An open, artistic approach to design made this jeweller a NexGem.
Our photographers are out taking shots for the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento at this very minute, but those chosen won’t be unveiled until September. Until then we are looking back to the leading lights of the jewellery industry who made it into the Hot 100 2011 and today we profile Matt Foster, whose business launch last year made him a Swarovski NexGem.
Along with a love for motorbikes, Matt Foster is – as his debut collections show – a fan of pirates and pennies.
As a new kid on the block, he prides himself on exploring all aspects of design whether its private jewellery commissions, creating designer lighting, styling photoshoots or collaborating with fashion designers and musicians. It is this artistic exploration that made his debut collection a stand-out at Treasure during London Jewellery Week.
Having completed several placements with British jewellers, Matt says he’s learnt not to follow convention and, having moved into a studio workshop on St Cross Street in Hatton Garden, he says he will always remember 2011 as the year he launched his company, Matt Foster London.
Though Matt’s background has largely been focused on bespoke jewellery designs – something he loves – this year he launched three new collections to increase his appeal to retailers and the press.
“It meant a lot of sleepless nights at the studio, but the end result was certainly worth it,” he says. The collections were unveiled at Treasure, Matt’s first professional show to the public, and it was an experience he says he’ll never forget.
He has used his debut year to build relations in the industry with everyone from gold platers and metal polishers to stone dealers. And wishing to work with the very best, Matt says his little black book of contacts is finally getting there.
One of Matt’s commissions this year – a pair of cufflinks – became somewhat of a surprising order.
“I dropped them off with the lady whose partner they were intended for and she later emailed to say they had instantly become his favourite pair,” he says.
Matt later found out the man in particular was the son of the last President of Brazil, who is now a regular customer of his.
“I would never have thought when I began making jewellery that I would be creating work for someone like that,” he says. “I have been invited to go visit them at their new home in Brazil, which is certainly an invitation I hope to take up and it may even inspire a new collection.”
His second passion, motorbikes, also keeps Matt busy with regular meets and weekend rides out to the coast. “For me it is the greatest feeling of freedom, so the moment I get on and start it up any worries I have leave my mind.”
He’s also just returned from his annual family holiday to Spain, which he says offered “a chance to take a step back and be proud of the things I have achieved”.
This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. Nominations for 2012’s edition are now closed and this year’s list and photographs will be unveiled at an exclusive invite-only party at The Freemason’s Hall in London on September 4. To find out how you can get invitations as a sponsor email firstname.lastname@example.org.