How education inspired his approach to jewellery and furniture design.
The arrestingly offbeat Will Floyd Maclean is instantly charming. An alliance of good looks and a humble attitude is pretty powerful, and crucially he carries it off in a likeable way. However, he is more concerned with design than appearances.
As the winner of Cred’s jewellery design competition he has now designed an exclusive collection for the ethical brand. It takes its inspiration from sailor tattoo imagery and focuses on the sharing of two pieces between two people, whether companions or spouses, together or apart.
It’s the sort of idea that seems to come easily to him. Certainly he is effusively creative, something he attributes to his non-mainstream education at Wynstones in Stroud, a Steiner-Waldorf school, which embraces a different attitude to education. It focuses on fostering a free, morally responsible and socially integrated individual, all the while stressing creativity.
It worked. He divides his time between jewellery and furniture design, two disciplines that dovetail because he uses wood for both.
“My father recently discovered that we come from a long ancestral line of cabinet makers, which could explain why we both work with wood. I was constantly in his workshop as a child experimenting and making things that I needed. I would like to think that my work in furniture making and design benefits my jewellery design and vice versa. Although there might not be an obvious aesthetic in my work that suggests this, and I would rather there wasn’t. It is more that I can go from one to the other with fresh eyes and influences.”
He has had his struggles this year, most notably with defining his professional identity, but says he has solved that now. “I will be launching my new website in conjunction with the Hot 100 announcement and launching a new furniture and homeware brand at Design Junction with my studio partner Natasha Lawless. So my biggest achievements and breakthroughs of the year are still to come, I hope.”
William Floyd Maclean was selected as a NexGem in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2013, in association with the Company of Master Jewellers. To read a digital edition of the Hot 100 book in full online, click here.