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Little Joy Jewellery
Little Joy Jewellery is Lauren Griffiths, a fine jeweller making minimal, chic earrings – staples, arcs and neat v shapes, perfect for multiple piercings - in 9ct Fairtrade yellow gold and silver.
Lauren graduated from the School of Jewellery in Birmingham with a BA Honours in Silver and Gold-smithing in 2010. After collaborating with alternative artists and makers on various projects, it was during her pregnancy that she “took the plunge” and founded Little Joy Jewellery in 2011. “Pregnancy gave me a mental push, I stopped procrastinating and got really strict and involved with my practice” she says “Elan, my son, gave me meaning and a goal.” She had recently moved to the Isle of Wight and worked from her studio at home, continuing throughout her pregnancy and after her son was born. She now works from a separate studio and showroom in Bembridge, on the island.
Lauren’s father was a cabinet maker by trade, focusing on detailed joinery, woodturning and bespoke commissions – she cites him, and his “incredible projects” as inspiration. “My father craved making and I have followed with that need to make - I literally have to make things each day” she says.
Lauren is also inspired by nature, her surroundings and the minuscule details of day to day life. She collects inanimate objects – a vintage toy car found by her son for example - and natural specimens like leaves; and she combines the two, experimenting with ceramic or silver mediums, producing small compositions which she keeps close to hand, on a shelf at home or in the studio. Design ideas are triggered as she revisits the objects, handling them and discovering their tactility.
Lauren is a Fairtrade certified jeweller and sources her raw materials – silver and gold – responsibly. Materials come from far and wide - the Birmingham jewellery quarter and a Canadian Fairtrade mine, for example - but Lauren insists on learning about the materials she is using, and highlights the importance of “the history of a piece of precious metal being pure and true and Fairtrade”.
She applies traditional silver and gold-smithing techniques and, “loves nothing more than to create her ideas into wearable objects” she says. The jewellery making process involves piercing, soldering, raising, hammering, filing and polishing – all done to the soundtrack of BBC Radio 6. She generally works on three or four pieces at a time, stepping back to allow her to look at the piece with fresh eyes.
Lauren also offers a bespoke commission service and presents a range of jewellery workshops. Once a month her studio space doubles as an exciting creative hub and learning zone, opening its doors to a host of makers and artists from all over the UK, offering an array of workshops from weaving to lino printing and paper folding, and of course Lauren’s jewellery and silversmithing sessions.
Little Joy Jewellery’s pieces are subtle and sensitive, and allow the quality of Lauren’s work and materials to speak for themselves. Buy a few to mix and match.