My name is Gill Lyon and I've always been obsessed by jewellery and gem stones ever since I was a little girl when I used to rifle my mother's jewellery box for her marcasite necklace which I wore around my head and pretended to be a princess. I have spent many a happy hour wandering about museums around the world to see different styles and designs of jewellery, particularly Egyptian, and marvel at how jewellers of the past crafted such wonderful pieces considering what tools and materials they had available at the time and that most, if not all of what they made, was by hand.  How envious I am of their skills!  I take endless photos of different items which I use for reference focusing on colours, textures and materials.  I started making jewellery in Edinburgh where I lived for many years before moving near Cambridge.  It was one of my frequent trips to London and visits to both the British Museum & The Victoria & Albert Museum (two of my favs) that encouraged me to undertake a two-year silversmithing and jewellery course where I learnt the basics; going on to develop skills in designing, stone setting using gem stones and enamelling.  The latter takes a lot of time to produce and can be very frustrating as well as rewarding!

Jewellery Design

I have always been creative and love making things. Design inspiration comes from all sorts of things.  For example, other jewellery such as a simple ring with an unsual setting, an intricate necklace adorning Tutankhamun or jewellery that has been fashioned in fine gold, bronze or beadwork and in some cases all three! I love geometric shapes and am a cat lover.  I must add here that I was hopeless at geometry at school but I do like the clean lines and symmetry of shapes. Must be because I like things orderly and in their place! I like to incorporate different shapes into one design as I think it gives the piece depth and interest although putting individual components together can be a bit of a challenge at times – but then I never make things easy for myself.  I have two cats of my own who are always a source of amusement and they make good enamelling subjects!  A lot of my designs have my signature "swirls" added.  These are inspired by the Egypians and Etruscans.


It takes me several versions of a design before the final one materialises and then I must think about how to construct the piece.   Creating an item is like a puzzle. The bits and pieces of an item have to fit together perfectly and there are different techniques which need to be employed to make it all work.  I'll always do notes at each stage of assembly because I may not have used a particular technique or construction method previously and to avoid making a complete hash of the item, I need to perfect my skills in these areas on base metal to iron out technical problems before going back and tackling the actual piece.  The notes also provide insight as to what went right and what was a disaster – that way  I can avoid making expensive mistakes (both in time and financially) in the future.

Visit the techniques page to find out more about the methods I use

These earrings are inspired by some that I saw in the British Museum