Amy Burton FGA D GA
Jewellery Designer & Gemmologist
In some ways Amy Burton has been moving towards the launch of her eponymous fine jewellery collection her whole life. Born into a family who deal in some of the most exceptional antique and vintage jewels on the market, it was perhaps inevitable that these pieces would inspire her to want to create her own. She joined the family business, Hancocks London, in 2009 and started buying antique and signed jewellery whilst simultaneously studying for diplomas in diamond grading and gemmologyat London’s Gemmological Association, gaining the coveted qualifications of D.G.A. and F.G.A.
Inspired and informed by her newly acquired gem knowledge, Amy began to buy beautiful, unique gemstones imagining all the ways she could bring these to life and make them wearable. Realising that the best way to accurately communicate all these ideas was to learn the art and technique of jewellery design she enrolled on a course at the highly regarded Gemological Institute of America.
Here she learnt how to render her designs in detail and with the exacting precision that allowed others to see and understand them too. Constant practice honed her innate artistic ability and she began to develop a style that was identifiable as her own. This was recognised at the end of the course when she won the H. Goldie Jewellery Design Competition for 2013. Two years later she was awarded ‘Silver’ in the Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council annual awards for her ‘Skyline’ rings. These cleverly depicted the skylines of cities including London and Paris using irregular and interesting shaped diamonds to form landmarks such as the Shard and the Gherkin.
Having always felt drawn towards bold, stylish jewels, Amy wanted to create unusual but wearable fine jewellery with a strong design aesthetic. She drew inspiration from a wide range of sources including art, travel and sculpture all of which are reflected in these new collections. Along with her appreciation of design Amy also believes strongly in the importance of fine craftsmanship and quality handmade work. Consequently all her jewellery is made here in the UK by hugely experienced and talented master craftsmen each chosen for their particular expertise.
Amy Burton says: “Craftsmanship is paramount. To be considered truly fine jewellery in my eyes it has to be a tiny masterpiece. Finished as beautifully on the back as the front and from every direction. Exceptional craftsmanship and innovative beautiful design are what set a jewel apart from the crowd.”
Amy’s collections are unified by their exciting shapes, original designs, use of stunning gemstones and fine craftsmanship; however each maintains its own distinct identity and personality.
Amy says: “In a lot of my design I love to walk a line between architectural, sculptural design and femininity. I keep toying with the design until I can feel that balance.”
Amy adds: “My aim is to design finely crafted beautiful jewellery that people will love, balancing unusual and original design with elegance and wearability.”
The Disorient collection is characterised by strong architectural lines that cleverly play with ideas of volume, geometry and negative space to create bold sculptural jewels that are substantial but also light, open and feminine. The complex asymmetry of the pieces is complemented by a variety of beautiful gems from a gentle blush morganite to an icy blue aquamarine.
The centrepiece for the 2017 collection is a stunning cuff bangle of entwined gold woven in a seemingly random and disoriented maze around a 123.70 carat rich purple amethyst. The apparently chaotic structure of the piece belies the hours of work taken to ensure that every line and angle was perfectly balanced to create the dynamic effect Amy was so keen to achieve. Following the same aesthetic but on a smaller scale, a rose gold pendant is set with a deep pink cushion tourmaline, the softly rounded shape of the stone brilliantly juxtaposed against the geometric angels of the gold surrounding it.
As the name of this collection suggests, ea ch piece is completely unique and created around an exceptional gemstone whose shape and character wholly inspired the design into which it is set. These include a stunning golden yellow 63.80ct unheated sapphire in a beautifully fine openwork ring with the stone appearing to float within its platinum and diamond basket.
Another ring was created to showcase a pair of truly extraordinary antique cushion diamonds for which Amy conceived a cross-over style setting of elegant fluted design set with myriad single-cut diamonds in contrast to the large main stones which weigh 41.78cts between them. An old step-cut diamond of exquisite limpid beauty and unusually wide cut corners was the inspiration for a wonderful bombe shape open- work ring. The stone is suspended within a fine geometric diamond web , the form of which echoes the facet pattern of the stone, complementing it perfectly.
Crescendo was so named because this collection is based around the idea of colour and the effects that can be achieved with clever use of graduation in terms of shade, tone and strength. The centrepiece is a truly show-stopping bib necklace that uses a mix of different gemstones to create a beautiful flow of colour building from a soft lilac through to intense raspberry pink and a deep, regal purple.
The gemstones which include tourmaline, garnet and amethyst are all cut in beautifully matched square sugar loaf shapes. Amy specifically chose this style of cut, with its gently rounded sides and relatively few facets as it really enhances the colour of a gem, something which w as critical to the nature of this design. Complimenting this necklace is a lovely pair of earrings with reverse set graduated gems and with future pieces Amy plans to continue exploring this theme of graduating, building and playing with colour.
Amy Burton Fine Jewellery is available exclusively at Hancocks London.