Ruth Tomlinson’s jewellery often appears to have been plucked directly from nature. Globules of gold gather like barnacles around clusters of diamonds and pearls; rough-hewn sapphires are set at angles, as if they’ve been thrown together by chance. It’s fitting, then, that this month the London designer-maker unveiled a new collection of emerald and diamond jewellery made in collaboration with sustainable mining specialist Gemfields.
“The Jardin collection pays homage to the strata and formations of rock in the earth’s crust,” says Tomlinson, “while the ‘salt and pepper’ [white and black] baguette-cut diamonds reference the angular lines and shapes of the rocks where they are discovered.” Dramatic drop earrings (£10,800), an asymmetric cocktail ring (£9,200) and a matching necklace (£9,800) are wrought in both yellow and white gold in her signature unpolished finish, while the aforementioned diamonds lend a 1930s art deco vibe.
“My work is often a response to my immediate environment, whether a fleeting moment on a train or being immersed in a single jewel at a museum. I’m inspired by the mysteries of historical jewels and the ephemerality of birth and decay,” says Tomlinson, adding that she’s very hands-on in the design process. “For me there's huge pleasure and value in letting the idea flow at the bench. I let the stone guide the way.”