In Focus: Skomer
‘In Focus’ is a new segment in which The VogueCIEL looks at emerging brands that have a focus on craftsmanship and ethics.
‘A contemporary brand with everything made to last and be worn forever.'
Is how jewellery designer and maker, Daisy Simpson, describes her London-based brand, Skomer. The pieces in the debut collection are nouveau, current, yet hold a timeless quality. For example, the ‘Kink Pipe’, ‘Puddle’ and ‘Drop Out’ earrings could all easily substitute classic gold hoops, but will never be mistaken for them, as they’re distinguished by modest and novel tweaks. Skomer’s aesthetic isn’t just for the minimal or maximalist and certainly not the purist, it’s truly inclusive; the unfussed earrings are to be worn with a plain white tee and hair in a low chignon, or framed with small studs and hoops.Here’s what Daisy told us about Skomer.
When did you start Skomer, and why?
I started Skomer earlier this year around June time, but the idea began a few years ago after I had studied Silversmithing at Kensington and Chelsea college. I started making jewellery, particularly earrings for friends and family and that encouraged me to try to see if I could make something more out of what I was doing hence Skomer was born. I decided to name the brand after my granddad's favourite boat which he owned through his own business. It made sense to me to want to take that name on with what I wanted to do.I have always loved jewellery and I think that has subconsciously been playing on my mind since I was young. I have these very early memories of being completely in awe of my Grandma's simple gold chain with an Evil Eye pendant, Disney's Esmeralda one simple hoop earring and then through my teenage years being obsessed with the idea of a ring on every finger.
What inspires your designs?
Anything and everything inspires my designs, from set design to line drawings, even maps which is where the design for the Island earrings came from. I could be walking along and see a formation in the pavement and think that the outline would make a great earring. I think my boyfriend is sick of me stopping to take pictures of random and mundane things that people simply walk past every day. You should see my photo gallery on my phone! I think this very organic research and design stage has kept my brand away from having an overall theme which I like. The individual pieces don't fall into trends but just stand strongly on their own. I don't have a 'target market', anyone can buy Skomer jewellery. Although having said that a plan next year is to do one-off special collections that only one of each design is made around a certain theme, but these will be very much just an extension of the eclectic brand that Skomer is.
How do you make the pieces?
Everything is made by hand in my studio in Leyton, either out of brass or recycled sterling silver. All of the gold plating is outsourced to platers based in London as its a very specialised part of the process, the expertise of these guys is second to none. I was super nervous to take my first pieces to them, I haven't come up through jewellery and Silversmithing in the most traditional way. But the helpfulness and willingness of the team has really spurred me on and encouraged me to ask questions about the process to fully understand it.
Will you create other jewellery pieces in the future?
Of course! Skomer is definitely a permanent thing, it might change, grow and evolve but as long as I am making things it will stay. I have started with earrings as I wanted to give myself a framework in which to create designs. As I was starting out and doing this part time I felt that giving myself a framework would make it a little manageable without thinking about necklaces, rings, bracelets and brooches and for this to start feeling a little overwhelming... These will all come next year, and I have started to design necklaces and rings. This pace feels right to me, I don't want to rush this, I really want to take this slow. I am only one person and the most important thing to me is enjoying making the jewellery. When I first started Skomer earlier this year I was obsessed with growing the brand really quickly and that really took away from the simple pleasure of just sitting down and making things - it was all social media, branding, PR etc which are all really important but these should be secondary. The jewellery comes first.The reason why I chose earrings as my starting point with Skomer was the structural freedom the earring has compared to all of the other different jewellery types. Earrings don't rest against or have to sculpt themselves around the body. Earrings hang free which allows for different shapes and techniques to be used. Earrings are slowly coming back into the consciousness of people. Long they have been forgotten but in 2017 and I think the next few years will be the time of the earring. People have re-learnt something that has slipped our minds for the last few decades - like a great manicure, earrings can lift a look, completely frame a face without the need for any make-up (just great skincare).With future plans, I have a lot in mind. This week I have started a welding course at Blackhorse Road Workshop, which I am really excited about. What I want to do with this is branch out and take my skills into creating bigger interiors pieces with metals such as brass and copper. Sculpture in everyday items such as coffee tables, vases and bookshelves is a big interest to me and I feel naturally falls alongside jewellery - both interiors and jewellery are decorative - one dresses your environment and the other your body, they are two sides of the same coin.