Carolyn Stephenson's passion for designing and making jewellery started at the age of 16, she has been designing original, high quality jewellery for more than thirty years. Carolyn produces collections of jewellery and silverware along side private commissions in both gold, silver and platinum. For more information please contact her via the contact page.
Carolyn Stephenson trained at the London College of Fashion and The Central School of Art where she gained a BA Hons Degree in jewellery manufacture and design.
Her career has mainly been in the design and manufacture of fine jewellery.
More recently her work has been influenced by her passion and discovery of the techniques a silversmith uses.
She now forms all her pieces by using the ancient art and technique of repousse and chasing alongside anticlastic raising.
Her work is on a grander, more sculptural scale than her previous work, it is visually striking, elegant, sophisticated and executed to the highest standard.
Carolyn enjoys working to commission and liasing with her clients to produce an unique and very special piece to treasure.
For many years Carolyn has worked in gold and silver, combining it with precious and semi precious stones. She has designed and made many collections in fine jewellery; rings, earrings, necklaces and cufflinks - classic pieces with a modern style, which have been exhibited many times at the prestigious Goldsmiths Fair.
Today her jewellery continues and follows in the same theme as her silverware collections. Her work is bold, striking and elegant, o'bject d'art to adorn the body.
Carolyn is happy to work with clients' stones which are often a family heirloom, creating bespoke and very special pieces.
Her collections are all made entirely by Carolyn to the highest standard, every piece hand crafted and therefore making them totally unique. She usually does not make exact copies of her work but is happy to do a similar rendition.
Carolyn is now bringing the free spirit of her designs to work in silver.
“Silver is such a special metal to work with”, she says, “it has a power and natural beauty which is quite unique.”
Her silver vessels demonstrate the same natural, flowing shapes she has perfected in the copper collection, but instead of applying the many colours of enamel, she relies on the many textures and appearances which are so characteristic of silver.
She particularly likes the “soft polished look” that is achieved by planishing the metal. Among other techniques she uses are repousse and chasing and anticlastic raising.
Alongside silver's natural beauty, so suited to Carolyn's "Sculptures". Her silverware has an extraordinary versatility, pieces can stand alone as sculptural ornaments in their own right, or buckle down to the everyday discipline of being used as tableware.
Having been a designer of original, high quality jewellery for more than thirty years now, Carolyn has turned her creative abilities to work in copper and enamel. She hand raises the copper using the techniques of the silversmith, before applying the rich and varied colours of enamel.
Like her silverware collection, her copper and enamel work is on a sculptural scale.
Copper has been fashioned by craftsmen for thousands of years. A base metal, with the same malleability as silver and gold, it has offered Carolyn the most amazing creative opportunities.
The result is a range of what she calls “small table sculptures”, dramatic enamelled copper “vessels” and bowls.
“It has been a totally new experience” says Carolyn, “It is new and exciting, and because I work directly on the metal, it means that each piece is unique.”
One of the most striking aspects of working with copper has been the vibrancy and variety of colour that she’s been able to achieve in the enamelling process.
She describes the process of enamelling as being like “painting a picture”. In the same way as an artist would mix oils on a canvas, Carolyn mixes enamels on the metal, building up the layers of colour. She uses techniques like carving through layers of dried enamel, thus exposing metal or different layers of enamel underneath.
Each vessel will go through many firing sessions. “Each firing can produce a totally different effect,” she says, “and it’s the unpredictability of the enamels that I love so much.”
She often takes the firing of the vessel up to a very high temperature in order to “burn” the edges of the metal. The contrast between the translucent colours of the enamel against the blackened copper underneath has been one of the most exciting results of the process. “Each firing is a different story and that’s what makes it so lively and interesting to do!” says Carolyn.
Carolyn Stephenson’s collection in enamelled copper harnesses the experience and creative ability of her thirty years of jewellery design, and takes it to somewhere new.