Business profile - Bespoke by Baskerville
PUBLISHED: 19:31 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 22:13 17 October 2017
Fenella Baskerville is an acclaimed jewellery designer who creates stunning bespoke pieces working with precious gems of all colours
What got you into jewellery design?
My interest in jewellery-making first began in my grandfather’s workshop where I was surrounded by colourful perspex. All I could think about was turning it into jewellery! I studied 3D design in Manchester and was soon making pieces in silver, which I sold to the Royal Exchange in Manchester. Once I had graduated I moved down to London where I had a workshop and also worked for a short spell in the Great Frog, the iconic jewellers in Carnaby Street, and Jess James. I also worked with the marvellous David Morris jewellers on Bond Street, where I gained much valuable knowledge. During my time at David Morris we made an exceptional heart shaped diamond necklace that Victoria Beckham wore to host a charity event and was all over the ‘gossip’ magazines of the time. I then moved to work with the international designer Stephen Webster, where again I learned so much.
Have you worked with celebrities?
Oh yes, I have a little black book! My period with Stephen Webster was a highly creative time, during which I had the opportunity to source magnificent diamonds for A-list celebrities. I was tasked with taking the brief for a vintage-style ring for a famous singer, a 3ct stone set in a vintage style with baguette diamonds, which I then had to wear on my finger and take in person to Los Angeles just as the story of her engagement was breaking. I also sourced a natural yellow diamond in New York for another celebrity…
What brings you to Cheshire?
I was born and grew up in Knutsford. When I left, like many young people I didn’t think I’d ever return, but when I was expecting my son ten years ago it suddenly felt very much the right thing to do, so we moved back.
What’s the first piece of advice you offer to new customers?
Some people come to me with quite a clear idea of what they want and others have no idea at all. The first thing I do is take them through the design process and will show them previous designs I have made, which can help to inspire them. Quite often people come with pieces that have been left to them that they want to be re-made into something they can wear, but don’t really know what that might be. We work out together what their dream piece would be and then I can set about sourcing the stones we need to make that happen. Of course, this being Cheshire some customers have a very flexible budget, but this isn’t always the case, so I make sure we establish this first!
What is it that surprises your clients most about choosing to have a piece of jewellery made bespoke for them?
To be honest, it’s usually the cost – and in a good way! As I have none of retailer’s overheads I can pass those savings on to my customers.
What has been your most exciting brief since establishing yourself in Cheshire?
I created a fabulous ring using a princess cut 3ct white diamond of the best colour and clarity (and three carats is a BIG stone!) in an octagonal halo of princess cut diamonds. Each one was hand-cut and I had to meet the cutter and select every stone myself. A year later Pippa Middleton got engaged and her ring was remarkably similar…though it cost an awful lot more!
Do you have a favourite gemstone?
I love coloured diamonds, especially green and yellow ones, contrasted with rich metal colours. I think my favourite would be a champagne diamond within a rose gold setting.
07775 500 588 bespokebybaskerville.co.uk