By Trine NYGAARD WIBRAND
Danish jeweller Camilla Dinesen has actually never worked in Denmark. After graduating as a jeweller she moved to the UK where she has worked as a sought after jewellery designer ever since.
And although she was a part of the creative crowd that birthed the movement of Young British Artists in the nineties, today she is working out of her studio on her property in rural surroundings in the countryside near Winchester, in the most southern part of England. Her designs can be acquired by appointment only and her clients find her by word of mouth on exclusive events locally or in Copenhagen or London. Or on
her Instagram account which, she says, she needs to update more.
Growing up she knew, that she wanted to do something creative and had played with the idea of either glassblower, something with jewels or photographer. But it wasn’t until she took a year off travelling that she decided on becoming a jeweller. In South America, she felt so inspired by the traditional silver jewellery and visited areas where gemstone was mined. And that was it. She knew that working with jewellery was her thing.
So she went home to Denmark now in search of an apprenticeship. “In my mind, it was all about which jeweller I loved and whom I wanted to learn from and I was surprised to find that this is not how it works. They choose you!”.
While applying for apprenticeships, she was lucky to get a bench at the studio of Danish jeweller Flemming Bo Hansen and here she learned bare necessities like sawing and filing. A
nd then she successfully acquired a prestigious apprenticeship at Danish jewel icon Ole Lynggaard in Hellerup in Copenhagen.
After her apprenticeship, she worked in different design projects in Copenhagen before she and her lawyer husband left to settle in London.
“I always knew, that I did not want to become an employee. I wanted to create something on my own. And in London, I became a part of the creative scene in Hoxton Square in Shoreditch where a lot of artists, photographers, designers and other creatives lived and worked in the old warehouses”
She teamed up with a Danish furniture designer in a huge ice-cold studio, fortunately with a working fireplace in the corner. “It was like Manhattan in the old days. We were at the top of the building and below us was a piercer, a travel photographer and the studio of
Gavin Turk. When we all started having kids, Gavin and his wife Debra and we created a kindergarten and took turns taking care of the children while the others worked. Moving to London also meant starting over from scratch. “I did not make it easy for myself. I had no network. I had no idea where to buy my materials. Luckily I knew this woman from Lynggaard who was also in London and she pointed me in the right direction”. And so she began participating in fairs like Cockpit Studios and Goldsmiths’ Fair where the important buyers came. And this was where she got discovered by Barneys New York who was known for finding new upcoming talent. “Back then you did not see many indie brands and in London, there certainly was no tradition for buying indie brands like in Scandinavia. People more often than not went for well-known brands like Tiffany’s”. Camilla had developed her distinct personal style as a jewellery designer and created a now-classic in her collection, the twisted pearl earring. And this was the design, that resonated with Barney’s.
Butthings worked out and after Barney’s along came Harvey Nichols, several galleries, it-boutiques in Copenhagen and when developers moved into Hoxton Square, the creatives moved on to Notting Hill and Camilla became a part of the wildly fashionable Ruby Red on Ladbrook Grove where supermodels like Kate Moss bought their jewellery. When the Ruby Red closed Camilla moved on to the old jewellery area on Picadilly where she had a studio side by side with old watchmakers and engravers. When her fourth child was a baby the family left the hustle and bustle of London and relocated to the small village of Woomancott wheres she works from her home studio. Here she mainly works with private clients who adore her quirky somewhat schizophrenic - her own words - strict architectural meets soft and organic, sometimes even romantic design style. Always working in silver, gold and white gold, not surprisingly she finds her inspiration in nature, old jewellery, architecture and art. The latter especially when it comes to colour combinations. She is wildly fascinated by the different expression you can create according to the colour of the stone you put in a piece.
You can see more works of Camilla on Instagram: camilladinesenjewellery