New Year Treasure Hunt.

January 18th, 2012 Leave a Comment 0

As you may know here at GM Towers we like to go the extra mile in our quest to fulfill all of your jewellery needs. So it came to pass that this early January that we found ourselves located somewhere in deepest Sussex in the middle of a large,cold, muddy field. Booted, be-mittened and badly in need of a decent coffee we investigated our surroundings. We scoured, we sought, we scouted and scanned (Ooooo, there’s nothing I like more than a little over the top alliteration). After a couple hours of intrepid searching we found just what we were looking for!

!!!GRAHAM!!!

Now there are I’m sure many Grahams in this world, but this particular Graham has a specific skill set. Something that we at Goodman Morris have been looking for. An exhaustive historic knowledge of his chosen subject. A sense of romance. An investigative and inquisitive mind. Attention to detail. A raft of finely honed restoration techniques coupled with an appreciation of leather, wood and metal patinated by time, use and love. Is your curiosity piqued? Would you like to know what Graham spends hours refurbishing, renovating and restoring? Fiddling and fixing? Buffing and burnishing? (Don’t complain about my writing style – I forewarned you of my alliteration fetish)

Vintage boxes! Wooden writing slopes, mother of pearl inlaid trinket boxes, stud boxes, hat boxes, ligneous and leather boxes of all shapes and sizes. The most exciting for us? The most gorgeous and fantastic vintage jewellery boxes. We have been collecting jewellery boxes for years and have a selection, some cute, some kitsch, some are chic, some are ancient and delicate. Some are for sale and some are not. They are becoming increasingly difficult to find and we are really happy to have a secured a source of beautiful boxes for our shop!

So Dear Reader, if you’re looking for somewhere to stash your bling, store your baubles or even a secret drawer to conceal your billets doux then come a calling to Market Street or hit the website www.goodmanmorris.com. See you soon?

Spicy and Sweet!

December 14th, 2011 Leave a Comment 1

No dear reader! Not our workshop elves but our Christmas window display. If you’d like to re-create some of the yuletide deliciousness gracing our windows at Goodman Morris, please feel free to use our tweaked, tried and tested recipe…

GINGERBREAD DOUGH

3/4 cup of molasses (we’ve used black treacle when molasses are thin on the ground)

3/4 cup of golden caster sugar

2 & 1/2 tablespoons each of ground ginger and ground cinnamon

3/4 cup of unsalted chopped butter (125 grams seems to do it)

1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1 beaten egg

Approx 5 cups of plain flour

Bring the molasses/treacle, sugar, ginger and cinnamon to boil in a large, sturdy pan (your kitchen will instantly smell Christmassy and delicious). Take off the heat, add the bicarbonate of soda, stand back and with an outstretched arm, gingerly stir the mixture and wait for the reaction! Place the chopped butter in a mixing bowl and pour the warm, foamy mixture over the butter. Mix to combine. Beat the egg into the mix and then gradually add the flour until you have a stiff but pliable dough, you’re aiming for a kind of aromatic playdough…

Roll the dough out, cut your shapes and bake in a moderate oven for ten to twenty minutes depending on the size and thickness of the piece. Construct, decorate, stand back and admire your handiwork!

TOP TIPS

OK, our all time top tip is don’t try this without a cake-mixer unless you have biceps of steel and terrier-like tenacity!

Once you’ve acquired the aforementioned mixer and perfected your dough making technique you can make hearts, stars, reindeer and houses, or in fact anything that your biscuit cutter collection or imagination allows you. You can make your own paper house template, or if you’d like ours just mail a request to: info@goodmanmorris.com

When we made our house we rolled the dough onto floured baking parchment and lifted the parchment straight onto the baking trays to cook.

If you want to make coloured, glazed windows you can pulverize (great to relieve any pre-crimbo stress) boiled sweets. Unwrap them, pop them into a sandwich bag and merrily attack with a rolling pin – so satisfying. Sprinkle the resulting powder into cut out window holes. This will melt as the gingerbread cooks and you will have marvellous stained glass windows.

We used a ‘cement’ made from egg white and icing sugar to glue our house together and to stick on sweeties. Take the construction process slowly. Start with a firm foundation – a cake board or plate. The four base walls need to be firmly ‘set’ together before you put the roof on. You can make a slightly more liquid version of the icing for pouring over the roof as snow.

Our final top tip…? Don’t leave the finished item unsupervised in a room full of small children (or indeed hungry jewellers) unless you have a great method for coping with an unexpected sugar rush.

Yipeeeee!

