Business profile - Bespoke by Baskerville
- Credit: Archant
Fenella Baskerville is an acclaimed jewellery designer who creates stunning bespoke pieces working with precious gems of all colours
What got you into jewellery design?
My interest in jewellery-making first began in my grandfather’s workshop where I was surrounded by colourful perspex. All I could think about was turning it into jewellery! I studied 3D design in Manchester and was soon making pieces in silver, which I sold to the Royal Exchange in Manchester. Once I had graduated I moved down to London where I had a workshop and also worked for a short spell in the Great Frog, the iconic jewellers in Carnaby Street, and Jess James. I also worked with the marvellous David Morris jewellers on Bond Street, where I gained much valuable knowledge. During my time at David Morris we made an exceptional heart shaped diamond necklace that Victoria Beckham wore to host a charity event and was all over the ‘gossip’ magazines of the time. I then moved to work with the international designer Stephen Webster, where again I learned so much.
Have you worked with celebrities?
Oh yes, I have a little black book! My period with Stephen Webster was a highly creative time, during which I had the opportunity to source magnificent diamonds for A-list celebrities. I was tasked with taking the brief for a vintage-style ring for a famous singer, a 3ct stone set in a vintage style with baguette diamonds, which I then had to wear on my finger and take in person to Los Angeles just as the story of her engagement was breaking. I also sourced a natural yellow diamond in New York for another celebrity…
What brings you to Cheshire?
I was born and grew up in Knutsford. When I left, like many young people I didn’t think I’d ever return, but when I was expecting my son ten years ago it suddenly felt very much the right thing to do, so we moved back.
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What’s the first piece of advice you offer to new customers?
Some people come to me with quite a clear idea of what they want and others have no idea at all. The first thing I do is take them through the design process and will show them previous designs I have made, which can help to inspire them. Quite often people come with pieces that have been left to them that they want to be re-made into something they can wear, but don’t really know what that might be. We work out together what their dream piece would be and then I can set about sourcing the stones we need to make that happen. Of course, this being Cheshire some customers have a very flexible budget, but this isn’t always the case, so I make sure we establish this first!
What is it that surprises your clients most about choosing to have a piece of jewellery made bespoke for them?
To be honest, it’s usually the cost – and in a good way! As I have none of retailer’s overheads I can pass those savings on to my customers.
What has been your most exciting brief since establishing yourself in Cheshire?
I created a fabulous ring using a princess cut 3ct white diamond of the best colour and clarity (and three carats is a BIG stone!) in an octagonal halo of princess cut diamonds. Each one was hand-cut and I had to meet the cutter and select every stone myself. A year later Pippa Middleton got engaged and her ring was remarkably similar…though it cost an awful lot more!
Do you have a favourite gemstone?
I love coloured diamonds, especially green and yellow ones, contrasted with rich metal colours. I think my favourite would be a champagne diamond within a rose gold setting.
07775 500 588 bespokebybaskerville.co.uk