Cece Jewellery: interview with designer Cece Fein Hughes

Cece Jewellery: interview with designer Cece Fein Hughes

By her own admission, jewellery maker Cece Fein Hughes experienced an unconventional upbringing. “My household are extremely innovative persons but I was basically the first individual among the them to go to college – and there are 30 of them,” she tells me about Zoom. “A mixture of musicians, artists and designers. My grandmother utilised to costume the windows of Liberty [department store in London] in the 1960s. She was a white witch and lived in the center of the moors. But I rejected their bohemian techniques when I was younger. I bear in mind telling my mom that I hardly ever wanted to do my personal taxes. Ironically, I most certainly do now.”

Cece’s mom was “the coolest – constantly painting and earning something”, explained the Devon native who now operates her eponymous business, Cece Jewelry, from her studio in London. Her father is a retired deep sea diver specialising in mechanical engineering whose incredibly to start with expedition was in the Persian Gulf in the center of the night time. “No lights, no help. They advised him to dive and go as deep as he could,” said Hughes who plainly had the greatest bedtime tales increasing up. “My dad was by no means frightened even though. He’s the burliest person. He has tattoos all over and even now rides motorbikes at the age of 54.”

Knowing her household background is crucial. The designer’s handmade 18ct rings and pendants draw from her colourful past and primarily classic tattoos, from regular seafaring designs – anchors, arrow-pierced hearts, swords and skulls – to far more talismanic symbols these as snakes, spiders and swans. These insignia are meticulously rendered by hand in enamel by a learn enameller in Hatton Back garden who performs right from watercolour paintings established by Hughes. “They’re miniature variations of my artworks and I’m constantly amazed by the remarkable and faultless depth that is captured in such a minute house,” she explained.

Some of Cece's 18ct gold pendants with enamel design and diamonds, £1950

A speedy scroll as a result of her brand’s official Instagram web page reveals a really like of British folklore stories. “I assume the pure landscape of Devon and my father’s vocation at sea instituted my fascination with mythical creatures and the mysteries of the deep,” stated the 27-year-outdated goldsmith, who analyzed historical past of art at the College of Exeter. Her initial step into the creative sector was as an intern operating in antiquities departments of Christie’s and Sotheby’s. “Sadly it was all office environment perform,” she mentioned. “I wished to be downstairs with all the artefacts. I discovered it frustrating.”

At this time, Hughes was struggling with what she describes as “deep rooted anxiety”, which was not served by the strain that will come with locating a ideal job path. On a whim, she enrolled in a five-day jewelry-building system in Hatton Yard. It proved to be a life  altering working experience. 

“Once you faucet into the jewelry planet of Hatton Backyard garden, you’re on a journey of discovery,” she explained. “You can learn from the greatest stone setters, the finest engravers. It is very small and absolutely everyone understands every person.” Subsequently, Hughes spent a yr learning jewelry style at the British Academy of Jewellery in Holborn, whilst this was more concept centered than arms on. She still left aching to begin her own line of fine gold parts. “What I do now is basically genuinely dreamy,” she claimed. “I commit a ton of my time painting watercolours. Then I make the rings myself from my workbench. It’s very repetitive but it is so satisfying at the identical time, especially when I have, say, ten signet rings to complete. Just about every method has to be great and precise. At the conclude, you accumulate the gold dust. That in alone is kind of awesome, due to the fact it’s a craft which is endured for generations.”

Cece's Clam & Pearl 18ct ring with enamel and star set diamonds, £2860. Matching necklace, £1950

So what fairytale ending does Hughes envisage for herself as she continues to develop magical narratives by her collections? There’s a delightful horoscope collection coming up, as effectively as quite a few far more bespoke commissions to maintain her fast paced, she explained. But if authorized to desire large, it would be for much more area: “My aspiration is to have a workshop-slash-appointment-atelier. I’d have a attractive velvet sofa where clients could sit when we discussed their layouts.”

Compared with unicorns or even enchanted lobsters and snakes rendered impossibly compact by the magic of enamelling, an atelier with a sink-in couch would seem totally attainable. Enjoy this space and let’s hope for a merry assortment of mermaid-embroidered cushions.