Contemporary jewellery-maker JUSTIN DUANCE on creativity, the Cornish coast and casting rings in sand. Interview: Jessica Johnson
After I finished studying jewellery and silversmithing in London in 2000, I spent a year working from a bench in my over-priced city bedroom. Soon my pieces were being stocked in 16 galleries across Cornwall and I realised there were so many reasons to move back to the coast, which is where I grew up. The Cornish arts and crafts scene is thriving, and you get the chance to share ideas with local artists.
I rented a tiny studio in the ancient fishing village of Newlyn, where I set up my own business specialising in handmade rings, jewellery and watches. It was a revelation to discover that jewellery can be made from concrete, plastic or indeed anything you want. As well as gold and silver, I also use platinum, palladium and titanium, which can be fused with earthy woods and resins to create bespoke keepsakes.
The Cornish coast is an endless source of inspiration. The oak used for our wooden rings belongs to a Victorian tall ship; elm is sourced from Cornish gig boats; and plum wood is cut from a local orchard. For our personalised sand-cast rings, customers send us grains of sand. The odd rough grain that remains in the ring after it has been cast adds a fantastic texture.
These days men’s rings tend to be made of straight lines with no texture. We regularly have visits to the workshop from brides, grooms and best men who have travelled from around the world looking for something a little different. For this I will always feel grateful.
For more information visit justind.co.uk.