Andrea Cowan follows the sparkles as she investigates six of the best jewellery designers in the county.

Caroline Tetley

Caroline has always enjoyed the scale of jewellery making and its technical demands. But she also found herself drawn to the emotive power of working with colour, and while at art college in Bristol 20 years ago she discovered the translucent vibrancy and range of enamel colours. She combined the two disciplines to become a designer of enamelled silver jewellery and never looked back. She takes inspiration from the natural world and from folklore: sometimes just a line of poetry will sow the seeds of a design.

Caroline is a member of the Guild of Enamellers and runs jewellery and enamelling workshops in her studio near Wells.

Great British Life: Daniel Musselwhite jewelleryDaniel Musselwhite jewellery (Image: Daniel Musselwhite)

Daniel Musselwhite

Eagle-eyed readers will recognise the name of the Frome-based jeweller who made the semi-finals of the BBC’s series All That Glitters in 2021.

Daniel has over 25 years of experience working with precious metals, recycled metals, and gemstones which he incorporates into his bespoke, contemporary jewellery. He is inspired by organic and fluid forms, and you’ll find signature designs in his collection with names such as Wave, Cloud, Thunder, and Water. In addition, he works to commission, working with the clients to incorporate their ideas and inspirations into the pieces.

Daniel also runs both Beginners and Advanced workshops from his studio in the Black Swan Arts centre in Frome.

Erica Sharpe

Erica Sharpe describes her jewellery as a beautiful, personal, artistic and spiritual celebration of her craft and the ethically sourced materials used, which include Fairtrade or recycled precious metals and ethically sourced gemstones. Erica established her business in 1992 and her aim is to bring joy to ‘all who are part of the creative journey, from miner to wearer.’

With nearly 30 years’ experience as a jeweller, Erica has taken the skills and attributes of her traditional fine jewellery making education and brought them into modern times, creating unique pieces and collections. She offers a popular service in remodelling old family jewels and works by appointment only from her studio in Wedmore.

Great British Life: Solange in her studio Solange in her studio (Image: Solange Jewellery)


Swiss Peruvian Solange began her career when she moved to Somerset in the 1970s. Working with her partner, the late Martin Doyle, their first collection of fashion jewellery was launched in 1983 and picked up by Harrods, Liberty and Harvey Nichols.

Solange describes her style as minimalist and sculptural, finding inspiration in architecture which results in bold and abstract designs with geometrical shapes. She is also inspired by the stones she works with, many of which she has sourced during her travels abroad. She selects them for their colours, meaning and symbolism, working directly with stone cutters to get her unique shapes which are then set in ethical and recycled metals.

Julia Thompson

Julia Thompson’s jewellery are distinctive whimsical designs, taking inspiration from rural Somerset and drawing on nature and wildlife with a folkloric narrative theme. Her latest collection, Opal Opulence, comprises of unique stacking nest rings, droplet earrings and gemstone necklaces.

Transparency and sustainability are at the core of Julia’s business. As a result, she works with responsibly sourced materials such as fully traceable quartz, beryl, sapphires and boulder gemstones, set within recycled silver and Sotrami mined Fairtrade Gold from Peru: Julia became a Fairtrade Gold Licensee in April 2022.

She is passionate about passing on traditional skills and techniques and runs jewellery making workshops and courses in her South Somerset studio.

Great British Life: Clare Chandler in her studioClare Chandler in her studio (Image: Naomi Jane Photography)

Clare Chandler

Clare Chandler has been designing and making jewellery for over twenty years. Her female led Bristol workshop, Clifton Rocks, was set up in 2009 and specialises in one-off commissions, wedding and engagement rings. There is a strong drive to use responsibly sourced materials, where possible, and as such, the team works with small scale, artisanal gem producers in Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Australia, and consequently are able to source and supply fully traceable gemstones.

Clare also supplies Fairmined Gold, a guarantee that the gold is fully traceable, extracted with the best mining practices aimed at preserving the environment, and that supports the development of artisanal and small-scale mining communities.