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Meet the Makers: Anna Jewsbury of Completedworks

How Anna Jewsbury Created Completedworks

Come with Liberty as Completedworks’ creative director, Anna Jewsbury invites us into her world of artful, narrative-driven jewellery
By: George Elliot

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How Anna Jewsbury Created Completedworks

How Anna Jewsbury Created Completedworks

Come with Liberty as Completedworks’ creative director, Anna Jewsbury invites us into her world of artful, narrative-driven jewellery

By: George Elliot

From the studio’s satin-finish rings with crumpled, drape-like contours to their fluid, twisting earrings that cast the illusion of still being molten – Completedworks’ designs have all the hallmarks of wearable works of art. Dynamic and experimental, expressive and inspired by the overlooked beauty within the everyday (think: the way treacle trickles off spoons and how a dishcloth folds elegantly, even when slung over a kitchen counter), these collectable items blur the boundary between sculpture and jewellery. Along with her London-based team of makers, the brand’s creative director, Anna Jewsbury is the creative force behind these modernist masterpieces. Here, she reveals to Liberty why her jewellery will always feel timeless (whichever way fashion’s pendulum swings next), how she gained cult status among the style set and why she’s forever looking to deliver the unexpected…

Read more: Spread Joy with these Christmas Jewellery Gifts

The Making of Completedworks

How Did You First Get into Jewellery Design?

I came into it from a non-traditional background. I studied Maths and Philosophy at university and there’s this mix of both precision and creativity to the two subjects. Somehow, they’re also about finding new ways to understand the world. And I think that was it for me. I was driven by this desire to create something new, a visual language, something with a hint of social commentary, and jewellery became the perfect medium for this.

Jewellery has this incredible element of longevity to it by virtue of the material, and communicates something about the wearer – their taste in art and design – for the very reason that you don’t need to wear jewellery, you’ve chosen to wear it.

Describe Your Brand in an Elevator Pitch…

Completedworks documents the beauty and complexity of the everyday through the practice of jewellery, ceramic and glassware. We prioritise recycled and renewable materials in everything we do, trying to stay away from trends that feel momentary in favour of long lasting designs. We hope that the people who collect our pieces see something unexpected in them that they can’t find anywhere else. We live in a world where things change very quickly, so there is something very reassuring about a visual language which has a nod to the classic but in a modern context. And I think we have really tried to focus on pieces that customers have never seen before, but which started from a place of familiarity.

Why Do You Like to Design Jewellery that Feels Avant-Garde and Offbeat?

We’re living in a different world now. Nobody needs new jewellery or a new handbag. But we all have a desire for creativity and self-expression and a craving for newness. So I think it’s really important that whatever I am putting out into the world has a reason for existing and is something that hasn’t been seen before. It’s something that is constantly at the back of our mind – thinking how we can make sure what we are doing is relevant and with enough cultural value to make it a worthwhile endeavour.

When Are You at Your Most Creative?

The most important thing for me is always trying to make sure I have my creative valve switched on. I like to go to art galleries for example because the space forces you to stop and observe but actually if you just keep that creative valve open as you go about your day you can find inspiration anywhere.

What Advice Would You Give Someone Looking to Start Their Own Brand?

To try to have patience, something I am also still learning.

What Does Success Look Like to You?

For Completedworks to still be around in fifty years time.

How Does Your Background in Mathematics and Philosophy Influence Your Creative Process?

I think the way you learn maths at school can be quite prescriptive but the approach of studying both of these subjects at university level is very creative – you have to think in a creative way when you consider a problem and how to approach it. There’s also this element of nothing being there in the argument unless it’s absolutely necessary and I try to bring this somehow to the creative process of design.

What Are Your Three Best Tips for Creativity?

1. Don’t be afraid to pull from unexpected places, merging ideas from opposite worlds.

2. Always keep your creative valve open when walking around.

3. Collaborate – it can help you open up to a new way of working and a new way of seeing something.

Why is it Important for You to Work Primarily with Recycled Materials?

An awareness and respect for materials and the environment have been important to us from the beginning. It started with the reclaimed marble we used in our very first collection, sourced from closed quarries. So we had a sense that we were working with finite resources from an early stage.

My mother gave me a book of photographs by Sebastião Salgado that included images he took at the Serra Pelada metal mines in north-west Brazil in 1986. They are just shocking images of mining conditions that look almost pre-industrial. They caused me to think about mining in a different way. I read that ‘to extract enough gold to produce a wedding band, 20 tonnes of waste is created’. So basically every 5 wedding bands we make, we are responsible for the amount of mining waste similar to the weight of a blue whale. It just doesn’t make sense to us to use non-recycled sources if we can avoid it.

A lot of the recycled metals we use are actually recovered from electronic waste, alongside metal scrap. Electronic waste is a really big issue in itself as the majority is still not recycled (average global rate is only 19%) and you can get hazardous materials like mercury being released into the environment when products are not properly disposed of.

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