Vick Guthrie catches up with jewellery maker Will Bishop

How did you become interested in jewellery making?

I completed a degree in fine art sculpture but became interested in jewellery making after a period of travel across East and South Africa – everywhere you go they’re making jewellery out of anything that comes to hand. My girlfriend at the time, now my wife, was in the middle of doing a jewellery making course and taught me the basics and after completing a diamond setting course at The London Guildhall University I set up my business, originally working out of my garden flat in north London.

How would you describe your style?

Fluid with a particular focus on surface texture. My jewellery making influences are eclectic, from the ethnic to Byzantine.  

We particularly love your bumble bees and dragonflies. What inspired them?

My studio is situated in a courtyard garden in a village in rural Suffolk and when the door is open in the summer the air is full of the sound of bees and there is a small pond near the door to my studio that is visited by dragonflies and damselflies.  

Does the Suffolk countryside inspire you?

It does, and I don’t have to travel a yard from my studio which is in the garden of my 14th century timber framed house to find it. Interesting commissions come to me on a regular basis, for instance a local farmer presented me with a Roman ring he had discovered on his land and he wanted a copy made before relinquishing to a local museum. I have made a cast of a mini bronze pestle and mortar and an ancient make-up kit, a similar discovery from a ploughed field. I have also designed rings to take gems found on the bountiful Suffolk beaches by different clients.  

What made you choose to move to Suffolk?

I was bought up in north London but my grandparents had settled in Stoke-by-Nayland and I spent my holidays there so when it was my turn to bring up children, it was an obvious move to make, it being such a lovely part of the world.

You can make a purchase at www.willbishop.co.uk or make an appointment to visit Will’s studio by calling 01787 210 251 or emailing info@willbishop.co.uk