Meet the designer: Roz Buehrlen
Posted on July 01 2016
Roz Buehrlen is a jewellery designer, maker and manufacturer based in Kent.
Roz's craft is her passion. She is obsessed with working with gem stones and melting metal, and getting lost in hand carving her 'little sculptures'. We love her design style; based on nature but inspiration comes from all around. Her fusion of hand carved and computer-aided design gives her pieces an unparalleled level of detail.
Roz's passion was ignited from her first encounter with a bronze foundry as a teenager, driving her to become a fully trained goldsmith. It's her hands on approach to her process that stands out, and made us want to get our hands on every single piece!
Keen to know everything about this immensely accomplished jeweller, we sat down to find out more...
What is the biggest influence in your designs?
"My childhood had an amazing influence on me. I grew up living and travelling in many different countries; my favourite places were Kuwait and India. Life in Kuwait was idyllic. My school playground overlooked the Arabian Gulf, where seeing dolphins was part of the beautiful scenery. We camped on a beach nearly every weekend, near a small but truly beautiful coral reef that teamed with life. Stingrays, lizards and car races were just a tiny part of our life in the desert."
How did you get into jewellery making and design? What ignited your passion?
"Back in the UK I did an art foundation course at Camberwell Collage of Arts and then went to work in a bronze foundry in Suffolk under the brilliantly talented Laurence Edwards, who was working on larger-than-life size sculptures. His works include A Thousand Tides (Lying Man), that can be seen gradually appearing as the tide goes out at Snape. I was completely drawn to the sculpting and casting process and felt that training as a jeweller would give me expertise in the type of skills required for a totally different side of this process that I found so fascinating. I trained as goldsmith at KIAD as I could encompass silversmithing as well as smaller work. I then spent some time as a jeweller in Colchester at PK Jewellers learning the practical side of traditional jewellery making skills. After taking time out to concentrate on my three children I went back to work as a master pattern maker for the jewellery profession and I was part of the team that launched the Bill Skinner brand and winning The Hot 100 in 2013."
Tell us about your process?
"Always fascinated by the casting process I built my own foundry and studio so it was a natural progression to launch my own brand. I have to have a stack of sketchbook’s and pencil's with me all the time as that is where my design process starts. Once I have decided on a story I start carving my little creations to make masterpatterns. I often carve directly into metal rather than wax which is normally used - I find it gives a sharper detailed finish
It still amazes me that it starts out as a flat sheet of metal and then turns into a 3 dimensional tiny sculpture. A lot of the tools used are traditional gravers and files but sometimes only a specially handmade tool will do, although I’m easily persuaded to do some forge work and let some sparks fly. Once a master pattern is complete I then make a mould and centrifugally cast them in the foundry. From these pieces I make the finished articles. The most difficult part of my job is deciding which designs not to use - I always get carried away. I have always loved what is a complex process, monumental to make yet so simple to see."
What are your favourite pieces?
"My favorite piece is my swallow statement ring. I love designing but sometimes when things are formed under the hand without planning and a natural development unfolds, it is really lovely to create. In this piece the swallow looks really majestic and the detail in the spinel cabochon stone set in the shank finishes it."
"The swallow and key lariat style necklace is just gorgeous to wear as it subtly lends itself to elegance. This piece can be worn as a backlace so I love its diversity. It is as if the swallow is swooping after the key and then if you look closely, you will see the hidden love heart."
"I love the torc bangle as it doesn’t restrict you as to how you should wear it. It is a heavy weight bangle so really stands out as a striking item. As swallows mate for life and represent freedom, it felt like a perfect match to make this."
"The double Swallow necklace is a very striking piece that sits just below the neckline echoing the style of tattoos worn by many sailors representing freedom, loyalty and hope. There is an extender for a longer length option and the agate and spinel detail complete the necklace."
"The delicate design element of the Swallow range comes through with the earrings. These can be worn two ways, either with the drop faceted agate alone or with the little swallow swooping behind the ear."
"The swallow and love heart key earrings can be worn with the little swallow on its own or with the little love heart key as an addition."
"I carved the swallow stud earrings as I really wanted everyday wear that was feminine. Jewellery is fun as well as an extension of a persons beauty and character. These definitely are fantastic to wear as a subtle statement."
"As I was working on the stud earrings I had to make the little pinky ring as well - it worked as a perfect combination. I love off setting designs so there is a little spinel cabochon set in the shank."