Unique, stunningly chic gemstone necklaces, known as wearable art
About Barbara Acton-Bond
Our Service PledgeLike many jewellery makers, I design necklaces I would love to wear myself. So much so, it is always hard to part with one of my pieces. When I make a necklace, I will not go ahead with it's completion until I am completely satisfied as to how it lies, how special and flattering it looks and how balanced all the details are. If it takes many attempts, I will carry on until I have that lovely "yes" feeling inside. I try to always find the best quality and colour I can, within reason and price. And I want to make you feel absolutely delighted with your purchase. Each necklace is a one-off design, so no one will have what you have. And I am pleased to say, I have always had delighted feedback and repeat buyers. Nothing is hidden. Every detail is explained, and if I have not included something you want to know, please don't hesitate to get in touch. I give a year's guarantee with every necklace, so that if threads should break, I will re-make the necklace for free, other than the postage costs. I use very special Japanese threads, expensive for me to buy, but very strong and reliable. However if a breakage occurs, as in you drop the necklace, I will have to charge you for the re-making and supply of materials. But this does not happen often. My aim is for you to be thrilled, charmed and complemented by my necklace.
About UsI have been designing one-off necklaces, using antique elements and gemstones for over 15 years, selling in prestigious shops in Britain.
Originally inspired by ancient Chinese court jewellery, I began designing and making necklaces over 15 years ago. Having lived in Hong Kong for a number of years, I followed my passion for antiques by being trained in Chinese antiquities, and it was then when I became fascinated by the Chinese court necklaces. In the midst of a market, I was convinced I could create necklaces along these lines, with a contemporary Western sensibility. My training is art historical and journalistic, but I somehow began making necklaces, which, within six months, I was selling in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and then at Fortnum & Masons and Libertys in London. This was followed by the Royal Academy and the British Museum, where I am currently selling. I must have done something right. My knowledge of stones, jades and other materials has grown enormously, along with my skills in making necklaces. However I now have added period antiques to my necklaces, along with the Chinese influence, using Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco pieces in my designs.
I travel all around the world to hunt down interesting, unique pieces. If I want to use special elements, I need to travel. I use semi-precious and precious stones. along with antique and vintage jades and jadeite, which come in many colours. The vintage pieces are usually of nephrite or celadon jade. I love handmade silver, traditionally crafted gold, handblown glass (usually from Murano and in particular made by a master glass blower, Moulaye Niang), hand carved antique bone and mammoth (as mammoth are extinct, their unearthed tusks are acceptable material for the Chinese carvers) antique or handcarved wood pieces, in fact whatever makes a striking, interesting, balanced, elegant necklace, meant to flatter the wearer rather than overwhelm.
Most of the handmade silver I use is from the Karen hill tribes in Thailand. This is fair trade silver, crafted by individual artisans who use 98% pure silver and treat each bead as if it was a mini sculpture. They work in their villages, creating unique designs of their own.
I also tend to seek out the traditionally made, vintage 18 carat gold made by Aghanis who use a technique they have practiced since Alexander the Great. They make hardened resin (wax) shapes and cover it with 18 carat gold sheet metal and then they etch or carve it. This is a skilled, time consuming craft. But they also use the gold on silver on resin (a less expensive option). For me, it is that lovely, rich yellow, Roman gold I am drawn to as well as the craftsmanship. It is also a less expensive choice, although still quite costly to buy. I also use Vermeil findings when needed.
I have been told by my clients that my necklaces are wearable art. But they are also unique necklaces which will not and cannot be repeated and they take at least 2 days to design and make. I have often been asked why I only create necklaces? The answer is simple: necklaces frame and illuminated the face. They can bring something that no other piece of jewellery can. And they are a game changer to a look. So don't be surprised if someone stops you to admire you in your necklace. Apparently, it happens a lot.
From time to time, I will also be adding antique items, be they antique jewellery, silver or antique decoratives, as I have been, and occasionally continue to be an antique dealer in the UK. Although I am chiefly a jewellery designer, the love of antiques is deeply entrenched. So when I go hunting for antique elements for my necklaces, my wandering eyes can't resist antiques as well, which I then hope to pass on to you to enjoy.