Cornish Jewellery designer Justin Duance creates original designs featuring recycled precious metals and gemstones, wood and even local sand

Head to an old sail loft in the ancient fishing town of Newlyn and discover some of the most striking – and ethical - contemporary jewellery in the UK

Jewellery designer Justin Duance is making quite a name for himself with his sensitive, innovative and original designs featuring recycled precious metals and gemstones, wood and even local sand.

Having studied and initially set up his business in London, the Cornish tide drew Justin inexorably back to his roots and to the rich reserves of inspiration provided by this most dramatic part of the world. The landscape continues to inform both his designs and his materials, resulting in organic, gorgeously tactile, handmade pieces, specialising in bespoke wedding and engagement rings.

Justin combines recycled precious metals and gemstones with salvaged wood inlays, creating a paradoxically dynamic harmony inspired by the elemental Cornish coast.

Provenance, history and local sourcing are all key to Justin’s pieces and his wood comes with its own rich narrative. We have used oak for our wooden rings that began as the keel of a 1906 Cornish Lugger, fittingly called The Happy Return; our elm is sourced from Cornish gig boats; and plum wood is cut from a local orchard,’ says Justin.

Justin’s newest range involves his unique method of sandcasting, where molten metal is skillfully poured directly into a mold-filled with sand, a technique more usually applied to casting car parts.

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The odd rough grain that remains in the ring after it has been cast adds a fantastic texture,’ says Justin. And, as each mold is used only once, every ring is totally unique.

This article first appeared in the April 2015 issue of Cornwall Life