In his Columbia Road bolt-hole, Ben Day crafts modern pieces with geometric flair using exotic stones, such as African tourmalines in dark purple or lake blue, bright pink spinels, fuchsia Malaya garnets and Ethiopian opals.
The space is workshop-cum-botique with the studio toward the back. Visible through an old-fashioned mahogany and glass screen, the workspace pleasantly splices the rest of the shop’s contemporary vibe (think neon-turquoise lacquer shelving).
The Flash and Panache of Ben Day’s Jewellery
Rings are Day’s first love, but earrings and necklaces are also safe in his capable hands. His skill is apparent in a pair of Tahitian pearl drops (from £3,200) in bronze, grey and green, or a glittering multigem necklace. His latest project, hold your breath, is a £25,000, giant, triangular Afghan tourmaline that sits in Day’s signature gold frame and shimmers from blue to green and back again. His designs allow the stones to do the talking, however, the deep golden colours of his settings set the tone of style and statement. What is utilitarian, becomes fashion- claws are suddenly part of the design and bands with openwork ovals and hexagons mirror the shape of any inset sparkle.
Film director Simon Aboud (This Beautiful Fantastic) and the managing director of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, Max Alexander are among Day’s loyal following.
‘I’m looking for atypical gem silhouettes cut by small independent artisans, which makes each piece one-of-a-kind. They start off that way, thanks to these unique stones.’ -Ben Day
Day’s biography on his website suggests his own individualism as well as the individual approach he takes with each stone:
True and precious ~ Affiliate of one of a kind. Bespoke . Discrete . Private . Soft curve and geometric future vision. Cabochon lover with a star burst / Super nova deep space Opal. Colour perfect mis matched. A Studio 54 echo chamber.
160 Columbia Rd, London E2 (020-8617 9293); Visit Ben Day.