October 19th, 2011 Leave a Comment 1

Doesn’t time fly? Now, we may not have been here as long as the rather lovely Brighton Pavillion, built in stages between 1787 and 1823. However we have been occupying Goodman Morris Towers for a whole decade and we do like a party almost as much as good old George IV.  In the immortal words of Kool and The Gang, it’s time for some…. (click below)

Celebration

So, we have the music. What next? A party maybe? Dancing? Some drinks? Or how about a competition? Then we can have an awards ceremony! Sharpen your pencils and watch this space….

Our resident expert.

October 14th, 2011 Leave a Comment 0

Here at GM Towers we pride ourselves on our expertise and our willingness to share.  All members of Team Goodman Morris have different areas of specialist knowledge. Some of us are passionate about coloured gems, some about ancient Japanese metal work techniques, some about modernist jewellery design in the sixties, some of us know about where to get the best coffee and cake within a ten minute walk of the work shop (that’s me by the way). It can happen that one’s expertise is recognised by the world at large…. So, it came to pass that Alex, our resident metal expert was quoted in The Daily Mail yesterday, joyfully expounding upon the multiple, fantastic qualities of palladium. If you haven’t read it yet you can do so and also enjoy a picture of the rather lovely Christina Hendricks by following this link:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2048443/Palladium-jewellery-Christina-Hendricks-sports-latest-thing-bling.html

Whodunnit?

July 7th, 2011 Leave a Comment 2

The tang of freshly vinegared chips upon the breeze, seagulls wheeling and cawing in the skies and the relentless circumgyration of nuns, super heroes, cowboys, and ‘L’ plated ladies of a certain age who should know better. Yup! Tis the season of hen and stag parties, Summertime shenanigans have hit town.

It’s not only the mean streets of Brighton that are experiencing strange goings-on. It has been the week of mystery here in the workshop at Goodman Morris Towers. Pens, calculators, letters, chocolate, you name it, it’s gone missing…. We’ve been wondering if the infamous ‘Grey Lady’ of The Lanes has been walking through the walls and having some fun. (actually I think the chocolate may have been me – I seemed to develop a case of selective memory/premature dementia when questioned, let’s keep that between ourselves.) The final straw has been The Case Of The Missing Saw Frame. You may not realize the full extent of the relationship that we jewellers develop with our hand tools. Some may say that it’s obsessive or unhealthy but to us it seems perfectly normal! (In fact we think it helps to be slightly obsessive) One of the first things that an apprentice will do is to make some basic tools; a sand-pot, a burnisher, a setting stick; we spend time making doming blocks, re-sharpening engravers to just the right angle, customising saw-blades, burning the excessive fluff off of polishing mops, polishing hammer faces, carving punches, etc., etc., etc. We still use tools daily that we have had for over twenty years and that we hope to use for a life-time.  So perhaps you can imagine the gravity of this question, “have any of you reprobates seen my favorite saw-frame, I’ve looked everywhere?”

A strange silence descended upon the workshop. The aforementioned frame was a beaut. Well made, well balanced, well loved and at least twenty years old. They just don’t make them like that anymore. Honest. We searched high and low, far and wide to no avail. No stone unturned, (Ha ha! Geddit?) we scoured, scanned and scrutinized. We gave the workshop a thorough shake down, shed a tear and decided that we need something to alleviate our sadness.

Obviously vodka is out of the question before 6pm (what with all those sharp tools), we had to settle for our second favorite – cake! Champing at the bit we hot footed it to the cake shop of choice, Brighton’s own Angel Food Bakery, snaffled a box of red velvet cup cakes (well known for their medicinal qualities) and shot back to the workshop. Desperate measures for desperate times; our need for cake was so urgent, so compelling, and their packing so good that certain members of Team GM threw both caution and patience to the wind and simply ripped open the box. Evidence below….

Our need for cake sated and our anxiety duly assuaged we returned the bench. A chill passed through the room, we almost heard the hem of a cape swoosh across the floor. Low and behold….! The saw frame swinging on it’s peg…. Spooky!

Elevensies…

January 17th, 2011 Leave a Comment 0

Happy New Year!

We’ve enjoyed Christmas, we’ve celebrated the arrival of 2011, we’ve detoxed and even retoxed! Now at Goodman Morris Towers we’re firmly back at the bench, re-energised and ready to go. We’d like to thank all of our fab customers for their enthusiasm and support as we head into this, unbelievably, our tenth year at Market Street! We wouldn’t have made it this far without you all and we hope you’ll come and celebrate what has been an exciting decade with us in August.

