12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today click here

Meet the Artisan jeweller: Will Bishop

PUBLISHED: 16:48 13 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:52 27 October 2016

Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.

Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.

Boxford jeweller Will Bishop specialises in work that is unique, has personality and reflects his early days as a sculptor

Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.

Once a year, jeweller Will Bishop has a good clear-out. He gathers up the carpets under his bench, carefully folds up the leather pouches that catch debris from his work, empties the filters underneath various machines. Then, rather than chuck the whole dusty lot in the bin, he posts it, registered, to one of the precious metal recovery companies in Hatton Garden.

 

In return for his trouble, he receives a chit explaining how much value was in that unpromising envelope of dust, and a cheque that quite comfortably covers the cost of a family holiday.

 

Jeweller Will Bishop works with a torch in his studio at his home in Boxford.Jeweller Will Bishop works with a torch in his studio at his home in Boxford.

“They filter out any tiny shards of precious metal and turn it into bullion,” Will explains. He works from a studio, a purpose-built space behind his home in Boxford, a village that made its name from weaving in the 14th and 15th centuries. A glance round his snug space suggests that the annual clear-out is, perhaps, due. Diamond-tipped drill bits stand in a wooden block, making one part of the room appear not dissimilar to a manic dentist’s surgery.

 

Elsewhere there are cutters, pliers, some with minutely-fine tips, soldering irons, the wherewithal to gold-plate silver, to measure, hammer, saw and buff. Scattered in between the tools are works in progress, glinting pieces of silver and gold being fashioned into bumblebee earrings, vintage car cufflinks, or one of his signature chunky barrel rings. And yes, he does spend time scrabbling around on the floor in search of dropped earrings or butterflies.

 

Jeweller Will Bishop works with a torch in his studio at his home in Boxford.Jeweller Will Bishop works with a torch in his studio at his home in Boxford.

“My old studio had wooden floorboards which were a disaster – I kept losing stuff. This laminate floor is much safer!” He works on several projects at once. “There’s always something going on at every station and, yes, it can appear a bit chaotic I suppose.” His wife, Catherine, also a jeweller but more often to be found managing Will’s accounts, commissions and workflow, keeps him on track. She writes a to-do list on the whiteboard. When I visit, he has a blue topaz cocktail ring to make, a silver and pearl heart necklace, and some personalised necklace letters. Recently crossed-out completed jobs include a gold vermeil coil ring and a pearl bracelet with bee charm. He’s currently loving making a gold ear cuff, a delicate arrangement of tiny intertwined ivy leaves and minuscule cultured pearls for a client in London.

 

Will completed a first degree in sculpture. His interest morphed into jewellery after time spent in Africa. The influences of the continent are clear. Whatever the metal and whether plain or set with semi- or precious stones, his pieces are textured and organic, his designs bold, wearable, colourful and full of personality.

 

Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.

“I don’t want to make things that look as if they’re from the high street or machine made. It’s a truth that the human eye doesn’t like perfection, finds imbalance more pleasing than symmetry. I think people are going back to this, looking for things that are unique.” He makes most of his pieces to order.

 

“We’ll discuss a job over the phone first, but I like the client to come in if possible, and even to see the piece as it’s being made.” He doesn’t court celebrity (he’d quite like to make Victoria Beckham a ring, though), but admits it would have been fun if U2’s Bono and bass player Adam Clayton had popped in to see their commissions underway. “I made them rings to wear on a world tour. Adam’s was a fun piece. He sent me a massive heart-shaped emerald that I set in a chunky gold ring.”

 

Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.

Will often creates pieces in silver first – it’s cheaper to make mistakes than in gold or platinum – before ordering any gold and gems – ethically sourced of course – on approval from trusted dealers in London’s Hatton Garden. He will sometimes make similar versions of a piece to display in his studio cabinet, where a beautiful array of jewellery catches the light – gold and ruby eternity rings, a silver bangle set with diamonds, pearls, turquoise and sapphires, opal and diamond earrings, bee brooches and cufflinks.

 

His immediate surroundings provide inspiration – ivy scrambling over the garden wall, insects that bring his garden to life, pebbles on a beach. “I enjoyed making a silver drum ring with a polished carnelian, inscribed with the date of a romantic walk. The client had found the stone while walking on Southwold beach and asked me to set it in a ring.”

I leave carefully. Should I should check the soles of my shoes for slivers of precious metal? Will shrugs off my concerns. “But I do like your earrings!” he says of my simple, hammered silver pair. Praise indeed from such a skilled craftsman.

Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.Jeweller Will Bishop works in his studio at his home in Boxford.

 

http://www.willbishop.co.uk/

 

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EADT Suffolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EADT Suffolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EADT Suffolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Suffolk

Mon, 16:35

For professionals Gillian and Kevin Palmer, and their daughters Millie and Izzy, a holiday home in the romantic seaside village of Thorpeness is a true escape.

Words and images: Tony Hall

Read more
Mon, 16:05

And in the modern age, that’s quite a lot. Frances Hopewell-Smith enjoys a midweek lunch at the Turks Head in Hasketon

Read more
Mon, 12:26

We love scrolling through all of the beautiful photos of Suffolk. Here are some of our favourites from this week

Read more
Mon, 11:53

Have your diaries at the ready because it’s going to be a busy month in Suffolk

Read more
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Suffolk is home to a surprising number of breweries, all using locally sourced ingredients to produce delicious and sometimes unusual tasting beers. Here are some of our favourite local breweries where you can find fantastic ales and lagers

Read more
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The arrival of summer may have got us thinking of sandy beaches and beautiful scenery, but why go abroad when Suffolk has all of this (and more) to offer? Here is a selection of some of the best places to stay in this glorious county…

Read more
Monday, July 17, 2017

Georgia Potts puts her feet up at Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa in Newmarket

Read more
Monday, July 17, 2017

Have your diaries at the ready because it’s going to be a busy month in Suffolk

Read more
Friday, July 14, 2017

A few scoops of ice cream are the perfect accompaniment to a warm sunny day. With that in mind we’ve found seven fantastic places for you to enjoy a tasty treat

Read more
Friday, July 14, 2017

Suffolk is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful waterways - the River Waveney, the River Deben and the River Stour all offer stunning scenery that captures the heart of locals and visitors alike. There is nothing better than enjoying dinner and a drink by the water, so here are some of the county’s prettiest riverside pubs…

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
EADT Suffolk Application Link

Local Business Directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search