Asprey and Shaun Leane Bring Out The Hidden Glamour Of British Woods

When looking at a High Jewellery piece we always wonder where the artist drew his inspiration from, what idea he wanted to convey through his creation, how difficult it was to design and produce a sophisticated jewel, and lastly, if it is worth investing in.

In this interview with Shaun Leane, a renowned British jewellery designer, and Justine Carmody, the Director of Asprey‘s Jewellery and Timepieces,you will find answers to all above questions. We spoke about the magnificent Fern necklace which is one of the recent collaborations between the designer and the luxury goods house. It is hand-crafted according to the Shaun Leanne’s designs to complement the Woodland collection launched last year.

K.P.: First of all, I would like to find out where you drew your inspiration from for creating a necklace with fern motif? S.L.: The Woodland collection was first developed to reflect the beauty of English woodlands from oak leaves to the acorns and mushrooms.  In this collection we used autumnal colours. As our woodlands are flourished with fern we thought that would be a beautiful subject matter for the high end suite. K.P.: Fern is delicate, yet powerful: it dominates British forests… S.L.: Yes it does, fern is a beautiful part of the woodlands. Its form and shape allowed us to create an elegant silhouette with fine details, it was just perfect for a piece of jewellery. K.P.: The structure of the actual necklace is rather complex. What difficulties did you face while creating it? J.C.: We really wanted the fern pieces to replicate the lifelike movement of an actual fern leaf, therefore the difficulty was to make something rigid like metal to weave around and move.

S.L.: The Woodland collection was first developed to reflect the beauty of English woodlands from oak leaves to the acorns and mushrooms.  In this collection we used autumnal colours. As our woodlands are flourished with fern we thought that would be a beautiful subject matter for the high end suite.

K.P.: Fern is delicate, yet powerful: it dominates British forests…

S.L.: Yes it does, fern is a beautiful part of the woodlands. Its form and shape allowed us to create an elegant silhouette with fine details, it was just perfect for a piece of jewellery.

K.P.: The structure of the actual necklace is rather complex. What difficulties did you face while creating it?

J.C.: We really wanted the fern pieces to replicate the lifelike movement of an actual fern leaf, therefore the difficulty was to make something rigid like metal to weave around and move.

S.L: The concept for the woodland collection, which the Fern is part of, took a couple of months of research and thought. Then we spent three weeks on the initial design work to create the right proportions and details. After the design had been finalised, four months was spent to craft the piece from the drawings to actual necklace, so as you see it was a long process.

K.P.: As the piece is hand-made, how many jewellers were involved in the creative process?

J.C.: Many skilled craftsmen worked on the Fern Collection, including a mounter, setter and polisher to complete the final piece.

K.P.: As far as I know there are also drop earrings, a cuff and a cocktail ring to complement the collection, but which piece was designed first?

J.C.: Actually, everything was done simultaneously, the collection was designed as a suite.

Asprey_Necklace_on_deck

K.P.: Were there any pieces that you designed for the collection, but did not produce? S.L.: Yes, when we designed the collection there were many drawings, but we then edited it to produce the strongest pieces to reflect the concept. K.P.: Were you considering using other green gemstones instead of the emerald, e.g. tsavorites?  J.C.: Not really. The Fern collection was always just going to be created with emeralds. They were chosen for their rare beauty and the perfect colour representative of the Fern leaf. S.L.: Yes, we were using block colour in all the pieces so we felt a ray of green emeralds would complement the design perfectly. K.P.: What is this magnificent emerald used in the pendant? J.C.: It is a 5.10cts Columbian emerald. It was cut from the rough to ensure the colour match to the other rich green stones in the suite. We also cut this emerald to fit the design and as the result you can see a magnificent pear-shaped emerald. It is set in the centre pendant which can actually be taken off and worn on a chain separately from the necklace.

S.L.: Yes, when we designed the collection there were many drawings, but we then edited it to produce the strongest pieces to reflect the concept.

K.P.: Were you considering using other green gemstones instead of the emerald, e.g. tsavorites? 

J.C.: Not really. The Fern collection was always just going to be created with emeralds. They were chosen for their rare beauty and the perfect colour representative of the Fern leaf.

S.L.: Yes, we were using block colour in all the pieces so we felt a ray of green emeralds would complement the design perfectly.

K.P.: What is this magnificent emerald used in the pendant?

J.C.: It is a 5.10cts Columbian emerald. It was cut from the rough to ensure the colour match to the other rich green stones in the suite. We also cut this emerald to fit the design and as the result you can see a magnificent pear-shaped emerald. It is set in the centre pendant which can actually be taken off and worn on a chain separately from the necklace.

K.P.: It is a good idea, not only this necklace magnificent and striking, but also versatile. Which three words would you describe the Fern necklace with? S.L.: Elegant, feminine and seductive. K.P.: What celebrity would you this jewel would look perfect on? And why? S.L.: I feel the Fern necklace would look amazing on Eva Green because of her sensuality and elegance – her piercing green eyes would complement the rich opulence of the piece. K.P.: Why in your opinion this jewel is so desirable? S.L.: I feel this piece is unique as it tells a beautiful story of the English woodland, taking an element of nature to form a piece which flows and caresses the décolletage of a woman. K.P.: Would you say it is not just a stunning piece of jewellery but an investment as well? S.L.: I would say pieces created by the house of Asprey are always an investment.  Asprey is one of the oldest jewellery houses in the world, through the centuries it has produced jewellery that has become family heirlooms, and still continues to do so today.

S.L.: Elegant, feminine and seductive.

K.P.: What celebrity would you this jewel would look perfect on? And why?

S.L.: I feel the Fern necklace would look amazing on Eva Green because of her sensuality and elegance – her piercing green eyes would complement the rich opulence of the piece.

K.P.: Why in your opinion this jewel is so desirable?

S.L.: I feel this piece is unique as it tells a beautiful story of the English woodland, taking an element of nature to form a piece which flows and caresses the décolletage of a woman.

K.P.: Would you say it is not just a stunning piece of jewellery but an investment as well?

S.L.: I would say pieces created by the house of Asprey are always an investment.  Asprey is one of the oldest jewellery houses in the world, through the centuries it has produced jewellery that has become family heirlooms, and still continues to do so today.