A passion for future talent made CSM course director a Trailblazer.

As we build up to the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 in association with The Company of Master Jewellers and supported by gold partner Ti Sento, we indulge in looking back to the leading lights of the jewellery industry who made it into the Hot 100 2011. Today we celebrate Central Saint Martins course director for jewellery whose abounding enthusiasm for future talent made him an Aagaard Trailblazer.

As course director for Central Saint Martins’ Jewellery MA, Simon Fraser is recognised as one of the most influential and inspiring individuals in the jewellery industry; a charismatic person who fills a room with energy and enthusiasm.


Through his work at CSM, Simon has been a shaping influence for many of the British jewellery designers we know and love, and several of those in this year’s Hot 100, and this year he has worked closely with the Palladium Alliance on a special project to celebrate fresh design talent at the college.

“This has been a fantastically fun year,” he enthuses. “The 10-week-long palladium competition that we held with the Palladium Alliance was enormously good fun. It was great for the students; it was fast, live and brought so many people together.”

The project proved a hit within the jewellery and fashion worlds. Simon judged the competition alongside fashion designer Giles Deacon and Hot 100 Trendsetter Hannah Martin and winner Leigh Cameron, who is featured in this year’s NexGem section, was awarded an internship with Vivienne Westwood.

In fact the competition was so successful that Simon is already working on bringing it back for 2012. He is also working on a jewellery exhibition that will be held in the new Central Saint Martins’ premises in London’s King’s Cross that will showcase the college alumni’s jewellery.

“We buy jewellery from our graduates and keep it in storage, and now we hope to showcase it,” he says. “There will certainly be some names included that you will now know.”

Alongside his work with Central Saint Martins, Simon has also been focused on a project that has, for the past two-and-a-half years been very much under the radar. His Ultra Indigo initiative, housed in the vaults below Somerset House, is about showcasing sublime mastercrafts – including jewellery – in limited shows sometimes for only an evening, other times for two or three days.

This interview was taken from the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2011. If you or someone you know has had a great business year and are hot enough to be part of the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 then click here for more information about the nomination process.