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Collette Waudby's Jewellery in Oxford

For those of you who live outside of Birmingham, you can find my jewellery in stockists across the UK.

Find your nearest stockist here.

My largest display of jewellery can be found in the historically rich city of Oxford at Payne & Son Jewellers. 

Situated on the Oxford High street, Payne & Son was established in 1790 and has been passed through eight generations of the family. Still family run, this store has a fascinating timeline, reflecting the engrossing culture of its surroundings.

Check out Payne & Son here:

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A day trip to Oxford will not only be a great opportunity to visit Payne & Son, but will offer an enriching experience involving history, great food and quality stores.

Just to name a few unique attractions in Oxford, Blenheim Palace infamous for its Baroque architecture, is well worth a visit, while the 248-year-old Covered Market showcases top quality food, drink and local crafts, supplied by over 40 independent traders (just opposite Payne & Son). 

The shop where Alice from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ bought her sweets 150 years ago, can also be found on the high street, with The University Museum of Natural History just around the corner.

Overflowing with cafes, bars and restaurants, the Oxford city centre will not disappoint! 

For inspiration, here are some suggested itineraries for day trips to Oxford (with little walking involved!)

June 06, 2018

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The World is your Oyster - Caring for Pearls

For everyone celebrating your Birthday this month - Pearl is your Birthstone!

Pearls make a timeless and elegant addition to any jewellery lovers’ collection.

Whether it’s a pair of dainty earrings or a statement necklace, these ocean treasures can transform an outfit into the ultimate picture of class.

If you’ve ever wondered how these beauties are formed, we have oysters to thank and the sea current that carries debris into their shells. In order to protect itself, the oyster layers the foreign material with a mineral substance, until the stone transforms into a glistening gem.

Pearls have been worn as a form of adornment for millennia, with the earliest piece found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess, dating back to 420 BC. 

The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the tear drops of joy from the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. How lovely!

The love of pearls continued into the 20th century, while divers risked their lives searching at depths of up to 100ft, to retrieve a ton of oysters that would only generate 3 to 4 good quality pearls.

                                                                                              To this day we have beauty icons flaunting this sought-after jewellery, such as Audrey  Hepburn  with  her ‘Breakfast at  Tiffany’s’ pearl necklace and  Princess Diana’s pearl and sapphire choker.                                        Undoubtedly, pearl wearers will want to take the very best care of them to ensure shine and reduce the chance of damage.

 

Here are my top 5 tips for looking after your pearls:

 

1. Since pearls are organic gems, made of calcium carbonate, they are vulnerable to the chemicals found in cosmetics. So, only put on your jewellery after you’ve sprayed your hair spray and perfume.

The golden rule with pearls is ‘Last on, first off’.

2. If you own a pearl ring or bracelet, remember to take it off before any activities that could damage the fragile surface, including bathing, playing sports or even grooming your pet.

3. To clean your pearls, use a soft cloth with a drop of water if necessary. Even the smallest amount of perspiration could take away the pearl’s shine, so remember to give them some TLC after each time you wear them. Top Tip: Use mineral or distilled water, because the chemicals in standard tap water can actually damage the surface. 

4. For storage, I’d recommend that you keep your pearls in a silk bag or velvet lined box, something soft, to ensure that nothing will scratch them. Keeping pearls out of sunlight is a good idea as well, since long term exposure can turn them yellow.

5. If possible, keep your pearls separate from other pieces of jewellery to further ensure that nothing else can scratch or damage them.

Follow these tips and you'll have a glistening set of pearls good enough for a Persian Princess!

Mavilo Pendant with Pearl Drop........Pearl Drop Earrings.......Mavilo Earrings with Pearl Droppers

Gift Wrap Q&A - Mother's Day Gift Opening

 Quite often we’re asked about gift wrapping; how much it costs, when it needs to be ordered by and how it will look – so we made a short film!

Take a look at how Collette wraps these beautifully delicate Verso Earrings for a Mother’s Day gift as well as the heart-warming reaction.

 Gift Wrap Q&A

 How much does it cost?

