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Category: Education

  1. The History of the May Fair

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    Shepherd Market, Mayfair LondonMayfair used to be woods, open space and fields, with not much development until the May Fair was to be moved from Haymarket in St James around 1686. The May Fair would last up-to 16 days and what started as mostly cattle trading became a party for the rich and poor and increasingly chaotic and disorderly, people would wear animal masks, costumes and go around shouting, chanting and singing.

    There was a popular puppet show that was held in an old coal shed where one puppet would be forced to lay down and another puppet would cut his head of with an axe.

    During the first half of the eighteenth century major development happened in the area due to Sir Thomas Grosvenor's marriage to the heiress Mary Davies in 1677, they built new streets and were the cause of Mayfair changing in to a real estate hot spot.

    It also meant that the new well-to-do residents of Mayfair protested that the may fair lowered the tone of the neighbourhood which led to its ban in 1764.

    Walking around Mayfair today when away from the main streets it is lined with cobbled walkways that at first seem out of place, but they actually follow London's famous lost waterways called the Tyburn. Avery Row, still following the Tyburn, takes its name from the bricklayer who cleverly paved over the waterway to make the streets. Avery row is a cute cobbled lane full of bespoke shops, cafés and a pub or two.

    Hidden away off a side street in shepherd market is a secret, ruby red entrance to a time capsule beneath the pavement, Dover street station now known as 'green park' is said have been used during the blitz in world war 11 by Winston Churchill and his war cabinet. They used to hold secret meetings on the bomb-proof platforms until their war cabinet rooms were finished being built in Whitehall.

    Mayfair has a vibrant history and has attracted some prestigious icons like George Handel, a famous composer from the 1700's. A few doors down lived Jimmy Hendrix who lived in Mayfair in the 60's. The Beatles performed live for the last time in 1969 at a surprise gig on the roof of their Saville Row Apple headquarters in Mayfair. The gig was cut short by police but the Beatles still managed to thrill Londoners on the streets below.

    Mayfair still manages to hold its charm today, the area Shepherd Market still has cobbled streets lined with restaurants that create a Mediterranean feel with smartly dressed people sat outside wining and dining.

    There are traditional gentleman barbers that have a 50's retro feel and boutique shops which offer unique products you wont find anywhere else in London.

    Shepherd Market, Mayfair London

    Blossom at Nude Jewellery

    Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London

    ShepherdsTavern Mayfair, London

  2. Graduates in The Spotlight Vote 2014

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    Graduates in the Spotlight
    We need help deciding which recent graduate should feature in our window! Check out their information and pictures then vote!

    Dovile BertulyteDovile Graduate Spotlight Finalist2

    Lithuanian born London based jewellery designer. In 2013 I graduated from Middlesex University. During four years of studies I embarked on an exploration of different materials, various techniques and exclusive designs. While studying I interned in three different European countries for renowned jewellers and artists. I also went to Jerusalem, Bezalel University of Arts and Design as an exchange student. This valuable experience gave me unique perception of the world and life itself that reflects in my work.

    The collection 'Fear Of Darkness is based on a common human fear nyctophobia. Fear of the dark is usually not fear of darkness itself, but of possible or imagined dangers concealed by darkness. The collection is made up of 5 initial pieces that each reflect emotions and feelings of a person who suffers from this phobia while being in the dark.

    The oxidised silver plated bronze hands trigger fear within our minds while we imagine the imaginary predator or monster is lurking in the dark just around the corner.

    Frank Luckham

    Frank Luckham Graduate Spotlight Finalist

    I would like to be featured in your graduate spotlight to show that contemporary jewellery does not have to be based on traditional ring styles of a circular shank with something added to it. My designs show that the shank (or hole) is an integral part of the design. My designs are also sculptural elements which when not worn, can be positioned and admired as mini sculptural forms. Initial inspiration was drawn from Barbara Hepworth sculpture.

    There also seems to be a misunderstanding that square rings are uncomfortable to wear or difficult to size. It would be nice to break this train of thought and let the buyer experience how these rings actually feel.

