Hot 100 2014: Kristjan Eyjolfsson

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Kristjan Eyjolfsson might feel like a designer on the rise in the UK industry, but truthfully he has been creating jewellery for 20 years.

What sets him apart, however, has been his drive to push his own name to the very forefront of contemporary jewellery design in the UK.

His list of recent achievements is laudable and one that many goldsmiths would struggle to achieve in their lifetimes. The Queen wore a brooch designed and made by Kristjan in 2012 to the Chelsea Flower Show for a second consecutive year.

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He was thrilled to be accepted as part of the IJL and BJA KickStart scheme, scooping the People’s Choice Award and is now equally pleased at “being selected as one of the Hot 100”.

He has also won a coterie of leading independent retail stockists, including Wolf & Badger and Johnny Rocket, both of whom recognise that Kristjan’s deftness with precious metals and fine gemstones translates into jewellery that is wonderfully detailed, with symmetry and sharp edges that attract an aesthete customer. “It has been tough to get it just right,” he says of his move into retail, having been a bespoke jeweller for so long before.

Training, learning and becoming a fluent designer have driven Kristjan throughout his career, and each piece is a true labour of love. “Goldsmithing is like a language, the more skills you add to your vocabulary, the better you will communicate your vision,” he says.

“I start with a concept that captures my imagination and develop that vision in my mind and on paper until I consider the design finished. Only then do I hit the bench and bring my vision to life, knowing full well that when it is completed, I will know — not that any piece is ever truly finished.”

When he’s not whittling away at his next bejewelled wonder, Kristjan – born and raised in Iceland – goes exploring in sunnier climes. “I grew up in darkness for many months of the year and try to escape to somewhere sunny and warm whenever I can; usually coupled with a road trip, cultural activities and great food and wine — as well as my ideal companion, my wife Ivonne.”

Kristjan Eyjolfsson was named a NexGem in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014, in association with headline sponsor Pandora and principle partner The Company of Master Jewellers.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2014 book in full online, click here.

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