, delicate, elegant jewellery.
An exploration of ceramics and jewellery design, Jess Berriman’s pieces are a perfect mix of two of our favourite disciplines! Jess’s jewellery brings a pop of colour and always brightens up an outfit.
The coastline in Cornwall inspires Jess, particularly the colours, shapes, and textures. Her beautifully chosen colour palette has the soft feel and delicate look of porcelain, makes for a very special collection.
Whether you lean towards gentle touches of colour, her sky blue glaze is a beauty, or bright bursts of pink and orange, Jess’s ceramic jewellery offers something unique and has always been a customer favourite in the shop.
Sally’s contemporary, colourful, fun jewellery is inspired by the Cornish landscape and villages, referencing the joyous colours surrounding her. From cheerful bunting, to bright fishing buoys and coastal flora, her collections are happiness in jewellery form!
Sally’s pieces are handcrafted from high-quality wooden beads and painted with artists’ acrylics in her Truro studio. They are then sealed with a matte or satin varnish. Sally creates small batches, to allow her to stay creative with unique pieces.
At a lower price point than our metallic jewellery, Sea Pink Studio is a fantastic way to brighten up your jewellery box at an affordable price. Brilliant value, and supporting a Cornish maker, win-win. Explore our Sea Pink Studio jewellery collection.
Ben and Lucy are the incredibly skilled duo behind Silver Sapling Jewellery. Based in Penzance, the remote tip of Cornwall inspires their designs, which continually push the boundaries of jewellery design. Their barnacle-like rings are beautiful and leave you wondering how something so intricate and textural can form in metal.
Each and every piece is handmade, predominantly using eco-silver and recycled gold.
6. Zaleika Anna
Zaleika specialises in handmade geometric jewellery. After studying contemporary crafts and exploring different mediums, she found her passion for silversmithing and jewellery design.
Zaleika creates beautiful minimal silver and brass jewellery from her studio in East Cornwall, using a combination of traditional and modern techniques.
Her geometric designs have resulted in a collection that is truly timeless, oozing quality but wearable enough to accompany you through the everyday.
7. Suzanne Barr
Jewellery designer Suzanne’s love for silversmithing began over 21 years ago, at an evening class with Cornwall College. Fast forward to today, and Suzanne is selling her work and passing on her skills to others in her own workshops.
Inspired by the Cornish coast surrounding her, Suzanne enjoys working with sea glass and textured silver. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by her collection in the shop, her pieces are a favourite with both our customers and us.
Innovative designer Ceciel has a touch of magic when it comes to working with often underappreciated materials such as pewter, acrylics, slate and copper. Her use of acrylics brings a boldness to her jewellery, which makes her a favourite for statement pieces. Traditional jewellery techniques and her modern style make for an incredibly unique collection.
Jewellery that starts a conversation is made here in Cornwall.
Self-taught ceramicist and jewellery designer Rach works from her studio in East Cornwall. Approaching her jewellery with the mindset and process of a ceramicist, her pieces are intriguing and absolutely beautiful. Delicate yet strong, her handmade porcelain jewellery is painted with pure platinum details, and is a timeless combination of materials.
Rach also has an eco approach to her business, using 100% recycled sterling silver, reusing all porcelain clay waste scraps, and firing her jewellery in an eco-kiln which uses 50% less energy.
Sarah designs and makes exquisite gemstone jewellery using silver and top-quality precious and semi-precious gemstones. Made from her home studio, which overlooks Mount’s Bay, each piece is expertly handmade by Sarah.
Sarah prides herself on creating small and delicate jewellery that can be worn everyday but is also special enough for the big occasions. She is also committed to sourcing the best materials whilst also offering her creations at an affordable price.
Maria Andrews is the incredibly talented silversmith and jeweller behind Mala Jewellery Design. She uses traditional techniques such as cuttlefish and sand casting, along with electroforming and wax carving.
A Bonus Maker!
If you’ll allow us to squeeze in one more maker, we’ll introduce you to our very own Vicki Glaister! Vicki runs Inspire Makers, and when she’s not championing the many artisans we stock, she’s got her head down in her workshop, where she makes beautiful jewellery.
Most of her pieces are unique as she prefers not to limit herself and is inspired by her surroundings at the time. Even if ever “identical” pieces are made, the nature of the process means it can’t ever be exactly the same, as it may be cut from a different part of the pattern impressed into the clay – meaning each piece of jewellery in Vicki’s collection is truly unique.
Explore our shop to support a Cornish Jewellery Designer
Buying jewellery for yourself, or to give to loved ones, is a particularly personal experience. Jewellery is for life, to be cherished and passed down, acting as an extension of the person who wears it. Cornish jewellery connects us to this special county, and we’re grateful for local jewellery designers working to an incredibly high standard, offering unique, forever pieces in an ethical way.
If you’re just as in awe of the skill required to make such beautiful jewellery, head to our online shop to see jewellery made in Cornwall. Each jeweller offers a style or practice which is completely unique to them, and their Cornish pieces make any outfit brighter!
We are currently working on the web shop so we have much more that hasn’t been uploaded onto the website yet; feel free to get in touch for more details about any of our makers, or visit the Falmouth shop to see what we have on display.