Would you like to share our jewellery predictions for 2011? (As quoted in the FT, natch) Read on… We’re counting on three strong trends for 2011…

Layering, layering, layering is first and foremost. We really see this as a continuation of the whole vintage thing. A mixture of chains and pendants. The great thing about this trend is that it’s both personal and sentimental. Each collection will tell it’s own story. What will you wear? Perhaps the initial necklace that you were given by your parents for your twenty first birthday. Maybe the kitsch but cute Eiffel Tower charm you picked up on your first romantic weekend away. Your Grandmother’s pearl? That would be perfect too. Of course if you feel the need to supplement your existing collection with some new pieces we’ve got some fab bits and bobs in store! The brand new, delicate 18ct gold Hand of Fatima and peace pendants, pave set with diamonds from New York designer Mina would look brilliant; along with any of our key or heart pendants. The only difficult part would be choosing!  This trend also works well with stacking bangles and rings. It’s a casual, eclectic and fun look but takes some careful putting together. There’s a fine line between an elegantly, artless appearance and looking like the over enthusiastic consumer of a jewellery jumble sale!

Colour blocking/minimalism is another big story for 2011. Simple yet dramatic tailoring can be lifted out of the ordinary with a few strong ‘hero’ pieces, whether that’s a colourful, structured handbag or a piece of sculptural jewellery. Here at Goodman Morris we are known for our love of huge, sweetie-like gemstones and we spend lots of happy time in our workshop ‘ooohing and ahhhing’ over the latest gems to hit our benches. It’s a bit like a grown up pick and mix. This season our gem collection has come into it’s own. One of the things that we really understand is that a beautiful stone makes a strong statement. With these pieces simplicity is key. Whether you pick vibrant blue topaz, hot pink tourmaline or gorgeous green emeralds you can be assured that it will elevate your latest ensemble to another level!!!

Here’s a quick pic of our blue topaz boulder ring in this month’s She Magazine trend report.

Lastly but not leastly, Seventies lounge wear is going to have a big impact. Think YSL’s eternally classic Le Smoking and Halston’s cocktail maxi dresses. Louche and elegant with a grown up sexiness these pieces are a perfect foil for long, swingy pendants (just wait ’til you see our latest baby, named the ‘Tom Jones’ by the workshop wits – that hits the spot perfectly!) and our old faves, the ever wonderful, always wearable (I wear mine to glam up the house work – honest) cocktail rings.

Hope to see you soon.

Inspiration plus perspiration.

November 1st, 2010 Leave a Comment 0

Dear Reader, share with us some of the experience of building an exhibition display. Firstly, take a generous pinch of smoke and mirror, season with a little queueing, a soupcon of loitering in a chilly car park and a equal amounts of perspiration and inspiration. Wait. View pictures below. That should do it.

STEP ONE

Locate stand, schlep gear.

STEP TWO

Wallpaper. Channel ‘Granny Chic’

STEP THREE

Gently distress mirror frame (not self). Attempt of place graphics onto mirror. Straight.

STEP FOUR

Nearly there!

STEP FIVE

Retire to the sofa with a large glass of wine. More stand dressing to follow tomorrow…

(contain your excitement please.)

Christmas comes early….

October 21st, 2010 Leave a Comment 0

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Late nights, burnt fingers, too much coffee and not enough booze. The tap, tap, tap of hammers, the rolling of the mills and the occasional sound of swearing (hard to believe I know, but true). Yup! Christmas has come early to Goodman Morris Towers. Down in the workshop the pressure is on as we race to finish new pieces for the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia. An abundance of new pieces, lots of rose gold, which has been really popular in both the shop and press. We’ve got hearts, hoops, stars and our brand new mini charm bracelet. Watch this space – pics to follow! Here’s some of our now classic, Times New Roman initial pendants in sterling silver at varying stages of production…

Just over a week to go and not only is there stock to make but also our exciting new stand design for the show to complete. We’ve been inspired by some ultra-gorgeous, super-feminine, very, very curvaceous furniture from the lovely girls at The French Bedroom Company (thanks Georgia x). Check out this fab chest of drawers (bad pic, but it’s beauty still shines through!)

Sylvia silver chest of drawers from www.frenchbedroomcompany.co.uk

If you’d like to see the results of our blood, sweat and tears then drop into the shop or swing by our Spirit of Christmas stand (C128) at Olympia, London between the 3rd and 7th of November. We’ll have all our new work as well as some one off ‘show specials’. We’ve three sets of freebie passes for Spirit of Christmas to give away to the first three people who sign up to ‘Privilege’ on www.goodmanmorris.com

Hope to see you!

