This weeks ‘Interview with’ comes from award-winning Jewellery Designer, Andrew Geoghegan. Andy is known as one of the UK’s best fine jewellers, designing the most spectacular engagement and wedding rings a swell as incredible cocktail rings. A lovely guy with incredible designs, enjoy his interview!
1.) Tell us about your company and background, what’s the ethos behind your designs and when did you start designing rings?
My business was created in 1998 after an art fuelled schooling and a few years at university developing my skills in working metal and designing. The possibility of combining metal and stone was a fascination for me so my pursuit into the world of jewellery was a foregone conclusion. The first four years of my business were spent in a garden potting shed kindly donated by my parents! With an unconventional training, the jewellery industry started to take note of my style as it appeared to be a fresh approach. The inspiration behind my designs is somewhat a mystery however I am aware of certain themes running through the collection. At the start of my career, the pieces were all about angles and flat surfaces – this possibly a reflection of youthful arrogance and rigid mind. As time went by, the designs have softened somewhat – again reflecting more fluid and accepting character traits. I have a tendency to approach a design as an engineering brief in that I have a finger, a diamond and some metal – how can I physically form, deform and twist the metal to cage the stone. Intrigue has also become an important factor in my designs – noticeable in the Reveal, Embrace and Jubilee designs where hidden and impossibly set diamonds grace the pieces.
2.) What should a bride & groom consider when they start thinking about designs for their wedding or engagement rings?
Know that the rings will be worn for many years so avoid choosing something which is ‘fashionable’ or that will quickly date . I encourage couples to be individual and choose something that they want as opposed to what they think other people want to see. Be mindful that the engagement ring will dictate what the wedding ring design can be so check out the set when you choose the engagement ring. I would also say to go for something of quality – in design and manufacture. The rings are the most important and emotive purchase you will make so it does not make sense to go for inferior quality or designed pieces.
3.) Do you find that Brides are going for simple, classic designs and gems, or are they becoming braver in their choice of bands and stones?
I seem to attract the type of bride that wants simple, clean, modern yet classic designs and more often than not with a twist of something special – such as clever accent diamonds for example. Naturally there are many different customers who have very different tastes and I can only really comment on my clients. The classic claw set engagement ring is still incredibly popular but I believe that with designers focusing on subtly tweaking and modernising classic designs, overall tastes will change.
4.) Silver or gold wedding bands? Is there still a sway toward one or the other?
No to silver wedding bands. The metal is too soft and discolours/oxidises quickly. Different colour golds and platinum are excellent metals for wedding bands due to their hardness and durablility. With regard colour, platinum or white gold is a more popular choice than yellow or rose gold.
5.) What’s the most unusual wedding band you’ve ever designed for a couple?
I have a customer who is chiropractor and after our first consultation he did some research and decided that the wanted some rubies to be set on the inside of the ring so they are in contact with his finger. His research pointed out that the ruby has mystical benefits and that there was an energy path with travelled down the wedding finger. The piece was platinum looked spectacular with a swish of black diamonds on the top surface.
6.) What or who influences your designs? Do you look to the likes of fashion or architecture?
Not really too sure! I think my real I inspiration is what is going on in my life such as my interests and certain changes to my circumstance. Early on in my career it seemed that my designs had a Germanic influence and the likes of Neissing and Bunz were jewellers who I greatly admired. With my first baby joining us in October 2012 who knows where the designs will go next!
7.) What kind of woman do you envisage wearing a unique Andrew Geoghegan wedding or engagement ring?
Stylish. Design savvy. Quality conscious. Confident. An individual.
8.) Do you have any ethical or environmental considerations when designing or producing each piece?
I ensure that all our diamond and stone suppliers adhere to the ethical considerations of their specific industry.
9.) What’s the most popular of your designs?
The Reveal is our most popular Engagement Ring and the Satellite is our most popular Cocktail Ring.
10.)What do you get up to when you’re not designing or thinking about experimenting with jewellery?
My Hungarian Vizsla (dog) Wilbur takes a lot of my time and I have to admit he is much better than TV. I have for the past 15 years or so been involved with yoga and meditation however yoga has taken more of a back seat these days and meditation seems more relevant. With a baby coming along soon I am sure that little AG will be taking most of my time and I know that it will be brilliant – tiring, but brilliant!
Name: Andrew Geoghegan
Name of business: Andrew Geoghegan Ltd
Web address: www.andrewgeoghegan.com