Topiary & Ashe


For me, the discarding consumerist culture in which we live has become the adversary of all that is real and good. In such a world no product has soul and nothing is created for the individual. Many age-old skills that take time to master, have been lost. It has become a world of pretense instead of authenticity. Authenticity and honesty of skill, materials, design and of customer relations are all very important elements of my business.

Designers have to be aware of dwindling resources and a general accountability in commerce. Moving away from the soulless products of a throw-away society, which has no regard for ethics when it comes to production or trading, is key. There is now a growing trend towards true quality and it has become increasingly important for customers to know the people ‘behind the product’ and what they stand for. The 'sense of process' and a good all-inclusive experience are now important aspects of general client satisfaction.



design methodology

Design methodology has to be intrinsically linked with the concept of integrity. Integrity of design and of craftsmanship, as well as that of quality of the materials, are all aspects I judge as being part of my belief system.

The methods I aim to follow are intertwined with my own life philosophy and history. My academic background as well as the time we spent obtaining firsthand experience in the jewellery and couture industries have led me to believe that nothing can be done without being underscored by the thorough investigation of all content and context.

When it comes to the design process, inspiration comes to me from many different avenues. I am both motivated by history as well as my immediate surroundings. Many of my designs incorporate an interesting tension caused by a juxta-positioning of modern and old, intricate and clean lines, masculine and feminine. This tension, I feel is in tune with my personal experience of the environment I live in. This is for me also indicative of modern culture, where individuals are free to choose to interact with an assortment of style identities.

For me the human form is central to a design. When designing for a client, the individual unequivocally informs the creative process. I am therefore not only interested in the design piece as an entity on its own, but also in the way it interacts with the person and the human form/body. Herein ‘form’ and ‘function’ meets. The assessment of the client’s needs, which is often a mixture of emotional, physical and social content, informs the development of a design.



bespoke - client & jeweller relationship

I enjoy creating bespoke pieces, as this is when I really  touch base with people’s true experience of jewellery. The intuitive process of summing up the client’s needs becomes the challenge. These are ideas that they often cannot express themselves. As designers we are thereafter confronted with the task of communicating the end result to the client before they have physically held it in their hands. Together with design aids such as technical drawings, CAD and made-up samples there is always a measure of faith that comes into play. This affirms the building of an relationship that works both ways.

The satisfaction of the bespoke design process is entwined with that magical moment when the client flips open the jewellery box for the first time and great delight or outright emotion can be seen on their faces. This is the culmination of both the designer’s and the client’s intent and is hopefully always a joyful moment.