To be hand wrapped with luxury paper, ribbon and Collette’s special tissue paper, it only costs £5. 

Can I do it myself?

Yes! For just £3, Collette will provide you with all the necessary pieces to wrap the gift yourself.

When do I need to order my gift by to make it in time for the special occasion?

We like to be as fast as possible and often fulfil orders within 2 days, but to avoid disappointment please allow 10 days just in case! 

So, whether it's Mother's Day, a Birthday, Valentines or your Anniversary, don't forget a beautiful gift deserves beautiful wrapping!

An Interview with my Mother

It goes without saying that one day a year really isn’t enough to celebrate our Mothers’ hard-work. From the day we’re born a Mother takes on many roles  (wherever she likes it or not), from teacher, taxi driver and party-planner to chef, story teller and confidant. There will never be enough time to list them all!  For many, a Mother is the best friend you never realised you had.                             

'I just wanted you to work hard and follow your dreams, which you have...'

To mix things up a bit this Mothers Day, Collette interviewed her own Mother; discussing her early dancing career, favourite pieces of jewellery and the most important lesson she wanted to pass on.

Q1. When did you realise I was a  creative/hands-on person? Well you were always making a mess (laughter). When you were about eight, you made a toadstool model for something at Brownies. I didn’t even know you were making it – it just appeared! 

Q2. When I was younger, what did you imagine me doing for a living? I thought you would be a dancer. You were doing so well and getting such fantastic exam results from the Royal Academy it seemed that was the path. I remember vividly sitting through one of the dance awards presentations. They used to go on and on and on. At the end, during the actual ‘giving out’ bit, the Dance teacher was going talking...at length, about the person who was about to win the top award ‘Most promising Student’, thinking ‘phew we can go home soon’ and they said your name! I really wished I’d listened (laughter). 

                                                                                                                       Q3. How did you feel when I went to university to study jewellery? I was sad that my Baby was leaving home but happy you had got to go to the Uni you wanted. You were very ready to leave too (laughter).                                Q4. Can you show me one of your favourite pieces? I love this because it is what I asked for and not at all your style but you did it for me anyway! It was for my 60th Birthday. I also love my gold necklace and earrings



Q5. What are a few of your favourite memories of us together? Being with you when your babies were born. Gosh, there are so many. Seeing you win Jewellery Designer of the Year was also amazing!

Q6. What was the most important lesson you wanted to teach me? (laughter) NOT TO GET PREGNANT! Well, not while you were young anyway. To be honest you were always naturally, fiercely independent and adventurous.                                                                                                     You always worked hard at your part time jobs to get money to do the things you wanted to do. I just wanted you to work hard and follow your dreams, which you have.

February 26, 2018

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Collette’s Top Tips for Cleaning Jewellery

Once you have chosen and invested in a piece of jewellery to treasure, the last thing you want is discolouration, tarnish or dirt to gather. Especially with those favourite pieces you like to wear on a regular basis which are exposed to the oils, makeup and perfume on your skin, it’s important that your jewellery is cleaned and protected to stay flawless!

Collette understands this better than anyone and has created an easy, low tech process of cleaning your precious jewellery, using items you’ll find around the house.

You will need:

  • Glass or plastic bowl
  • Aluminium foil
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Salt
  • Inexpensive washing detergent (like Persil)
  • Plastic spoon
  • Soft old toothbrush
  • Kettle

Here’s a short video with Collette, explaining the process with a beautiful necklace from the Lillium collection.

 

  1. Tear a piece of foil to line your bowl (please note that the foil cannot be reused)
  2. Add 1 spoon of salt
  3. Add 1 spoon of washing detergent
  4. Fill the bowl with boiled water
  5. Ensure that all the jewellery is touching the foil
  6. Once it stops fizzing, empty out the contents

If there are some stubborn areas:

  1. Use a damp tooth brush with some bicarbonate of soda to brush the jewellery
  2. Once you’re happy, rinse in water to remove all residue
  3. Dry with a towel

 

Top Tip: While you’re not wearing your jewellery, wrap up your pieces in acid free tissue paper. This will help protect its shine and prevent tarnish!

