Hot 100 2014: Russell and Danila, Wax Carving

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The Jedi Masters of wax carving bringing a unique touch to jewellery.

"It’s the best thing in the world to have a partner whose opinion you trust and value always on hand to bounce ideas off, and whose support you can always count on,” muses Russell Lownsbrough, who co-founded Waxcarving with fellow designer Danila Tarcinale in 1992.

Now based in the heart of Hatton Garden, the pair has prototyped 25 complete collections this year and worked with more than 30 designers and jewellery houses; from fledgling brands to some of the most recognisable names in the industry.

While Waxcarving epitomises the work the pair do for others, The Travelling Jewellery Emporium is a collection made purely for their own pleasure, culminating in a new website and the fastest-selling debut range at retailer Johnny Rocket. Living by the mantra of “design, refine, carve,” Russell and Danila have this year overcome the stress of moving their studio by getting wrapped-up in exciting projects; like creating a piece that inspired a song and later starring in the accompanying music video.

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No strangers to bizarre requests, the pair was asked by a philanthropic family to create a marine landscape for the inside of a snow-globe – destined to become the world’s most elaborate Christmas cards. Russell and Danila admit that even their time away from the industry is spent “upcycling, recycling, customising and making things”. Russell explains: “We both love a bit of a dress-up, and Danila is exceptionally adept at creating exotic and elaborate costumes and headdresses.”

Despite being described as the ‘Jedi Masters’ of wax carving, Russell and Danila can’t predict the future, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a new trick or two hidden up their costumed sleeves. As well as a new website for Waxcarving, The Travelling Jewellery Emporium’s offering is set to be refined and expanded with a fresh collection. Additionally, they’ve been asked to write a book, style one of Facebook’s new offices, and, perhaps even stranger still, have been commissioned by a member of the House of Lords for a home makeover.

With this frantic schedule Danila still manages to step back and analyse the state of the industry in 2014. She comments: “It seems there are two paths these days, The Brand and The Artisan. If you want to be a brand, court stylists and the media, literally if necessary, leave the rest to us as we have the expertise and experience, and it’s for hire. If you want to be an Artisan, you’ll need passion, dedication, concentration and patience, the rest will follow.”

Russell Lownsbrough and Danila Tarcinale were selected as Trendsetters 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 book in full online, click here.
 

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