    Frank graduated in 2013 with a BA First Degree Honors in Silversmithing and Jewellery. His final work reflected the pierced form sculptural work of Barbara Hepworth and the Minimalist installations of Donald Judd.

    Frank specialises in making rings in sterling silver using traditional techniques, aiming to represent two defining characteristic design elements of Modernism and Minimalism - simplicity of form and the reductive.

    Agnieszka Maksymiuk

    Agnieszka Maksymiuk Graduates Spotlight

    At the moment I’m an Artist in Residence and visiting lecturer at School of Jewellery in Birmingham and at the same time I work as a jewellery designer/maker. My works are exhibited in a few galleries in England and Poland.I strongly believe that the support provided by the Nude Jewellery will help me to grow and promote my brand in many aspects. Being selected for “Graduates in the Spotlight” competition would be an amazing opportunity to launch my jewellery and ideas into a professional environment and a great progression for my business . It would be a real honour to be part of this prestigious  central London boutique. I create small sculptures that become wearable pieces of art.
    The collection is about the relationship between the urban and the natural world in different places and cultures inspired by the landscapes of England and Poland. The main objective is to catch the essence and potential of the particular place and tell the viewer a story which is hidden behind each piece.

    The 3D designs are hand carved with great skill from two dimensional drawings and paintings. The astonishing outcomes are a result of a formal training in Poland at the Academy of Fine Art and the School of Jewellery in Birmingham.

    We need help deciding which recent Jewellery graduate should feature in our window!
    Check out their information and pictures then vote!
       

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

  3. The History of the Engagement Ring

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    History of the Engagement Ring

     

    Ancient Rome

    The Engagement ring can reliably be traced back to ancient Rome, however some historians say early man tied plaited circlets around the bride's wrists and ankles to keep her spirit from running away.

    Ancient Rome had a few traditions such as in the second century BC the bride to be was given two engagement rings, a gold one she wore in public and an iron one she wore at home while doing the housework. Another tradition that symbolised ownership by the groom was to give their prospective wife a ring attached to small keys that belonged to him. We found these pictures of early Roman 'Key Rings' there is no mention that these were engagement rings but they are extraordinary beautiful and at the time very useful as the Romans did not have many pockets for their keys! History of the Engagement Ring Iron Key Rings 

    In Rome and many countries the engagement ring was worn on the 3rd finger on the left hand because they believed that it contained a vein that led to the heart therefore the ring would be connected to the heart to symbolise love and a long healthy marriage.

     

    A Roman iron engagement ring

    History of the Engagement Ring Iron Rings

      Diamond Engagement Ring History

     

    The ornate and sentimental Victorians popularized engagement rings with mixed precious metals, enamels gemstones and diamonds. They would often be made into intricate patterns and flowers you can see a great collection of this type of jewellery at the Cheapside Hoard exhibition in London.

    http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/exhibitions-displays/cheapside-hoard-londons-lost-jewels/

    Diamond rings crafted during the Edwardian era continued the tradition of pairing diamonds with other jewels, commonly mounted in filigree settings. Diamonds were too rare and expensive for the less wealthy citizens until the discovery of diamonds in south Africa in 1870, where the De Beers company became the sole owner of these mines.

    Diamond engagement rings however are quite a recent innovation first becoming popular in 1930's, by 1965, 80 percent of all new brides in the united states owned one.

      The Eureka Diamond

    We found this great story of how the first diamond was discovered in South Africa which is now the diamond capital of the world.

    It began with a 15 year old boy named Erasmus Jacobs whose father owned a farm on the orange river near Hopetown.

    Erasmus had helped his dad unclog a water pipe by finding a long stick, after he had found the perfect stick he sat under a tree to rest and spotted something shining in the heated afternoon sun.

    He went over and saw it was a stone and picked it up and placed it in his pocket. After helping his father he started to play “5 stones” with the diamond, his mother noticed the shine and mentioned it to their neighbour, Shalk Van Niekerk. He was intrigued by the stone and offered to buy it from Erasmus who instead of selling it gave it to him saying “you can keep the stone if you want it,” little did he know this was now to be known as the whopping 21.25 carat Eureka Diamond.

    History of the Engagement Ring Rough Diamond Image