/ Jeremy Bryant: Meet the Maker /
To coincide with the launch of his Colossus collection, contemporary jeweller Jeremy Bryant took some time out to sit down with us and share some insights into his work. He explains how he found his way into the jewellery world, and the inspirations behind his unique designs.
PO8: Tell us a bit about your background, how did you make your way into the jewellery industry?
JB: It took me a while to get to the point where I realised that I wanted to work in jewellery, but I have always been fascinated by it, even from a very young age. I can remember as a little boy sitting on my Mum’s or Nana’s lap and playing with the rings on their fingers.
I was very lucky that my parents and family always nurtured my interest in art and design, which eventually led me down the road to studying jewellery and pursuing this more definitely.
PO8: Your jewellery is defined by bold forms with a refined focus on symmetry & balance. Where does this design ideation stem from?
JB: It is in my nature to balance everything and make it symmetrical. I was hopeless at maths as a child so I think this is my way of finally getting my head around it, albeit via an artistic channel. My Dad was also a draughtsman when I was growing up, doing all of his technical drawings by hand, so this is probably where it stems from as well.
PO8: How do your collections begin - with the sourcing of unusual materials, which in turn inspires new designs? Or do you envision new pieces and then search for the perfect materials to realise those designs?
JB: It’s either the material or the idea; one can come before the other, I can never tell. Usually the idea comes first and I play with the opals and other materials to suit my vision.
I really enjoy cutting opals into new shapes and moving away from ovals or freeform shapes. This is a little sacrilegious when it comes to opals as you want to get the maximum amount of colour. Although I think a little bit of colour can be sacrificed for a more attractive and dynamic piece at the end of the day.
PO8: Where do you go for your greatest sources of design inspiration? What inspires you?
JB: Life is quite inspiring. There are so many tiny useless things every day that can grow into the most amazing idea or design. Of course I read a lot and devour history, this is a very important thing, but you can find the best inspiration as soon as you start looking, and also when you stop.
PO8: Who is your favourite designer and why?
JB: It may sound like the hot favourite of the moment, given the documentary that has just come out about him, but I would have to say my favourite designer was definitely Alexander McQueen. His design was such genius. His sense of scale, the collaborations he did with other artists like the jeweller Shaun Leane, it was perfect to me. Every new collection he did resonated, I felt like I understood it. And it never wavered, it was just perfect every time, at least to me it was. From the early collections that I started to see as a high school student, right through to his last complete collection, Plato’s Atlantis, I was in awe.