I watched Channel 4's 'The Million Pound Necklace: Inside Boodles' this week on 4oD (it first aired in March this year when I was rather busy making a million necklaces). It was a totally fascinating insight into the rarefied air that is breathed by those at the top end of the jewellery business. You can read The Independent's review here and watch a clip from the introduction to the programme below. It may even be possible to watch the entire programme on Daily Motion here or on the 4oD website if you are in the UK. It's a great for those that are similarly fascinated about how things are made.
Inside Boodles from Illustrated London News on Vimeo.
It made me smile a little to see many different people doing all the varied jobs that go into producing a one-of-a-kind necklace. I do all of those jobs myself. I design, I make, I source my stones and I sell. Perhaps there are less flights to New York and less champagne but essentially, when its all stripped down, Boodles and I, well, we do the same thing.
I wonder what Jody Wainwright, the man tasked with tracking down many of the expensive stones for Boodles, would think of me and my surf tumbled pebbles?
I've been debating with myself for a while as to the merits of precious vs semi precious stones. There are ethical implications. There is the obvious cost issue and the investment involved too. With respect to cost though, I question the REAL value of these so called 'precious' stones (as illustrated in this short film on the College Humor website titles 'Why Engagement Rings are a Scam' click here to view it.)
As I made this ring though, some of the confusion and questions I continue to ask myself began to fall into the background. The resulting composition has a purity and a simplicity. It has a ring of truth about it. It was just SO far from what I'd just watched.
It is composed of material as old as the earth itself. Igneous, crystalline, super heated and then cooled. Pushed up into a mountainous range and then frost shattered into a fragment, carried by a glacier and eventually worn and tumbled by an ocean that appeared as the temperatures slowly rose. A million years later, I picked it up.
I made the band slim, slight, much thinner that I would normally. It feels right, it contrasts with the height of the stone in a pleasing, slightly incongruous way.
There is beauty that comes with a price tag, beauty that is justified as an investment, as a display of wealth and position and then there is beauty that is beautiful when no one is looking, that is beautiful in a quiet way. They both have a place. And I reckon me and Jody, well I reckon we would have a lot in common.