*This feature was showcased in the third issue of our printed magazine, which can be seen here or at selected venues.*
The UK jewellery market is worth an estimated £5 billion annually, with many designers trying to carve out a piece of the pie for themselves. Jewellery can be a hard art to crack, but when it’s done right – it’s done right.
Elizabeth Gage is one of Britain’s most influential jewellery designers of the last five decades who has already carved a coveted section of the market for herself. With over 50 years of creativity experience under her belt, she has had a bejewelled dazzling career as an artist with a mastery of convention-defying jewels that combine gold and precious stones.
“It’s always the same idea process in the sense that it’s the stones that tell me what to do.”
Inspired by all that exists around her – nature, gardens, paintings, architecture and animals to name a few, she brings these influences together to formulate her uniquely crafted design ideas. It has always been her philosophy that fine and exquisite jewellery can be worn ‘day into night’, she was the first to coin this phrase and her work has been a testimony to it.
Talking of her creative process, Gage reveals more about her intuition; “It’s always the same idea in the sense that it’s the stones that tell me what to do, and it’s usually the first idea that I get which comes into my head that I go with. It’s very, very intuitive. I don’t know whether it’s a talent, but I take it as such.”
This natural understanding comes from, she says, her knowledge of history and time spent in museums in her youth. She can quickly readily identify which particular stone would make the most wonderful captivating ring, almost instinctively. This finely honed talent is indicative of the level of depth and understanding that is lost without years of experience, training and weighty creativity.
Gage’s approach to design is as avant-garde as the jewels themselves, choosing elements for their individual beauty and exquisite nature. The resulting pieces are usually renaissance-esque and yet classically timeless, bringing to fruition an imaginative use of colour and gemstones. Her close attention to detail together with her highly skilled goldsmiths, bring to life Elizabeth’s extraordinary designs vision. Elizabeth Gage is not governed by tradition or restrained by conventional rules; her jewels are an unorthodox expression of her unique creativity and she isn’t afraid to turn the industry on it’s head.
Having trained as a goldsmith for six years, Elizabeth was so talented, that her first professional commission was made by Cartier, in 1968, New York. Many awards and accolades later, and it’s been onwards and upwards ever since with an illustrious career that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. She is still incredibly active throughout all areas of the business and is accepting a limited number of private commissions as well as designing new collections around whatever piques her interest. From flowers, shells and star signs to the Knights Templar, Gage’s creativity and curiosity recognises no boundaries.
“I cannot possibly say what I will be creating over the next year or two,” Elizabeth confides. “It is always the unexpected that happens and I am excited by the prospect of the unknown.”
To hear more of Elizabeth Gage’s remarkable story, go to:
Or purchase her book:
The Unconventional Gage