When it comes to weddings we all love making things special. One of the things I think gets overlooked is the wedding ring itself. It’s fair to say that most of us are tempted to head for the nearest high street jeweller and find something that ticks most of the boxes but after meeting Rona Mackenzie & the team at David Fowkes Jewellery, I’ve learned that creating a ring that fits you perfectly in terms of style and comfort is not only achievable but can be a really rewarding experience.
This is the first in a series of articles putting local wedding suppliers in focus. I meet them, photograph them and interview them to learn more about what they offer to give you a better idea of what to look out for during wedding planning. Got a supplier I should check out? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestion.
David Fowkes creates unique jewellery for discerning people, exhibiting the highest standard of craftsmanship. The brand is synonymous with gems of exceptional quality, cut to perfection and set in unique designs, based in the courtyard of Thoresby Park, Newark. With over 30 years of experience, they know what goes into making a beautiful ring built around you. In their own words “It’s about making beautiful things for nice people”. They use ancient stone cutting methods, and a combination of both traditional and innovative techniques to create wedding rings that are as individual as the person wearing it. “We want people that want to be different and invest some fun and some time into creating their jewellery” says Rona the Chief Operating Officer at the workshop who showed me around.
The shop is split into two sections. There’s a shop area where you can view some of the collection and show pieces and the workshop itself which has windows on two sides so you can see the goldsmiths working on the jewellery. The workshop is open for people to come in, have a natter and look at some amazing jewellery. I asked Rona to describe the process of creating our your own piece, here’s how it works…
Couples are encouraged to come and meet the team for an initial consultation. “Ideally we would like couples to come here before they get engaged, so that they can work with us to design wonderful engagement and wedding rings…jewellery that they love and can wear for the rest of their lives, together”. It all begins by spending some quality time with the designer, David, to discover what you would like and for him to learn how are you going to wear your rings, so they can make them fit for your style and lifestyle.
“If it’s a guy coming to get their engagement ring made, we always say bring loads of photos of your fiancée to be, because we want to know what she looks like, what her hands are like, what does she typically wear, what’s her lifestyle and we can make it suited to what she would like”
“For couples who are co-creating then we suggest using Pinterest and finding loads of pictures of things you like and not just jewellery. You might like the way something is designed, particular angles, shapes or colours. We print the pictures out and have them at the consultation on the table so we can find out what about them you liked so we can start to build and idea of what you’re looking for. It’s a great process”.
The Design Process
Once you have an idea what you would like they create the designs. “There’s no computer aided design. It’s physical pencil drawings which we send to the client with costs. We normally cost in different options for example for different carats of gold or sizes of gems so you can see the difference in price. It’s then emailed to you for you to choose what you would like and make a decision whether to go ahead or not.
“We involve them in as much as they want to be involved. If they want to be here when the waxes are created, when the gold is melted or when the stones are set they can come and see it happen. If they aren’t local we can do everything by email or post too. We always say to you when you’re getting in engaged, whenever you’re getting married whether it’s in three weeks or three years, bring it back on your wedding anniversary and we’ll polish it for free so it looks amazing”.
Rona told me a great story of a couple who got engaged at Everest base camp and were looking for wedding rings to match their engagement ring. After speaking to them in the shop they showed her a photo from their Everest trip and came up with the idea of turning one of the photos of the Himalayan mountains into rings. They cut the line of the mountains out of the picture and made them in silver, (to match their budget) then in one of the gaps where the mountain ranges joined they nestled in the engagement ring so it fit perfectly. Then they added in stones for the stars, the sun and the moon all the way round so they had night and day in their rings with engraving on the inside. When she told me that, my mind was blown!! That couple has rings that tell the story of how their relationship started and you should all know from reading my website how important the telling of stories are to me!
It’s all about you…
Much like how I work with clients, the team at David Fowkes want to make your jewellery creation a special experience in every way. You will learn about how the rings are made and be guided through every step of the process. Whatever your budget or time frame they can work around you. “We always like to give ourselves as long as possible but if you came in right now and wanted wedding rings that need to be hallmarked we could probably make them in three weeks but we like to have as long as possible because then you can enjoy the process, you’re not in any rush, if you’re not sure then you’ve got plenty of thinking time.”
It’s not just wedding rings that can be made. They create jewellery for men, cuff links, necklaces, pendants and ear rings. You could create gifts for family, the bridesmaids and the best man. “Gifts are often bought online because often you’re working to budgets and need to keep the costs down, which is understandable. But you can have things made that are really beautiful but aren’t expensive.
A simple pair of earrings can be made but they can be custom made by hand so your three bridesmaids that are really different don’t have to have the same thing. You could have the same pair of earrings that are slightly different and then they know that you didn’t just buy three pairs of earrings off ‘not on the high street’, you actually went and had a little bit more thought and that makes people feel special whether its your jewellery or a gift for someone else. That’s where that attachment is so different.
It’s all about us meeting the client’s needs, as long as they have an idea what they are comfortable with we can make it fit for them. Having an idea of budget is really helpful. Just knowing what’s their maximum or the range they’re comfortable with means we can meet that budget and that’s what we do. We don’t over sell or push you to have something else, we’ll stick in your budget, we want you to feel comfortable”.
I had an amazing time visiting the workshop. A huge thanks to Rona for taking the time to meet me. I’m going to be back because I’m bringing Fiona to try and get some rings made for my wedding now I’ve seen what’s possible!
You can visit the workshop Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 5pm at :
The Courtyard, Thoresby Park
Newark, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Enjoy the rest of the photos I took of the workshop below and look out for more supplier blogs coming soon!