Q&A: David Fowkes

Reading Time: 

1 min {{readingTime}} mins

David Fowkes has been running his own atelier, David Fowkes Jewellery, for the last 25 years. He specialises in bespoke, avant garde jewellery designs, painstakingly sourcing unique stones, cut and faceted by specialist artisan stone cutters making use of geometric lines and natural inclusions within the stones themselves. He has exhibited regularly at the Goldsmiths' Fair and is based in a Grade I listed Coach House, set in the grounds of the 18th Century Thoresby Hall, Nottinghamshire. He answers the Benchpeg Q&A.

What’s your name, and what do you for a living?

DF: David Fowkes, I spend my day playing with beautiful gemstones.

I am a jewellery designer, maker.

How did you come to work in the jewellery industry?

DF: A ‘voyage of self discovery’ and soul searching to decide what I thought I was good at.

Sounds quite analytical, but ultimately I love to create and work to fine tolerances.

Where better to do it!?

How would you describe your work to someone who doesn’t know it?

DF: Fine jewellery with a modern twist, with a heavy focus on artisan cut, unique gemstones. Unconventional and initially challenging concepts.

What is your creative process?

DF: Most of my work is commission based. Often a client sees something that we have in stock, but they might want to have something that is specifically made and designed for them. We start from sourcing the right kind of gemstone rough, and cut to suit both the brief and the gemstone material. I listen to the client to understand what makes them tick, get inspired by the gemstone and take it from there. The design process then comes to play.

Where do you love to shop?

DF: Does any man love to shop!? OK, independent boutique style outlets where the focus is on the product and the customer service. Hey, that sounds like David Fowkes Jewellery Gallery, Hah!

What is your inspiration?

DF: Nature in all its forms; there is no better design. On a day to day sense, it is to produce the best I can possibly do, and then to do better the next day.

What piece of jewellery do you most treasure?

DF: The next completed piece, as I strive to get better day by day.

What piece of jewellery do you most desire?

DF: Strangely, I really don’t. There are some wonderful creations out there, but to desire them? I love strong, simple, minimalist design. If you pushed me, some of the early classic Georg Jensen pieces.

If you could only be remembered for one piece of your work, what would it be?

DF: When I really began to develop my identity as a designer, and I began to challenge the boundaries of convention, I made pieces which were fulfilling to my way of thinking. There was a Mandarin Garnet neckpiece that sold to someone who really ‘got it’. That set me firmly on the way.

What would be your advice to someone starting out in the industry?

DF: Be true to yourself. Don’t be swayed by commerciality, but follow your dreams. It will be tough, but work hard, and then work even harder! Don’t be put off by rejection, that is the subjectivity of the creative world. You know you are the best. Believe it and make it happen.

The Benchpeg Proust Q&A

Type your content here...

  1. What’s your favourite work of art?

    DF: The classic Porsche 911

  2. Who from past or present would you invite to a dinner party for the evening?
    DF: Heston Blumenthal to cook the food; Leonardo Davinci for insight; Adolf Hitler for controversial debate.

  3. Do you have any pets, if yes, what is their name?

    DF: I have a surrogate workshop dog, but in reality, life doesn’t allow as I am too often away sourcing the next special gemstone.

  4. What is your most treasured possession?
    DF: My bicycle(s)

  5. What would you consider a perfect day?
    DF: The sun is shining, the world is at peace, and you are together in splendid isolation with the person who makes it all worthwhile.

  6. Is there a favourite journey, trip or voyage you hold dear?
    DF: On board an overnight ferry from Newcastle to Bergen in Norway. On deck at 5am, unable to sleep. What a reward, entering and then sailing up the Fjord in glorious morning sun, the scenery was spectacular. It was made all the more special, as typically for Bergen it was raining heavily by the time we docked.

  7. What is your greatest achievement?
    DF: To be open to life and to continue to learn from all that comes my way every single day, be it good or bad.

  8. What advice would tell your younger self?
    DF: Live for the moment. This is a cliché, but to really understand the effect of now on the future. Embrace life and opportunity in all its guises.

  9. Can you sum yourself up in one word?
    DF: No! (non-conformist) who can?

  10. What motto do you live by?
    DF: Embrace your beliefs and then embrace your ability to make them happen. You can!

Image credits: Images sourced from David Fowkes and Pinterest.


Rebecca van Rooijen


{{'2019-04-30T16:27:44.0990000Z' | utcToLocalDate }}
comments powered by Disqus