Now you can wear your freshly polished jewellery and in the words of Gem Hunt ‘Get your sparkle on!’

 

February 13, 2018

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jewellery making ›   jewellery quarter ›  


Working in the Jewellery Quarter

During the 18th century, Great Britain revolutionised the process of manufacturing goods.    

If Britain was the ‘workshop of the world’, then the Jewellery Quarter was the goldsmith’s creative flair.

'Generations of jewellers are somehow soaked up into buildings.' 

Once referred to as the ‘toy shop’ of Europe, the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter is now rich with 250 years of art, history and community spirit.

Since graduating university in 1995, Collette has worked amidst the hustle of bustle in a traditional goldsmith workshop.

'This is my world - this is where I'm happiest.' 

Quite a few of the techniques she uses are centuries old and in Collette's words, 'this makes it quite a special craft'. Not much has changed over the years of jewellery design and creation, but your imagination is your only limit. 

 Working as a community, Collette’s suppliers and stockists are also small, independent and often family businesses. Not only does this cultivate long-lasting relationships, but it keeps the neighbourhood strong and prosperous.

Surrounded by creatives with years of expertise, the support and advise, without a doubt, enriches the quality of Collette’s work.

'I cannot imagine doing anything else.'

 Described by English Heritage as ‘a national treasure’, it comes as no surprise that Collette simply loves the history and generations of jewellers which are ‘somehow soaked up into the buildings’.

'I feel lucky being a part of the history of jewellery...'

And we’ll leave you with a few of our favourite facts about The Jewellery Quarter: 

  1. Over a THIRD of British jewellery comes from the jewellery quarter. 

  2. Around 500 businesses currently operate here, including many fantastic bars and restaurants.

  3. A 2 minute walk from the station will get you straight into the heart of the jewellery quarter.

  4. In the 18th century, craftsmen were known as ‘small masters’, meaning they ran small, family businesses that produced large quantities of jewellery using hand-powered machinery (not much has changed!)

 

Reasons to celebrate Valentines...

Valentine’s day has   become an event of  plastic hearts, tacky teddy bears and expensive dinners. Quite a few of us don’t even celebrate the occasion anymore because of its shallow reputation.

Well, it’s about time that we start seeing Valentines in a different light!

Here are our top 3 reasons to celebrate Valentine’s this year.

1. Love comes in many forms.

Quite often we’re led to believe that Valentine’s Day is only for passion, lust and romance, but the various meanings of love could not be more contrary. Like the different flavours of ice-cream, we have different formations of love that the Ancient Greeks so insightfully identified.

Eros is the love of passion, most regularly associated with valentines, youth and lust.

Meanwhile Philia is the love between great friends, symbolic of loyalty and sacrifice. This also extends to the unconditional love between parents and children.

Pragma represents the love between life partners, which requires patience and understanding, a love that is not nearly praised or admired enough to this day. Collette created an entire collection of jewellery in honour of her marriage to Kane, focused on the unique and elegant shape of the Calla lilies from her wedding bouquet.

Check out The Lillium Collection here!

And then we have Philautia; the love of yourself, a sense of acceptance and security in your own skin. According to philosophers, this kind is essential, as how can we love others if we cannot love ourselves?

So, for anyone feeling ‘loveless’ on Valentine’s, you couldn’t be further from the truth. From our friends and relatives, to our children and life partners we are surrounded by the purest and most sacred kinds of love. So, why not consider exchanging cards or gifts between friends and family as a little reminder of how much they mean to you.

And, commanded by the poet Bukowski ‘if you have the ability to love, love yourself first’, so don’t forget to treat yourself this Valentine’s!

2. Valentine’s gifts do not have to be tacky and cliché.

We all know that the best way to avoid buying into a cliché is to design or buy a gift that actually means something to your loved one. This could be a good old DIY project or a customised piece that shows you really put thought and time into it.

