Based in her Cheshire studio, Rebecca Pratt’s fondness for jewellery has been present throughout her life and after graduating from Manchester Metropolitan she established her eponymous line.
Inspiration for her designs comes from existing objects, from small gemstones, beads, wire and other objects that can be transformed into wearable accessories. She captures multiple ethically-sourced materials into one object, experimenting with solids, fluids and breakable objects.
Her designs are for anyone who sees beauty in the old or undated. We chat with Rebecca Pratt about her story.
Have you always wanted to be a jewellery designer?
“I’ve always loved jewellery, from the first time my grandma let me wear her pearl beads until now. But it was when I was in my second year at Manchester Metropolitan University that I knew I wanted to design. I was collaborating with a fashion student at the time; using my knowledge and skills with metal to create bag buckles using industrial materials. I had some off cuts and spare material, so I chose to make small pendants and earrings for my own personal use. This turned out to be my first collection and it turned out pretty well!”
What drove you to start Rebecca Pratt Jewellery?
“I enjoy designing and making from scratch, watching that line of silver turn into something unique and precious. I’m a designer that offers wearable memories, I want to be able to communicate with my clients and work with them in making pieces of art that are unique in themselves.”
"I remember thinking to myself, ‘I wonder where all that jewellery came from? Why does it mean so much for her to wear so much?’"
How has your childhood influenced your designs?
“I had many homes growing up, and each place added to my personality and influences. One significant moment in time was when I lived in Portugal, there was an elderly lady that used to sit on a bench across from the house looking out to a park. She wore, what looked like every single piece of jewellery she owned to the point that she used to sparkle as the sun came out. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I wonder where all that jewellery came from? Why does it mean so much for her to wear so much?’ And when it comes to working with metal and making my own jewellery, these two questions are at the front of my mind as I create. I aim my work to be on a personal level, pieces that hold memory and come with a background story.”
Values are hugely important at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?
“I have a very strong opinion on where I source my materials, I’m an eco-friendly maker that works with sustainable eco methods and materials. Each piece of silver that I use is 100% recycled sterling silver. With the gem stone side, I work with people and the community by taking part in volunteering with arts and crafts, and in return I get to publicise my work and receive donated unwanted and discarded jewellery pieces; like precious stones, chains or beads.”
"Each item I choose to work with has a story about where it came from, what design it was originally from, who it used to belong to and what it meant to them."
Where does your inspiration come from?
“I get my inspiration from communicating and working with people and the objects I receive. Each item I choose to work with has a story about where it came from, what design it was originally from, who it used to belong to and what it meant to them. With these thoughts, I design a new shell for this bead or gemstone to sit, considering the original form it once was to guide me to make a newer, more modern piece that can be worn again; giving the stone a new lease of life.”
What’s the most meaningful piece of jewellery you’ve ever received?
“My pure red coral bracelet. It was bought in the Algarve in Portugal by my grandmother, and I wasn’t given it until my 18th birthday. When I lived there it was a tradition to go down to the beach and collect as many pieces of coral as we could carry, we’d wash them and leave them out to dry. It was handmade from those small pieces that we had found and collected, and it brings back such fond memories of a place that I love and a time that I won’t forget.”
How do you want someone to feel when they wear a piece of Rebecca Pratt jewellery?
“Pride and joy that they are wearing something that holds memories, meaning and uniqueness.”
"I want to push the boundaries with metal and design jewellery that everyone will enjoy and cherish."
What are the best things about being a jewellery designer?
“Working with such amazing people, hearing the stories behind some of the jewellery pieces, what it means to the client and how important it is to them.”
What are you goals for the future?
“I feel like I’m still working towards ‘arriving’, I have a lot of work ahead of me and more jewellery to make. I aim to learn more techniques and find new ways of combining materials, I want to push the boundaries with metal and design jewellery that everyone will enjoy and cherish. I want to get myself out there more, sell my jewellery to a wider audience, as well as possibly seeking collaborations with recent and well established designers and makers.”
Rebecca Pratt Jewellery is available to shop on JewelStreet here.