Egypt: Where the goldsmith and calligrapher met

It was in the gnarled wooden tables of the art room at school that I learned from Miss Lomax the art of beautiful lettering. The patterns of calligraphy reminded me of the samplers embroidered by my great aunt Joan. Unknowingly, they teased out the artist in me, before the scientist or the jeweller.

Later, through my godfather Charles Monteith, I fell in love with typography. Another type aficionado, Sue Shaw, took me to Monotype and to her Type museum in London. I fell in love with the beautiful shapes of the letters. Certain words touch me, not only because of their meaning but also because of the composition of their letters.

During my travels in Egypt, I was fascinated by the hieroglyphics. The Pharaohs and their tombs amazed me, but it was their calligraphy - that beautiful art of lettering and pictorial storytelling - that captivated me. Egyptians wrote with symbols that perplexed man until the Frenchman Champollion deciphered them in 1824. I love to imagine the scribes, thousands of years ago, inking out with their pens to carefully achieve the perfection of the symbol, in ways similar to how I used to work on the swishes of the serifs with Miss Lomax and how now, I carefully craft my designs. Although no hieroglyphs became jewels, their story, beauty and mystery enthuse my entire Egyptian collection.

Designing jewels is not dissimilar to writing beautifully. They have in common the conceiving and creating. Like type, my designs cherish the nature of metalworking, the precision of interlocking sections and the beauty of a workshop with its tools, mills and pliers. But where they all really meet is in the reason behind them: the display. For the printer, it is the word on paper; for the jeweller, the bracelet, the earrings or the ring on the hand of their wearer.

I hope you enjoy my Egyptian Collection as much as I did as I designed it.

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