Ciara is Jacobs the Jewellers in house designer. In this blog, we had a short Q&A session to learn a little more about her, and the design process as a whole.

How did you get interested in jewellery?JewelleryDesigner

During my teens, (some years ago now!) I started having a deep interest in jewellery design. I collected quite an extensive range of silver & beaded jewellery. My jewellery design path began in a wonderful place called Grennan Mill Craft School in Ireland. That was where the real designing & making began. After that I was fortunate enough to study jewellery & silversmith design in the UK at the Bishopsland centre near Reading. We do an annual design competition with the students from that organisation each June so it’s great to still be working with them.

What’s the role of ‘designer’ like at Jacobs?

It’s an amazing position being Jacobs in-house jewellery designer! I love the end to end path of making individual jewellery designs for clients. From the first chat, and tentative sketches, to working out details & ultimately presenting the bespoke-made finished piece to the customer: seeing the smiles on their faces is very fulfilling and gives me great job satisfaction.

Typically what do clients ask you do to do, and why?

Our clients have jewellery designed for many reasons. Often it will be to mark a very special occasion. Sometimes I am asked to design a piece to reset some of their own gemstones, normally of high sentimental value where they previously would have been worn by a close family member. Throughout the jewellery design process, I love to hear my clients’ stories as every new piece will have a tale attached to it.

I love the anticipation of the initial enquiry as I never know what lies ahead. A jewellery design can range in anything from a handmade silver enamelled brooch to a CAD designed 3 Carat diamond pendant. There is always some new learning with every project. I love the challenges of understanding my customer’s ideas & then translating them into something real & tangible. To help with this process I use hand sketching & CAD design program. The CAD design enables me to create realistic rendered images to scale so my clients can truly visualise the designs.

How does a design project work in practical terms?

A design project can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. I enjoy coordinating & planning the projects, from meeting with clients, liaising with the casting houses and goldsmiths  within our in-house workshop to meeting the deadlines. One of the absolute best parts of the job is seeing the delight & happiness on my customer’s face when they try on the finished piece. It’s a special & very personal journey that we have taken together.  Being a sentimental person I very much understand the importance of getting the finished piece exactly right so my clients can truly treasure it & that they feel special wearing it. I’m often in touch after we’ve delivered a piece to check in with my customers & I really get a buzz out of seeing customers wearing our designs with a beaming smile!

You can contact Ciara for a chat over a coffee in the shop to discuss your ideas @ or on 0118 9590 790. Some of our designs, and more information, can be see here