Blowing the cobwebs away…

September 29th, 2010 Leave a Comment 0

CREEEAAK! Aha! The sound of my laptop being gently prised open. CRAACK! Hmmmm… My aging knuckles warming up for their reunion with the keyboard. Yes Dear Reader, it’s been a while, but rest assured, my fingers will soon be skipping merrily across the board like sprightly little Spring lambs.

After a long and lazy summer there is much news to report from Goodman Morris Towers. Today we are overwrought with excitement, the hoop earrings from our Key Collection have been chosen as Instyle.co.uk Fashion Editors Pick! We are also very excited to confirm that we will be at The Spirit of Christmas fair at Olympia, London from 3rd to 7th November. Please come and visit, we’ll have new collections and some exclusive, one off pieces and lots of our yummy rhubarb and custard flavor rock available for your delectation!

You may have noticed an Autumnal chill in the air and nights drawing in earlier. Here, at Goodman Morris we are clinging on to those last balmy summer feelings with these baby heart hoop earrings newly available in gorgeous, warm rose gold vermeil….

Best of British?

July 15th, 2010 Leave a Comment 1

Up early, dressed smartly and left in unusually good time for the train. Punctual arrival at the station with ten minutes to spare. Purchased ticket to the The Big Smoke. Hooray! Enough time to grab a paper, coffee and calmly contemplate the civilized journey ahead. Board the train, and, impressively manage to snaffle a comfy seat and table all to myself  (do you Dear Reader have a sense of impending doom?) unfold aforementioned newspaper, sit back, relax, remove lid from coffee cup and proceed to pour half of the contents into my lap. Damnation! After half an hour of intimacy with a hand drier I returned to my seat having acquired neighbours, hot legs, cold coffee and a slightly edgier, splodge dyed, fashion forward look that I wasn’t planning…

All dried out and ready to go I jumped on a bus and took a trip down Chancery Lane. All worries about my attire were immediately  ameliorated by London’s luminous beauty.

As far as jewellery design goes what constitutes ‘Best of British’? This was one of the more contentious issues raised at the inaugural Jewellery Designers Focus Group lunch on Tuesday. Hosted by Jenni Middleton, editor of Retail Jeweller and Julie Driscoll, event director of The Jewellery Show at Clerkenwell House in Hatton Garden, it turned into a surprisingly lively and passionate affair!

A dynamic group from different disciplines of the trade, including Lindsey Straughton of The British Jewellers Association, and emerging designers Ana De Costa and Katie Rowland to the more established Diane Hall from Dower and Hall enjoyed delicious tapas and animated conversation. There was much deliberation, cogitation, mastication, rumination and even mediation when things got provocative. (Ahhh, nothing like a little aliteration to get the blood flowing…)  In fact serious discussion about the many challenges facing designers was the order of the day. From how to cope with the ever rising price of gold (no satisfactory answers to that dilemma unfortunately) to how trade shows can encourage and support young designers. From partnerships and mentoring to selection procedures and manufacturing origin.

Here at Goodman Morris we are absolutely passionate about designing AND manufacturing in the UK. We are fervent believers in using the incredible skills and craftspeople that are available in the UK. We do as much as possible in house and out source to UK based specialists only when necessary. We really are proud to be able to say that we manufacture in house. We are also committed to training and passing on our skills, just as someone did for us (Thank you to Tom Jupp and Jo Swan). The British jewellery industry has some incredibly effective and supportive organizations such as The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and The British Jewellers Association who do all they can to promote and preserve  jewellery making in the UK. So, what then is ‘Best of British’? For us, that has to encompass both the conception and production of a product in the UK, we understand that it is different for all designers. Some designers work through the concepts here and move all the production abroad, some produce part of their work here and the rest elsewhere. When one understands the emotional investment each of us has in our work it is easy to understand how the dialogue can become so impassioned.  Please share your views. (You can click on the wiggly icon next to the date above to leave a comment)

Here is a fine example of The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths’ good work! The rather fantastic Mr Ryan Ormond. He is our apprentice and has been with us since January 2010 and is on a five year  endentured apprentice scheme run by The Goldsmiths Company. (Chin up Ryan, only four and a half years to go!)  The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths are the last Company to run this scheme, a very traditional arrangement which has been in operation for hundreds of years. The scheme supports both the apprentice and master over five years. This begins with a ‘binding’ ceremony when both parties sign their intent into one of five books held by The Goldsmiths (I think the one that Ryan signed has been in use since 1860); and culminates in the apprentice presenting his/her masterpiece and releasing him/herself from the binding to his/her master.

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