I am so pleased to have just won the Muddy Stilettos award for Best Jeweller in Herts and Beds, 2022. I feel I have been rewarded for the hard work it takes setting up a business and being stubborn enough to continue with it through some hard times. I am so proud of this award and look forward to the celebrations with the other category winners. I am pictured here with the other winners from Beds. More about the awards evening can be read here!
(Photographs by Lorna Newman Photography)
Hello and welcome to my website. I’m Jude Karnon and I am a jewellery designer and metalsmith. I set up my business in 2015 and am based on the border of the beautiful counties of Herts, Beds and Bucks. I am one of those lucky people who turned a hobby into a business and have enjoyed every moment of the experience.
I make bespoke pieces for clients and create collections in both silver and gold. I love working with precious metals and beautiful gemstones; working with my hand tools and spending time being creative.
I also teach jewellery making and run workshops in my own studio and at other locations.
You can find out a bit more about me from this recent blog.
What inspired you to work in your chosen profession?
I absolutely LOVE rings and would buy a new ring every time I travelled somewhere. This led me to wondering if I could make my own. I enrolled on an evening course way back in 2008, learnt the basics and started to make jewellery for friends. With each piece, I would learn a new technique so by the time I launched my business seven years later, I felt confident to charge people for my work!
What is the favourite thing about your job?
I love a challenge! I have been asked to make some pretty unusual and curious pieces which require a lot of thought in how to create in metal. Sometimes I feel like an engineer and mathematician! These pieces give me the biggest satisfaction when successfully completed.
How would you describe your design style e.g. minimalist, traditional etc.?
With bespoke pieces I am guided by my client’s wishes so being versatile in style is imperative. I am happy making both statement and delicate along with simple and more elaborate pieces.
Part of me wishes I had a signature style in my jewellery, which would make me a more recognisable brand and stand out within the competitive jewellery industry. But a bigger part of me loves exploring and experimenting with differing styles and having the scope to work outside the parameters of one particular look.
I love simplicity, angles, layering of metals and matching particular gemstones to metal colours.
I would describe my work as fun and entertaining.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Creating jewellery collections is my opportunity to indulge in my passions and inspirations. Even though I live as far from any coastline as it is possible, I love making jewellery with a coastal/seashore theme because my heart belongs by the sea.
I am very lucky to have ancient woodlands on my doorstep which are home to the most amazing bluebell woods – a popular jewellery collection with my local customers.
I also take inspiration from geology, travel, history and sport – quite a selection to entice my customers!
What is your biggest success story or proudest moment in your career so far?
Deciding to teach jewellery making was the best eureka moment in these last five years. I discovered I had quite a talent for teaching and the buzz from watching beginners create beautiful pieces and be proud of their work cannot be matched. I have many returning students which is the biggest testament to the success.
Other teaching highlights include setting up an evening class at a local school, teaching at the prestigious WI Denman College, teaching at a local gallery and from last year, I am now a jewellery tutor for Buckinghamshire Adult Learning.
Studying gemmology with the Gemmological Association of Great Britain has also been a highlight as learning all about gemstones and and their properties is not just a personal passion but very handy when discussing gemstone jewellery with my customers.
All jewellers would say having their own maker’s mark is a career high and I am no different. Having my initials as part of a hallmark is the best finishing touch to my jewellery. I am that proud of it, my maker’s mark is central to my brand identity.