Devon-based Damian J. Miles is a goldsmith, silversmith, jeweller and gemologist. With over 20 years of knowledge and expertise, he has worked in the jewellery industry since 1992, working his way up the ranks and gaining numerous qualifications. Damian created his own brand in 2014, with help from his family. His wife provides constant inspiration and support, his daughter helped design the Scottie Collection and his son helps sort gemstones - it truly is a family affair!
Nature and industry act as continuous sources of creative inspiration and Damian creates his pieces using ancient techniques. He has many sources of inspiration, like nature, symbology, mythology, everyday objects and science fiction. When he can, Damian uses ethical and recycled materials to make his jewellery. He incorporates reclaimed gemstones in his pieces and gives them a new lease of life.
At JewelStreet, we are happy to sell Damian’s Dizzy, Scottie and Mooncrater Collections, as well as pieces inspired by the South Devon coast. Here's a sneak peek behind the scenes...
How did your brand begin?
My brand has only just started its journey. Having been self employed since 2014, I decided not to worry about being commercial and started making pieces I want to make relatively recently. I've not looked back since.
Is there anyone in particular who has heavily influenced/guided you as a designer?
I am continually inspired by the industries unsung heroes. The people behind the tools and equipment that make the jewellers lives easier or more exciting, enable us to try out new techniques, finish and expand our creative horizons.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
In Devon, I'm surrounded by nature. The sea is not far away and Dartmoor is even closer. Nature and industry provide a wealth of textures which I like to incorporate in my work. I also like to use ancient techniques that are not easily reproduced.
How is your jewellery made?
Every piece of mine offered on JewelStreet is individually handmade from concept to completion. This makes each piece truly unique. In an age of mechanisation, I want to offer a unique alternative.
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
Celebrities? Everyone is a celebrity in their own right. There are heroes and talented people all around us. A lifetime ambition of mine is to have a piece I've created in a big screen film.
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your jewellery?
Special, comfortable, individual. Each piece is unique and so is each client. Their feelings will vary depending on why they have it. Most of all, I would like them to be happy.
What has been the highest and lowest point of your career so far?
The lowest was not long after setting up my business when the accounts were empty and the future bleak. It was almost a dead end. The high point was the first time I sold a piece that I truly wanted to make - a handmade chain.
Do you have any exciting future plans and where do you see your brand in 5 years?
I have lots of plans in the pipeline. The problem is choosing which to follow first. I'm currently working on some new techniques, including enamel. Lots of colour is coming soon! I hope to have my own purpose made studio in the near future.
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
Making time for family and switching the phone off are the the most important points. We try and get out for a walk on Dartmoor when possible, often with a camera in hand in case inspiration strikes.
What meal is your signature dish?
Cheese on toast, Beans on Toast, Soup. This is a running joke in my family as they are the "go to" warm lunches and suppers. Turkey Lasagne or Game Terrine are the real answers. I make the Terrine twice a year and the Lasagne as often as possible.