Visiting and filming at the upscale jewellery store with antique and modern items, plus valuations, engraving and repairs, known as Bentley & Skinner.
One of the first days of shooting we did for Joanna Hardy Jewellery Foundation course was at Bentley & Skinner, Piccadily, London. Two suited body guards welcomed me in to their shop and I was led downstairs to meet the man behind the lens, our videographer, Janic. We set up the camera, lighting and furniture to await for Joanna's arrival.
We had a lot of content to cover for our days at Bentley & Skinner, Rubies, Sapphires, Diamonds, Pearls and Craftsmanship were all topics to be discussed. For your first exclusive clip in to diamonds and craftsmanship, watch below as Joanna explains the detailing of this late Victorian diamond foliate tiara.
Rubies was another gem in which we touched upon at Bentley & Skinner. Referred to as the King of Gems, rubies have been mined and respected for thousands of years. However some can confuse them with another gem, called Spinel. Joanna clearly points out how to tell the difference whilst explaining that until 200 years ago, no one even knew a difference existed. Having been down a Ruby mine herself and watched ruby gem stones be made in to jewellery, Joanna is equipped with knowledge like this. Pretty impressive.
This video snippet gives you an insight in to the magical jewels you will get to study in our Jewellery Foundation Course with Joanna Hardy. A magnificent Art-Deco ruby and diamond double-clip brooch.
Below gives you an insight in to another lesson, Pearls. Joanna explains the difference in pearls; including misshapen pearls known as Baroque pearls which were quite typically used to make jewellery in the Renaissance period.
One of the top things I learnt from Joanna over these days was that many people, myself included, don't know how to tell the difference between different gemstones, diamonds, pearls etc. Joanna explains to her students how to distinguish the difference between natural and cultured pearls.
Joanna has travelled to many places around the world to see jewellery be sourced, collected and made first hand. As you can imagine, this has left her knowing many tricks of the trade. One of them being, her Mary Poppins like bag. Its full of handy gadgets that just when you think you need a finger small enough to pinch a diamond jewel, or you need some silver polishing, Joanna has it to hand. Something like this ivory screwdriver below...
My final highlight of the time we spent at Bentley & Skinner was observing their jewellery cutters at work in the workshop. I witnessed diamond cutting being done right before my eyes. Let me tell you one thing for sure, it has set my standards a little too high for an engagement ring in the future thats for sure.
It was mesmerising to stand there and watch the diamond cutters graft these jewels by hand and with such ease. The radio was playing and they didn't look the slightest bit stressed, rushed or uncertain. It was great to see people enjoying their work with confidence and pride. Which by the way is how Joanna is everyday. She does not see what she does as work, its her hobby, passion and motivation.