July Showcase: Alexandra Cordon
Alexandra Cordon jewellery is designed and made in Hackney by Gemma Champ, a former fashion journalist and artist.
Her work is largely derived from a decades-long fascination with the votive animals and jewels that are common to most ancient civilisations. After a childhood spent staring longingly at tiny Roman or Saxon bronzes in museums, history of art studies at university, and travels in the Middle East seeing Assyrian, Phoenician and Bedouin relics, Gemma now finds herself instinctively creating compelling, covetable creatures that act as a comfort, a reassurance, a precious talisman for their owners.
As well as using traditional goldsmithing skills, Gemma loves working with the ancient lost wax process, hand-carving tactile pieces that are cast in recycled gold and silver. Where possible, she uses reclaimed gems, and all other gemstones and pearls are bought from trusted suppliers with strong ethical policies.
“There are so many beautiful gems out there in the world already from old jewellery. I love the imperfections of them and the slightly wonky cuts in older pieces – it’s part of the story of these lovely rocks and crystals that have been growing in the earth for millions of years before we find and polish them into gemstones. Let’s keep them in circulation! As for gold, apparently 208,874 tonnes has been mined through history – do we really need to mine much more, with the damage the process does to the environment? So I’ll always use recycled gold. Oh, and the name Alexandra Cordon is kind of recycled too – it’s made up of my middle names, which were just sitting there doing nothing!”