I love to promote small businesses and creative people from all of the world, but when I discover somebody who is just on my doorstep, it feels extra special. One such person is Yasmina Lambert (aka Atelier Purple Jewellery) who, originally from France, now lives in beautiful Bristol.
I first spotted Yasmina’s beautiful pieces in my favourite interiors boutique, Bouton. Not realising that Nora and Yasmina were in fact sisters!
Well long story short, I am delighted to introduce Yasmina and her beautiful jewellery…
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about what you do?
Hello, my name is Yasmina, I am a French jewellery maker living in Bristol, where I have been living in Bristol for 17 years. I came to study a degree in Modern Languages and I never left!
I am a vintage clothes and furniture lover, a magpie, an interior design enthusiast. I live in a very visual world.
I design and make jewellery from my home studio using silver, gold and lots of semi precious stones. I would define my jewellery as minimal, delicate with a modern feel.
You design and make beautiful jewellery. When did you start this as your career and why?
I started making jewellery 3 years ago without thinking it would be a career. I have always loved jewellery and fashion and was looking for something creative and not related to my degree. I was looking for a ring for myself, something special so I decided that maybe I could make it. I enrolled in evening classes at the Bristol School of Art and made my ring but I carried on going to the classes as I loved them so much. I started working seriously with precious metals and learning new skills, then got a couple of requests from a couple of friends, then requests from their friends and finally applied for my first Christmas fair – and that’s how it all started.
Can you talk us through the process behind one of your pieces?
It can start from a very small element, for instance my latest necklace is a feather pendant with a hammered piece of gold and brass on a black chain. It started with the feather; I liked the idea and to make it more precious I added some gold but hammered it, since I like it when things don’t look too polished or prefect. Sometimes accidents and not having a very precise idea at the outset make the best designs!
What is your inspiration behind your collection?
Many things really, but I particularly love very old jewellery. It is amazing to see how something made centuries ago could look so modern and wearable. I love the craftsmanship and the work behind each piece.
I especially love antique jewellery from North Africa – the hammered and forged silver is a great inspiration. I went to Morocco this summer and looking at details on doors, mirrors or lamps was heaven!
Finally, nature; it may sound cliché but it is so true. Leaves, tiny dried flowers, – and I love shells. I cast them in gold or silver to make very delicate pendants and I can spend ages just looking at the detail in them, that no human could have made.
You are originally from France could you tell us a little bit about that?
I come from a small town in Brittany which I left to move to London in my 20’s. It was a shock but a very exciting one! I fell in love with London, everything about it was exciting and so different from where I came from.
I still go to France 3 to 4 times a year and I love it. After so long living in the UK, I feel a bit of a tourist and I look at things with the eye of a foreigner. I rediscover things I miss sometimes: food, cafés, nice boutiques etc…
Your beautiful home is sometimes used as location house, tell us a little bit more about that?
I met Mano Basu from Good Spaces nearly 2 years ago and she came to photograph the house. She liked the light, the space, the white walls and the quirky vintage details everywhere. It is a nice collaboration with Mano; I let the crew in in the morning, they photograph what they like and when I come back in the evening, the house is as I left it.
What is a typical working day for you?
I don’t really have a typical day which is nice, apart maybe from the busy periods when I am getting ready for the Christmas sales, Valentines day and Mother’s day.
I usually start working after I have dropped the children at school, then take a break to take the dog for a walk mid-morning, carry on until it is time to go back to school again.
Working from home is great – having a flexible work timetable, being able to work when, how and for how long I like is a luxury.
What do you love most about what you do?
The creative aspect of it all, I love finding new ideas, looking for inspiration. I feel grateful to be working on my own terms. I am still amazed to be interviewed today as a jewellery designer since it is very personal to create and you never know whether other people will like it as much as you do. Finally, having customers following my work is very flattering.
If you could collaborate with any artist/maker who would it be and why?
Can I have 2 please? First it would be this German Paris based jewellery maker living in Montmartre called Beatrice Knoch . She has a little studio and behind it, her kitchen with the kids playing around. I don’t think she even has a website. She makes beautiful things inspired by nature and organic shapes.
My second designer would be Isabel Marant the French clothes designer. She has a jewellery line but I have to admit that I am a bit obsessed with her clothes!
If you were stranded in the wilds what item would you want with you to survive?
Mmm, I don’t think I would be very practical in the wilds and probably wouldn’t last long. Am I allowed to take my 12 year old son? He would love it and has all the gear for those kind of situations!
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Hopefully still in England and still happy to be designing, making and selling jewellery!
Thank you Yasmina. Your home is so, so beautiful, no wonder it is used as a locations house. I particularly love that cabinet.
Yasmina is kindly offering one Littlegreenshed reader a chance to win the stunning Ana rose gold necklace (above) which is worth £60! All you need to do is complete the rafflecopter widget below. Winner will be announced on Friday 27th March. Open to all worldwide.
Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed. A UK lifestyle & travel blog
Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.