Ventnor, Isle of Wight. Silver, 18-ct gold & enamel. Outlets include Gill Wing Jewellery, London, Sarah May Jewellery, Richmond & Jewel Thief, Brighton.
Isle of Wight born jeweller Sophie Honeybourne gained a 1st class BA Honours going on to complete a two year Masters at London's Royal College of Art. During her time at the RCA top Island based silversmith, Chris Morphy, took Sophie on as an apprentice. The combination of modern design and traditional jewellery skills, enabled Sophie to create her own unique style. The end of year graduation show in 2003 at the RCA saw Sophie's entire collection of around 25 pieces ranging from £50 to £2000 sell out, gaining attention and orders from some of the countries top shops and galleries.
Although it was tempting to stay and work in London as most of her contemporaries did, going on to become successful fashion designers, accessory designers and shop/gallery owners, Sophie could see the potential of starting up her own business back home in Ventnor. As London is only three hours away, she could still be part of the contemporary jewellery scene but keep her much loved Island lifestyle of countryside walks and sea swimming in beautiful empty coves, which had become Sophie's main source of inspiration.
The victorian seaside town of Ventnor, once described by Charles Dickens as "the prettiest place I ever saw in my life" is at present enjoying a resurgence as people are unable to resist it's charm, beauty and continental feel. During April 2006, Sophie and her fiancé Raff bought a four storey town house with a little shop naming it Honeybourne Jewellery, it has so far proved a huge success!. The couple work closely with around 150 private clients, designing and making bespoke pieces in gold and silver using diamonds and semi-precious stones. The shop also hosts Sophie's signature work, hot enamels in seasonal colours, working with a palette of over 40 shades.
Honeybourne Jewellery remains a permanent fixture within the jewellery scene, stocking anything up to 20 shops and galleries around the country and exhibiting every year at Dazzle's London, Manchester and Glasgow exhibitions. For the first time in August this year the couple will take a collection of enamel work to the New York Gift Fair under the umbrella of the Crafts Council.