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Artist of the month : Leoma Drew

Posted on November 01 2017

Artist of the month : Leoma Drew

Leoma Drew is one of our most popular jewellers, her designs seem to really speak to our customers. We're excited to share this little interview with Leoma, it was such a pleasure.

Can you tell me a bit more about yourself and why you began designing? I actually first wanted to become a jeweller when I was about 8 years old. I won a local drawing competition and was awarded a 'fimo Jewellery get set' of my own choosing. I then became obsessed with making my friends and family jewellery pieces.

Where do you get your ideas for the motifs you use in your jewellery? It all started with a butterfly theme. I have a few ranges and they are influenced by each other, becoming more and more abstract. Originally I studied fine art and as my work progressed and developed the butterfly became a predominant symbol that kept presenting itself. The exploration of the butterfly's shape and form led to small hand crafted sculptural outcomes that would later become a signature style within my Jewellery practice.    

Where are you based and does this inspire your work? I am based in Hereford, not such a lively city but one I love for its simplicity and beautiful countryside.

Which designers/artists do you admire? There are so many, I'm a big collector of other jewellers work, especially rings and earrings. I have many pieces from Rozie Keogh, John Moore, Tunja Ufer, Chris Boland - the list could go on. However I Mike Gell has been a huge influence during my jewellery career. I have been working for him for 9 years now. I look up to him as a designer, mentor and friend. My favourite artist would be Frida Kahlo. I even have a tattoo of her.      

What are you working on right now? I am working on a collection of brooches; I enjoy making these the most because they can be more sculptural. The stones that I'm using are similar to the shapes I use in my other work with simple shadows of detail.

What's your finest moment so far? I have had many. But I was particularly proud of myself when I produced the Bulmer's golden apple trophies. Using different local companies it was really hard work and very stressful, but I was proud of the final result. I even managed to source the wood for the bases from the original oak vats that held the cider in the old factory. I learnt a lot in this process.    

Where's your favourite place in the world? Joshua tree in California is the best place that I have visited. We drove for miles through it and it was beautiful. Saying that; there is no place like home.

What advice do you have for aspiring designers? Enjoy what you do. If you don't then it will be even harder for your work to become a success. I also believe that hard work does pay off, and when you first start to sell, invest this back into materials. Only buys tools as and when you need them and good clean images on a white background always work the best.