Since all of Collette’s jewellery is handmade by either herself, Kane or Helen, customisation is easier then you may think. You could alter an existing design in her collection or create something entirely new, perhaps using a favourite stone or metal – your imagination is the only limit!  

Get in touch to book a no-obligation design consultation!



Another option for a sentimental gift would be to resurrect pre-loved jewellery. An example of this would be when Collette melted together her Mother and Grandmother’s wedding rings to create a new one. This blending of the two generations to create something truly original and sentimental would make a perfect gift!

 

Get in touch to find out what Collette could do for your old jewellery! 

 

And finally, for the couples planning on renewing their vows or just fusing a new lease of life into their marriage, you have the opportunity to create completely new wedding rings with Collette to guide you every step of the way.

Check out this video featuring the lovely couple Erin and Tim making personalised wedding rings to replace their old, budget rings.  

Get in touch to book a no-obligation design consultation!

3. Love Local

 And, last but not least, Valentines is an opportunity to truly love your community by supporting local businesses instead of huge, corporate entities. Buying from sole traders and small businesses based near you, will not only enhance your Valentines experience but provide support for their families too.

Check out this post listing 50 creative ways you can support local!

What are your reasons for celebrating Valentines? Let us know in the comments below.

All our Love,

The Waudby Team 

x

 

 

The Beautiful Woods

Thinking of the mood I wanted for my images, a favourite Burne-Jones quote came immediately to mind:

''I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream of something that never was, never will be - in a light better than any light that ever shone - in a land no one can define, or remember, only desire''

I am a bit of a romantic and I adore the work of the  Pre-Raphaelites. This Image of John William Waterhouse's 'Ophelia' offered something of a starting point.

The importance of good photography is so so crucial . I chose to work with the very talented Sam at Rose and Rainbow Photography. I had seen her style and felt that her style was so perfect I didn't want to butt in with my arty quotes and images and that I would allow her creative feedom to interpret my work. If you do look at her other stuff, you will see, she has just 'got it'.

We used two wonderful models, Hannah and Alarna, whose patience was unbelievable. The look was created by Make-up and Hair by Gemma. WOW! it was amazing to see just how the right make-up creates the perfect look! 

Location was a no-brainer. I adore visiting the local woods. Warley Woods is dear to my heart for many reasons. To visit is to escape for a moment and be surrounded by the beauty of nature among tree's much older than I and that will stand long after I am gone. Kane & I love to bring the children here too. In fact they were around during the shoot and we convinced them the models were fairies. Look at them! It wasn't hard.

I learnt so much about how natural light can be the most amazing studio you could ask for. We started at 10am and worked until almost 6pm. Having done nothing apart from move around the woods to the different location, I was exhausted! Sam still had so much energy and never compromised when getting the right shot. Hannah and Alarna still looked serenely beautiful! I love the images so much I want to share them with you.

Featured Jewellery: Mavilo Slim Leaf Necklace & Mavilo Slim Twisted Leaf Bracelet 

 

Featured Jewellery: Verso NecklaceVerso Bracelet 

 

Neck, Wrist and Ring Sizing

Neckwear

As a default all our pendants are hung on 18 inch chains. We have found this is the most popular length. We can supply our pendants on 16'' 18'' 20'' 22'' 24''. 

To decide what is the best length for you, measure an existing chain that is a comfortable length and make a note to help when choosing.

Alternatively, use a piece of string or ribbon to determine the perfect length for you.

Click the image below to see our guide.

 

Wristwear

Bracelets are very straightforward. The universally accepted length is 7 to 71/2 inches. Ours all have a short extender chain to allow for a little variation.

Bangles can be a bit trickier. We have a great tool you can download to help with this. You can place your own bangle over the template or cut it out and carefully put your hand through the hole. We find the medium is by far our most popular size.

Click the image below to see our guide.

 

Rings

This to can be tricky, especially if it is for a surprise gift!

We have spent some time developing two tools on one page for you to help determine your size. There are clear instructions on the PDF tool that make it super easy to use and has proven to given accurate measurements.

Click the image below to see our guide.